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Where misfits fit: homos, mormons, bikers, scrapbookers, artists and more

Hi everyone!

Tel and I arrived yesterday at a spectacularly remote cottage in the Ozark mountains here in Arkansas, and this is where we will be spending the rest of our honeymoon.  More on that at the end of this post!

Since the last time we wrote (and I have lost track of days, so I have no idea when that was!!), we left Lousiana and drove to Little Rock, Arkansas, where we spent a relaxing night watching TV and doing laundry….just like home!  The next day, we left Little Rock for the Ozarks and rural Arkansas.  Our drive took us 4.5 hours through the countryside, along twisty, windy, steep, narrow mountain roads, and past scenery that we can only describe as both beautiful and surprising.  We *really* felt like we were in rural Arkansas, the bible belt, Jesusland…..signs along the roadway offering “free pregnancy counselling” and asking us if we’d been “saved” yet, trailers along the road that had been turned into homes, with wooden additions built on to them, and in one case, a wooden roof added to a tin trailer.  Like I said, we definitely felt like we were in rural Arkansas!!  Part of the way here, we started to see a lot of motorcycles on the road, and after we passed a sign warning us of “steep and crooked roads”, we ran into a group of a few hundred bikers at the side of the road.  We took a road called “the pig trail” to get here to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, running into more and more bikers on our way here.  By the time we got to the town, it was clear that there was a biker event going on!

We checked into our inn close to the centre of Eureka Springs, and found out that in Fayetteville, AR (about an hour away), there was a biker event called Bikes, Blues and BBQ going on, and that there were 400,000+ bikers attending the event.  Yikes.  We had chosen Eureka Springs to visit because we’d heard it was a sleepy, quiet, little artists community in the Ozarks–what folks around here call “the buckle of the bible belt” because it does not adhere to the Christian fundamentalism found in so much of the rest of the Ozarks. Actually, the motto of the town–where misfits fit–really appealed to us.  We were NOT expecting thousands of bikers!  But, honestly, I suppose that is part of the “misfits” mentality that made the town so appealing.

We took a trolley ride around the whole town to get our bearings and found it beautiful, sweet and charming. The roads are carved into the hills, as are many of the buildings. The town twists and meanders up and down through the Ozark Hills and has countless sweet inns, charming stores, wine bars….all along cobblestone, uneven roads that require a LOT of concentration to navigate.  For our first night in town, we visited an amazing restaurant called Local Flavours, drank two bottles of vintage wine (a cab and a petit syrah) and took a pink limo back to our hotel room!




 The next day, we woke up, only a *bit* hungover, to the sound of bikers gunning their engines at 6:30 a.m. The noise, we discovered, would continue for the rest of the time we were in Eureka Springs–the first thing we heard in the morning, the last thing at night, and constantly in between.

We had an amazing breakfast at our hotel before heading to the Thorncrown Chapel, a church built just outside of town by a local Christian man who wanted to share his beautiful view of the Ozarks with others and give them a place to be “saved” if they wished.  The chapel is built entirely of glass and wood, and contains hundreds of windows; it gives you a view of the sky and mountains all around you.  After reading about it, I wanted to sit inside the chapel, and spend some quiet time meditating.  When we got there, a sign invited us to “come in and sit just as we were”–loved it!!–and the chapel itself was stunning in its simplicity.  

 Alas, my quiet meditation was not to be!  A man inside the church handed us some propaganda about the history of the church, why it was built and testimonials from others who had visisted the church and were subsequently “saved” by Jesus.  The brochure invited us to speak with him if we needed to be saved (FYI, neither one of us took him up on that offer!).  Instead of blissful quiet within the church, we had organ muzak.  Instead of a peaceful encounter with nature, we had bikers revving their engines and busting into the church.  Sigh.  Although the inside of the church was indeed beautiful, we could not find the peace there that we hoped.

After that, we headed even further out of town to see the “Christ of the Ozarks”, a 7 story high statue of Christ built to remind people of his power and protection, based on the idea of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero.  As some of you may remember, Tel and I visited Rio and caught an amazing “You, me and JC” picture with Christ the Redeemer….we were trying to replicate that moment!  The statue here in the Ozarks was not quite tall enough to have the same effect, but we sure had fun trying!  Once again, the peaceful environment that we were seeking was not possible…..and I am sure you can guess the reason!




We spent the rest of our day wandering around Eureka Springs, up and down the hilly streets and in and out of its quaint stores.  We marvelled at the diversity of the town….a pride flag right beside a second hand Christian clothing store, signs welcoming scrapbooking groups, mormon groups, church groups, bikers, seniors…..really, it was quite something!  We got a big kick out of a t-shirt hanging in the second hand Christian clothing store–Jesus saved me from my karma–which was right across the street from a sign advertising  (supposedly legal) liquid marijuana!! 


We sat and had a couple of beers on a balcony overlooking one of the main streets, and on our second beer, we got a BLISSFUL break from the sound of motorcycle engines–we heard drumming, clapping, singing–and were so excited that we finished our beers and decided to go and investigate…..and in doing so, we found the heart of eclectic, artsy, hippy Eureka Springs! A jam session held by all the local musicans and artists on the first Saturday of every month, in the town’s park. There were HUNDREDS of people with their drums, tamborines, harmonicas, etc…singing and dancing in the park. It was absolutely delightful, and it was the first time we got a break from the constant sound of motorcycle engines being gunned. It really helped us to see how amazing Eureka Springs could be had we visited it at a different time, without the thousands of bikers everywhere.

So we left Eureka Springs yesterday morning completely and totally frazzled from the constant sound of motorcycle engines.  Honestly, I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin if I heard even one more biker gun his motor!  I think I would have loved Eureka Springs at a different time 🙁

Now we are at our cabin in the Ozarks, a blissful, luxurious cottage with a hot tub for two, walk in shower, wrap around deck overlooking Beaver Lake, luxurious bed, fireplace…..we feel pampered, relaxed, indulged, happy… is WONDERFUL!  The resort has an amazing privacy policy, and will not disturb us during our stay for any reason.  The lake is warm enough to swim in, the surroundings are beautiful, everything is quiet.  We are in heaven!  This was a wedding gift from ma tante and uncle Dennis, and we love it!

We will write more before we go, and after a few more days of doing nothing!

Bye for now,



3 Responses to “Where misfits fit: homos, mormons, bikers, scrapbookers, artists and more”

  • Sean says:

    Love the T-shirt…that is priceless! Sounds like you aer both having a great time.

  • Amber Webb says:

    Hey Mel and Tel,
    I enjoyed reading about your travels. Mom and I really enjoyed talking with y’all at the Pleasant Life Cafe. We enjoyed some of the same things you did: Thorncrown Chapel. We had such a good time in Eureka Springs. Hope you girls enjoy the rest of your honeymoon!

  • The Outlaws says:

    Wait til the weekend and you can hear Peter rev his Harley! (hopefully just kidding). Glad you are comfortably ensconsed and loving everything. Look forward to seeing you…and perhaps Bubbs and Banana will be happy to see you too. Kids R OK………

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