After a cold winter, spring has finally hit Eureka Springs. The daffodils are coming out in full force and Eureka Springs is full of yellow blooms especially in the bed and breakfast yards.
Lots of activities and events are planned in the city to get everyone out and about soaking up the warm weather. The scooter rental increased its’ fleet to accommodate cruising through Eureka Springs. The Mardi Gras parade was delightful and now the upcoming St. Patrick Days celebration is the talk of the town. The Heartland Men’s Chorus of Kansas City is performing in the Eureka Springs Historic Auditorium on March 12 and the Eureka Springs Downtown Network has initiated the second Saturday Gallery Stroll every month. If you love the Eurekan Artists this is the best time to indulge.
Relax and enjoy Eureka Springs as it awakens from the winter doldrums.
On Saturday, December 11, 2010 the 4th Annual Sweet Treats Tour is happening. 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast is one of the participants and we are excited about this years tour. Jan tried a number of different treats and forced me to taste them. It was a tough job tasting all those cookies and treats, but I endured with a smile on my face. For the tour, you can visit 8 different bed and breakfasts sampling their favorite cookie and candy recipes, collect copies of all the recipes, get holiday decorating ideas and enter yourself in a contest for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate!
This Saturday (12/4/2010) from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the 28th Annual Eureka Springs Christmas Tour of Homes is happening. Jan is one of the docents and looks great decked out in her costume.
Fourteen locations are participating in this year’s tour, giving guests a glimpse of a bygone era. All stops on the self-guided tour will be lavishly decorated for the season with Victorian attired docents at each site to relate the history of each home. Each residence offers an opportunity to revisit the grandeur of the graceful Victorian era and its unique, enchanting homes.
Visitors will be treated to choir and band music, carolers, refreshments and merriment. Tour goers will also see elegant ladies adorned in their finery and dapper gentlemen dressed in tails and ties as they stroll through downtown Eureka Springs, the only city in the country where the entire city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Picking, strumming, and singing. A great weekend for just sitting out in Basin Park listening to some bluegrass music. Come on down, ya hear!! The annual Eureka Springs, AR Bluegrass Festival descends on the town and runs the whole weekend (Aug 19-22, 2010)
Here’s the current lineup (please take note that most of this is free)….
Thursday August 19 Basin Spring Park
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Bluegrass Watermelon Social (Free)
Bring a fiddle, banjo, bass, or guitar if you’ve got one, and a healthy appetite!
Free watermelon and bottled water.
Friday, August 20 Basin Spring Park (all shows are free)
11 a.m. The Hobnobbers
12 noon The Cobb Family
1 p.m. The Roving Gamblers
2 p.m. Josh Love Band
3 p.m. Common Tyme
4 p.m. The Williams Family
5 p.m. The HillBenders
6 p.m. Mountain View Friends
7 p.m. The Dragonmasters
Saturday, August 21 Basin Spring Park (all shows are free)
11 a.m. The Hobnobbers
12 noon The Cobb Family
1 p.m. Roving Gamblers
2 p.m. Josh Love Band
3 p.m. Buffalo City Ramblers
4 p.m. Mountain View Friends
5 p.m. Spring Street
6 p.m. Dragonmasters
Saturday, August 21 The Auditorium
Doors open at 6:30pm; General Admission Only: $10
7:30 p.m. Mr. Big, Arkansas Red, and Tim Crouch
8 p.m. Brief Intermission
8:15 p.m. Mike Wilkins, with Retro and Smiling
Sunday August 22 Basin Spring Park (all shows are free)
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Williams Family Gospel Show
Throughout the weekend there will be musicians around town playing tunes on the street. Also, they’ll be pickin’ poolside at local lodgings after the shows Friday and Saturday nights. All times and performers are subject to change. Visit Basin Spring Park the day of the shows to verify times and acts.
