Hot Springs, AR Saturday Nov. 9
Oh, the adventures just keep coming. Our lodging tonight is at Lake Catherine State Park in a cabin. We did late “check-in”. The lodging/visitor center closes at 5. It gets dark at 5:20. We were just finishing Mass at 5:10 in Hot Springs. Lake Catherine is about 20 minutes away, a little longer if you were driving like your Aunt Minnie which I was tonight. The dark, curvy roads were prime deer area, and we had two sightings where we had to brake quickly.
We got our key from a lock box type arrangement. No note saying which cabin we were in but the key had a very faint 8-H on it so we took a chance no one was already in unit 8. The park does not have street lights so Chris used the flashlight we had to watch the park brochure map and I had the high beams on. Managed to find our way to the cabin and “voila”. The key worked and no one else was in there. The place is clean and has kitchen facilities but no wi-fi so the Verizon hot spot is in use. Tomorrow we can see what the lake and park look like. We can see campsites are occupied, some fires lit, and people in cabins by us so it is not lonely. (But the tap water tastes lousy.)
Of course we were not going all the way back to Hot Springs just for dinner. One spot looked to be about 10 minutes away so we decided to head there. As we got to it, we could see it was closed. Oh well, peanut butter and crackers are fine until Sunday.
The day began warm and sunny in Branson. The first hour was sunny and on a four lane highway going 65 mph. Then the clouds came in and we started on Scenic Byway Arkansas Highway 7. Back to the curvy, two lane roads with a 45 or 55 limit.
The trees continued to have color, muted but a preponderance of reds and oranges instead of yellows where they are not brown. We learnt that the Ozark mountains are actually a plateau and the “mountains” appear that way due to the erosion which created the valleys. No dramatic mountain uplift or volcanoes here.
North of the Arkansas River (about Interstate 40) are primarily the Boston Mountains and south of the Arkansas are the Quachita (Washita) Mountains. We stopped at several overlooks and enjoyed the views but did no hiking. Arrival at Hot Springs was at about 3 pm and we checked out the visitor center, saw the film, picked up travel brochures and made it to 4 pm Mass. We hope to take a guided tour Sunday at 10 am so church today avoids having to get up for 8 AM Mass.
Ed and Chris Saturday November 9 8:30 pm