Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 2 -- Mountain Home, Arkansas

We left Hot Springs on Sunday, August 10, and camped near Mountain Home in Quarry COE Park, just below Norfork Dam on the Norfork River in Far North Arkansas.

The weather was rainy, hot and muggy for the first couple of days, with lots of fog and mist.  They have had flooding north of here in Missouri, and much more rain than the locals are accustomed to.  On Wednesday it cleared and the weather turned cooler.  It was glorious! 

Our campsite was only 30 yards from the river, so we had a great view.  And that view changed depending on the time of day.  When we arrived, they were releasing water from Norfork Dam, so the river was high, about 75 yards wide and had a very swift current.

The next morning we were surprised to find a gently flowing stream with gravel bars and small islands of vegetation like are shown in the first photo above.  Rue thought this bench overlooking the river was put there just for her.

The water is cold, and well-stocked with trout from the fish hatchery across the street.  We took a tour of the hatchery, including this kids' “catch and release” area just below, 

where we saw these beauties!

There are trout everywhere!  Not only the familiar rainbows, but brown trout and a couple of other varieties.  At almost any time we can see from two to a dozen or so fishermen in the river below our campsite.  Thankfully, there seem to be plenty of fish to go around.  Here’s John catching one for our dinner.  

I’ve had a wonderful time, not only fishing and taking walks with the dogs, but taking lots of photos.  In addition to beautiful scenery, the Great Blue Herons that compete for trout made great subjects.  Not only did they pose on the opposite shore and in trees, they flew up and down the river.  Since our campsite sits on a bluff overlooking the river, occasionally I got a view from the top of one flying by.  

They are magnificent, and photos of them are likely to grace our walls before long.

We were having so much fun that we spent several more days than planned at Quarry Park.  Mountain Home was just 15 minutes away, and we took full advantage of their lovely dog park and easy access to shopping.  

Before leaving the area, we took a day trip to Mammoth Spring on the Arkansas-Missouri border.  Just outside Mountain Home, John noticed a pasture holding several mules.  They appeared to be having some kind of a disagreement.  We stopped look, and two of the mules came over to say hello.  

The small, dark brown one, however, was not a happy camper and did not come up to visit.  He approached the roan mule with head low and ears laid back.  The situation quickly deteriorated, and kicks were exchanged. 

Fortunately no blows landed and they soon went back to grazing.

Our next stop was the Southfork Cafe in Salem, Arkansas.  We can only rave about the lunch special, their Country Fried Steak.  It's no wonder there were more cars in their parking lot than in any other restaurant!  Sstop there if you're in the neighborhood.

Arriving in Mammoth Spring, we had no trouble finding Mammoth Spring State Park, home of the spring. The second-largest spring in the Ozark region, with an average daily flow of 216 million gallons, it is the source of the Spring River.

We spent a couple of hours in the park admiring the spring and the historic hydroelectric plant and dam.  Then it was back to camp to get ready for the next adventure.

On Sunday, we joined the small congregation of Thee Salesville Bible Church for worship services. 

We feel blessed that in addition to the worship service, we were privileged to join the congregation in the Baptism of a new member of their congregation.  We felt very much at home in their church, and look forward to joining them for services the next time we are in the area.

1 comment:

  1. As someone who has lived in the area for quite a while, I thought you did a great job on this post!