We went to the new Ozark Medieval Castle in Lead Hill, Arkansas. It was fantastic! We really enjoyed interacting with the workers and they seemed to enjoy talking to the visitors. It was truly an educational and fun experience. It’s about an hour from Eureka Springs and worth a day trip to see it or better yet, on your way here or going back home.
Here’s what they say on their website. “Have you ever dreamed of medieval castles? Real strongholds of the past, built with quarried stones, felled oaks, forged tools, and bare hands. Do you wonder how it felt to raise these fortresses from the ground up, to perform such an amazing feat? Well, now you can see for yourself.”
They are building the castle using only the tools used back in medieval times. It will take them until 2030 to complete.
They have a blacksmith making their tools, a basket weaver making the baskets they use to haul stones, a rope maker, a brick maker. We didn’t know there were 4 different levels of masons for doing the different types of work required.
One of the carpenters (thinking like a more modern carpenter) said if they could only have one power tool it would be a chainsaw. While we were there they were creating by use of an broad ax 6 by 6 inch beams to be used as scaffolding and drilling holes for the pegs with a hand tool.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. We found the carpenters were not seasoned craftsman in the medieval style of construction as they were still learning the old techniques. One of them told us they found an old broad ax and were disappointed that it had a warped handle.
Well, after they tried it they realized that when you are swinging the ax while standing on top of a beam, the curve sure helps to keep the ax away from your leg and foot thereby keeping you from becoming a one-legged pirate. They had a whole new respect for early craftsmen.
On the left is the first tower they are building. The scaffolding the carpenters are building will be used to create the next level of the tower. Below is a video of the the lifting device they will use to raise the stones. There is a man in the middle and you can see the log being lifted in the right of the picture. A person can lift ten times their weight with this device. Jan, playing the court jester, kept yelling, “Faster, Faster”.
Hope to see you here soon. We’d love to have you visit us.
On the second Saturday of each month the Eureka Springs Gallery Association has an event they call Second Saturday Stroll. The shops stay open late for visitors to browse and meet artists and crafts people. This month, they will have those wonderful singers from Opera in the Ozarks strolling the streets entertaining people. Below is their press release.
“For June the Eureka Springs Gallery Association will partner with Opera in the Ozarks to bring you a very special Gallery Stroll on Saturday, June 12th. Singers will be strolling the streets giving you a preview of the talent which will be expressed during this year’s opera presentations at Inspiration Point. The theme for this month’s Stroll will be the color blue. Visit the nine associate galleries from 6 to 9 p.m. to experience a fun evening in Eureka Springs. For more information, see our website: www.ArtofEureka.com“
“Eureka Thyme’s featured artist for the Saturday Gallery Stroll on June 12 will be Ali Stinespring. Ali starts her sun catchers, platters, and jewelry with a large sheet of fusible glass which is cut into shapes, decorated, and fused together. She uses every scrap of glass so nothing is wasted. Each piece she lovingly creates has its own personality, so you are always guaranteed a unique piece of art. Meet Ali and experience her delightful designs at Eureka Thyme.”
Last year we stopped at Hobbs State park to see the new visitor center that had opened up. Hobbs is only about 20 minutes from Eureka Springs, AR. We were impressed with the center as well as what they had done with the state park area. While we were there we noticed they were offering guided tours by the park rangers as well as some classes. Below we have listed one class we are considering ourselves (at least the hiking part of it). We may have to wait until the tourist season slows down before we can make it, but we think living in Northwest Arkansas, this would be an excellent class.
About the park the states website says, “The park’s 17,531-square-foot visitor center opened on May 27, 2009. This $4.5 million, state-of-the-art facility features Ozark focused exhibits including interactive kiosks, classroom space, a retail sales area, and the park’s administrative offices. WI-FI wireless Internet access is provided in the visitor center.”
