[photo: everything is electric]
Just east of the Northwest Arkansas Bentonville-Rogers-Springdale-Fayetteville corridor is a crazy snake-like body of water that weaves its way through the hills. Hello, Beaver Lake. It ain’t called The Natural State for nothing (though I think this lake is actually man-made…). Of course, we have all the hunters and sportsmen as you might expect, but we also have a critical mass of camping, hiking, canoeing, cycling, running, etc. Pack Rat in Fayetteville actually sells brands like Patagonia.
Anyway, back to the point of the post. After skirting around this winding ramble of a lake, Eureka Springs, AR awaits on the other side.
It’s a small town without a flat stich in sight — mountain bikers love it, as well as the other kind of biker, too — best known for an eclectic collection of events, facts and tidbits:
- It has Christ of the Ozarks (just like Rio, right?), a monument that should have been the centerpiece of some guy’s religious theme park;
- Major event of the year (see abovementioned Ozark Jesus) is “one heckuva passion play,” aptly reviewed by my friend’s grandfather;
- It’s a gay-friendly oasis;
- The place is full of B&Bs and Victorian gingerbread house architecture;
- It’s home to a pile of artists and writers — check out The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow;
- The place was a hideout for Jesse James and his gang, and perhaps Bonnie and Clyde; and
- It has a ghost-inhabited hotel with the tours to prove it.
And if you’re hungry, Local Flavor treats you right.
You can also find a barber-cum-“Tall Tale Fishing Guide”-cum-town-gossip as well, replete with pre-9/11 World Trade Center photos and images of military pride. There’s more about this guy but I’ll have to tell you over drinks.