Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Greers Ferry Dam - Heber Springs, Arkansas

We're back in Arkansas a few days before we turn eastward.  We have found another wonderful place to stay.  This is the John F. Kennedy Campground at the Greers Ferry Dam in Heber Springs.

Here's our view from our campsite that overlooks the river.  The water released from the bottom of the dam is so cold a mist develops, especially with the hot days we have been having lately.  It's another fishermen's paradise.

We were able to walk over to the fish hatchery located a little ways from the campground.

This picture explains the life cycle of the trout.  We were surprised it takes 16 to 20 months  before the trout is stocked in the rivers.

Here are the "raceways" where the trout are put out to grow when they are about six months old.  There was a fence roof at the top to keep the birds out.

This is one of the pools filled with trout.  They were feeding them while we were there.  When the food was thrown into the pools, it looked like boiling water as the fish ate it.

There were some really large trout in this pool which was just for display to show how large trout could become.  We wanted to see the nursery where the eggs are hatched, but it was closed today.  We'll see it tomorrow.

There is an observation point of the dam and lake just outside our campground.  It was interesting to find out  John F. Kennedy was here to dedicate the dam on October 3, 1963.  It was his last major public appearance before his assassination.

We have really been grateful for the cool temperatures we have had this summer, but it looks like its over now.  The temperature has been near 100 degrees, but fortunately our rig is in full shade. We knew it was going to get hot sometime.  After all, it is summer in the South.

College Of The Ozarks - Branson, Missouri

We had a wonderful visit at the College of the Ozarks.  It was one of those places where we weren't expecting very much, but it turned out to be a wonderful place to spend a day!

It is nicknamed Hard Work U.  Students work at the university instead of paying tuition and graduate debt free.

As we entered the grounds, we passed a lake with two beautiful swans.  This was one of them.

There was an old grist mill we toured.  You can buy cornmeal, flour, and other mixes that our made at the college here.  The top story is a weaving studio.

Next, were the greenhouses where the plants used on the grounds and in the lodge are grown.

There is also a tractor museum.

My favorite part was the cow barn.  Cows are raised here and their milk is sold as well as used for the ice cream sold in the lodge and restaurant.

While we were looking inside the barn, one of the students checked in and asked us if we wanted to go back to see the calves.  Yes, please!

This little one is only a few hours old.  It did stand up on its wobbly legs.

We continued on the self guided tour seeing the chapel

and the kitchen where fruitcakes and jellies are made to be sold.

We also toured the Ralph Foster Museum

Here is the original truck from "The Beverly Hillbillies."  This museum was so big we had to come back another day to really see it.

We had a late lunch at the Keeter Center.

I had a bacon, fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese sandwich.  It may not sound good, but the combination was absolutely fantastic!  We also had some of their ice cream.  I had the flavor black cow, root beer sorbet infused into vanilla ice cream.  It was so good!

College of the Ozarks is a wonderful place to visit if you are ever in the Branson area.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Name Is Misspelled?

We have been hangin' around Branson the past couple of weeks.  

We're staying out at another Corps of Engineers campground on Indian Point just past the entrance of Silver Dollar City.

Our first stop was the Branson 2 for 1 Tickets in the purple building on Highway 76.  It is the only discount ticket place that will not try to sell you a timeshare.  We walked in, picked out the shows we wanted tickets for, paid for the tickets and left.  They do not have tickets to all the shows, but they had enough for us to choose from.

We saw the Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band,

the Grand Jubilee,

The Shepherd of the Hills,

which included a trip up to the Inspiration Tower which also has a zip line coming off of it,

and the outdoor drama.

Some of the other shows we saw were The Three Redneck Tenors, The Duttons and Tony Roii, an Elvis impersonator.

We also made a trip into Springfield, Missouri approximately 30 miles away.  Springfield is home to the  corporate offices and first Bass Pro Shop.  The entrance states it is "The Granddaddy of All Stores" and it is!  It is definitely an experience going through the place.

Another reason we went to Springfield was that my great grandmother and her parents lived there from 1870 until 1895 and I was trying to find records on them in the city archives.  I was successful there finding deeds and other records of my relatives.

I also wanted to find the grave of my great great aunt that I was named after.  It's always been a great family story.  My great great grandmother married a Confederate doctor at the beginning of the Civil War.  He was killed in the war, but she had a daughter who I was named after.  Peri died when she was 18 and was buried in Springfield.  We found the cemetery and I went into the office to see if they could help me locate the grave.  The lady in the office pulled out the old record book and we found the plot.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eureka Springs

The park we stayed at was about 7 miles from Eureka Springs, a cute little Ozark town nestled in the mountains.  Even though it was seven miles, the road going to Eureka Springs was narrow, steep, and winding making for slow traveling.  It took us about twenty minutes to reach town.

This is the Christ of the Ozarks statue.  We took this picture from the Crescent Hotel in downtown Eureka Springs.  The statue was created in 1966 by one of the sculptors who had worked on Mt. Rushmore and is 65.5 feet high.

We took the tram tour through town and learned more about it.  During the Civil War,  Dr. Alvah Jackson established a hospital located on a spring he had earlier discovered and treated his patients, both Union and Confederate, with the waters.  The springs became well known and people began visiting the area in search of medical cures.

The town was incorporated on February 14, 1880 and promoted it as a retirement community for the wealthy.  In 1889, Eureka Springs was the second largest city in Arkansas, just behind Little Rock.  Today, there are fewer than 3,000 people living here.

It's always been a tourist destination and in the 1930's this Rock Cottage Tourist Court was a popular destination.

Eureka Springs is truly a Victorian town with houses throughout the town sporting this unique style of architecture.

There were small houses

and large houses.

This house even has two addresses.  The left side of the house is on one street and the right side of the house is on another street.

The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 

and is perched on top of a hill overlooking Eureka Springs.

From the front steps of the hotel, you can see St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, the only church you enter through the bell tower.

We walked through the bell tower and a flower lined walk takes you to the church building.

This was Basin Spring Bath House downtown still stands, but now has little boutique shops inside instead of being a bath house.  There is a wooden covered bridge in front that goes across the main street to the other side.

Here is the City Auditorium which was built in 1928 and the first performance was by John Phillip Sousa and his 67 piece band.

There is even a Carnegie Library located here.

This was one of my favorite buildings,  the Flatiron Building.  The original building was built in 1880, destroyed by fire in 1890, another was built and it too was destroyed by fire.  This building was built in 1987.

There was a mural depicting the history of the town.

Homes are built on the sides of mountains.  From the front a house will look like a one story home and when you look at the back you see another three or four stories behind it.

There was this whimsical Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall.

After our visit through downtown, we stopped at the Thorncrown Chapel on our way back to the campground. 

Thorncrown Chapel was the dream of Jim Reed who owned this piece of property and thought if he built a glass chapel in the woods, it would inspire visitors.  It was designed by architect E. Fay Jones and it is absolutely inspiring on the outside

and the inside!

Another neat thing is that the lights inside reflect the cross on the window, making an illuminated light on the forested background.

Eureka Springs is a beautiful place to visit!