November 8, 2016 (by Angela)
Today seemed like a good day to write about this past weekend’s fun and exploration in Arkansas as I’m doing my best to avoid the news and keep my mind off the election. (I’m totally stressed about what the results will be.) Thinking about and sharing the fun Jim and I had is good therapy.
He had quite a bit of work to do this past Friday, including a late morning conference call, so we stayed close to our home on the roam that day. We made up for it on Saturday. Although the colors of Fall have seemed to allude us this year, it still was a lovely drive from Batesville to Black Rock, Arkansas, located northeast of where we are staying. According to Arkansas events online, the 15th Annual Foothills Celebration would take place in Black Rock. When we arrived, things were in full swing. The first thing we saw was a load of folks on one of the ongoing hayrides around the town.
One street was completely blocked off to either side of what I think was Main Street. One side of the blocked-off street was lined with vendors selling items that ranged from homemade baked goods to jewelry. A booth set up by a local church was providing food and drinks for whatever donation one might want to give. BBQ and other festival-type food was being sold in a building near the end of the street next to the entertainment venue. Live music and dancing took place there, and at the time we visited, we got to watch some local clogging groups. Personally, I enjoyed the music selections. On the other side of the blocked-off street was a classic car show, a building housing a quilt show, and another building where food was being sold.
While this event was small in comparison to the previous weekends activities in Mountain View, it was an active and fun event that was a much more positive experience than the one we had in Bull Shoals. Here are a few pictures; remember to click on or hold cursor over each to see captions. Jim and I found a few things we liked and purchased from Peggy’s Snaps.
After leaving Black Rock, we retraced our tracks to return to a nice little state park we had passed on our way to the Foothills Celebration. Powhatan State Park must be the smallest state park in Arkansas, but it was so cool. It, along with the very nice but small town by the same name, is located along the Black River, and here are a few pictures from our stop there.
After Powhatan, Jim and I headed toward Hardy. We mentioned this little town when we discovered it on our way to Mammoth Spring a few weeks ago. At that time, we promised ourselves to come back, and we did. I simply LOVE this little town. It is filled with cool places to shop and eat, and when we arrived, free live music was being performed in the center of town. Jim and I were on a mission to get a very late lunch, and we had done a Google search of restaurants in the town as we were driving there. Our choice had already been made, so we were heading for The Pig and Whistle, which serves British Fare.
He and I have spent enough time in England to know that “British Fare” is not always good (it’s not usually good – sorry English cousins), though we love Scottish and Irish food. The place had a 5-star rating after about 30 reviews, so we thought we’d risk the food to check it out. Heck, we know that the one good option on a British menu is “Fish & Chips,” so that was the safety factor. Wow! I loved the atmosphere. Truly, if I was not looking out the window and didn’t know better, I would have thought we were in a pub/restaurant in England. The service was good there, too. After checking out the menu, Jim decided he’d stick with the safe food item and went with the Fish & Chips. I got one of the “soups of the day,” potato and leek, to go along with my Shepherd’s Pie order. The food was much better than most I have had in England, but I wouldn’t give it a 5 out of 5 – perhaps a 4. I would give atmosphere and service 5 out of 5. We learned that one of the owners is a Brit.
We walked around some more, and of course, we found ourselves patronizing the local candy and ice cream store. Last, but not least, we discovered an RV park just a couple of blocks from the downtown area and on the Spring River. You know we had to check it out. Below are some pictures of the town and places we visited below. We highly recommend a stop in Hardy if you are passing nearby.
Chewie was not thrilled that he had missed out on the day’s activities. As it turns out, except for eating in the restaurant, he could have done everything else with us. A promise was made to take him for a good long walk the next day, so that is exactly what we did midday on Sunday.
With the time change, Jim and I were moving along slowly Sunday morning, but by middle of the day, we were ready to get out and about. Chewie was more than ready. It was another nice day, though a bit warm for the time of year. We continue to find additional walking paths each visit to White River Park, and today was no exception. Chewie was like a kid in a candy store as he went from one tree to another and from one bush to another. He was moving around so fast that my attempt at a “happy puppy” picture was a fail. He moved so quickly that I did not get him; I only got Jim. By the time the walk was done, he was a tired but happy pup.
It was yet another wonderful weekend of exploration and family time. Speaking of family time, that is what the upcoming weekend holds for us. We three will load up in the car on Friday and head for Illinois to visit Jim’s side of our family. There’ll be more on that later.