The ‘Basic Back Country Hiking and Camping Training’ being offered is a one-day training session on the fundamentals of back country hiking and camping given at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 from 10 AM until 3 PM. This basic training is for all age groups. Examples of topics to be covered are: The joys of back country hiking; basic camping; how to pack and carry needed supplies and equipment; how to select a camp site; how to set up a camp site; basic map and compass skills; how not to get lost; proper dress and layering; how to build a fire and cook meals; basic safety and survival knowledge; plus Leave No Trace Ethics. The course is designed for those with little or no camping experience. Cost: $25/adult and $10/12-17 yrs. Call the park office for reservations at 479-789-5000.
If you take the class, what better way to relax than with a massage and stay at a bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs, AR.
>One of the local television stations did a segment on the underground tunnels in Eureka Springs, AR. The tunnels were built in the late 1800s and the town was built on top of the tunnels. Recently the city began doing daily tours of a small part of the tunnels. It’s a fascinating story so the next time you are in town, check them out.
Here’s something from the Eureka Springs Downtown Network about a new attraction. It is open now and will have one tour a day Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of May. From June through October it will be open five days a week. Tickets cost $12 for adults with kids free with a paid adult ticket.
Downtown Underground Walking Tour Explore the Downtown in Eureka Springs, AR in a new and exciting way. The history and the colorful characters who have made Eureka Springs their home throughout the ages come alive through interactive storytelling. You can stand in the spot that Carry Nation gave her last speech, where one of the Doolin-Dalton Gang was caught by US Marshall’s, and Indian maidens were healed in the springs. Explore the beautifully restored Auditorium where such legends as Willie Nelson, Bill Cosby, Merle Haggard, Judy Collins and more have stood on the stage and played their hearts out. Then take a brave step into the unexplained underground buildings that lie under the streets and try to figure out the mystery for yourself!
The Tour leaves promptly at 2:00pm from Basin Spring Park in the heart of Downtown Eureka Springs; you aren’t going to want to miss it!
We had a little down time this week so we did something we’ve been trying to do for a while now. We did a day trip to the Buffalo River, a 150 mile long river with natural wilderness, towering limestone bluffs, canoe outfitters, campsites, hiking trails, and three wilderness areas. We decided to go to Lost Valley which is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Eureka Springs, Arkansas where our bed and breakfast is located.
First we went to Jasper, Arkansas and had lunch at the Ozark Cafe which has been serving food to the locals and travelers for the last 100 years. We stuffed ourselves with plenty of carbohydrates for our pending hike and took with us two of their desserts for an afternoon pick me up.
The first stop on our hike was the Natural Bridge, about a 15 minute hike on a fairly easy trail, the first 1/4 mile of which is wheel chair accessible. I’m glad it was easy because we decided it wasn’t such a good idea to eat a big lunch of carbs right before going on a hike. The area around the initial hike was through a wooded area next to a stream which was dry at the moment. The pictures below are of the Natural Bridge area. As you can see, we took our dogs who felt right at home jumping across rocks and through the streams. It was a quiet, peaceful hike through some great scenery.
We then took the trail up to see Eden Falls. This trail was a little harder as it headed uphill and became a little rocky. But we had worked off enough of our lunch that the going wasn’t too bad. Along the way I took a pictures of the cliffs (see above) which tower over the river. The total time to hike up to the falls and back was about 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
Driving out of the park we ran across a herd of Elks which are prevalent in the area.
Once we arrived back home in Eureka Springs, we knew the dogs had enough exercise as they plopped down and didn’t open their eyes again until the next morning. Of course, we did pretty much the same thing.
I perform weddings around town in addition to performing them at 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast. On the way to a wedding at Blue Springs Heritage center I drove by the one spot in Eureka Springs that I think has the best view in the Ozarks. Not that there aren’t a lot of other great viewing spots, but this one comes up on you suddenly and gives you a view of the valley below, the river and the fields at Blue Springs Heritage Center. It’s just awesome. Next time I go by I’ll snap you a picture. It’s about 1 mile off highway 62 on the entrance road into Blue Springs Heritage Center.