We picked up our rental van last week, packed it full of everything from our sad, broken van in Memphis, and traveled west towards the Ozarks. After our third night here, I’m in love. I had high expectations – but they have been exceeded at every turn. It’s also been wonderful to focus on something other than our van troubles. My parents flew in for the week to spend time with their grandson (and us), so we’ve been able to relax and enjoy time with family.
We spent our first night at a beautiful bed and breakfast in Mountain Home headed southwest to the upper Buffalo River for our next two nights, and are now in Branson, Missouri for the night. We’ll be returning to Arkansas for the last two nights of my family’s visit – leaving for Eureka Springs in the morning. We’ve seen eagles nesting in the wild, elk, a gorgeous bluebird, and my mother, husband and son spotted a baby woodpecker yesterday. Between that and all of the armadillo roadkill, we’ve seen quite a bit of wildlife. But nothing has topped the Buffalo River, the first national river. I had heard it was beautiful, but I was unprepared for the sheer beauty of the setting, the towering bluffs, and the clear turquoise water. My father and I were lucky to get away and float down about eight miles of the river yesterday, with a side hike to a towering waterfall. An almost perfect day (it would have been perfect if Alan had been able to join us)!
And now, I can update the list of states I’ve visited, spent time in, and (at a bare minimum) spent the night in. Arkansas was my 48th state! We were planning to visit what would have been my 49th state next week, but since we need to speed to Colorado and return the rental van, Oklahoma will have to wait. And Hawaii will make a great trip at some point in the future to celebrate traveling to all 50 states.
I know you’re probably wondering where the photos are after I’ve written so much about the beauty of this area. Once we have a bit more down time in the next week or so, I’ll be sure the post some photos from our time here.