entice their chosen clientele.
Touristy as this
area is, there is an refreshing lack of chain hotels and restaurants.
For the most part, Christian lodge-type motels such as Joy
Motel and The Land-O-Nod line the road alongside
biker bars with designations like The Iron Horse and
Riders Rest, coexisting side by side, just as
God intended. The entertainment
look painful and cheesy — the Ozark Mountain Hoedown and
the Pine Mountain Jamboree among the fare. But lo, we did
not attend, so we shall abstain from being judgmental.
|These are, but not limited to, the Great
Passion Play, the New Holy Land Tours, Biblical Bathrooms
(with coke machine), the Museum of Earth History (with its
creationist approach), the DinoStore (wait, what?), Our Daily
Bread Deli, the Sacred Arts Center, Gerald L.K. Smiths
grave (at the foot of the tacky 67 Jesus statue, of
course) and, our personal favorite, the round rock worth over
have healed 90% of the cures in Eureka
pinnacle of the town is the Crescent Hotel, billed as Americas
Most Haunted Hotel. Granted, this is a pretty spooky
place, but we had spent the prior night on their website scaring
ourselves silly with the stories conjured up by prior guests.
Perhaps the tragic accident during its construction was enough
to curse the premises, but when the hotel took a stint as
the Baker Cancer
Cure Center with Norman Baker at the helm, its fate was sealed.
Baker was a former vaudevillian with a magic elixir, no medical
degree and a
fondness for experimental surgery. We could only assume
that many of the apparitions are the haints of unlucky patients
that suffered under his treatments. We took a look around,
got creeped out and decided not to stay. We like our sleep.
not-haunted Palace Hotel and Bath House seemed more up our
alley. The rooms are grand and opulent, but more importantly
the bath house harkens back to when Eureka Springs was called
Americas Medicine Teepee. During the Victorian
Era, the Palace was widely acclaimed as the best equipped
bath house in the state. We elected to take in the waters.
After a relaxing soak,
more strolling up and down the steep streets and we were ready
for dinner. We chose the romantic Devitos, home of National
Award Winning Trout Dishes, in the heart of town. This
beautiful eatery has a garden terrace that literally hangs
off the side of the mountain. Not the place for the acrophobic.
Our waiter, one of the many gray ponytails that
live in Eureka Springs, was
wonderfully attentive and (yes, were going there!) groovy.
Christian, biker and gray ponytail contingencies, Eureka Springs
has recently become known as gay friendly. Ironically,
we learned this from publicity for a video released by the American
Family Association of Tupelo, Mississippi ominously titled Theyre
Coming to Your Town. They meaning the
gays. From what weve read, the DVD is basically a
how-to on assuring that your town isnt taken
over by homosexuals who are apparently hell-bent on coercing you
to divorce your wife and forcing you to gay marry. One would think
that mayhem would prevail in the streets of Eureka Springs, but
instead the people choose to get along just fine. It seemed that
the campaign to keep the town from becoming The San Francisco
of Arkansas had backfired a bit.
Could it be
that controversy was lurking beneath all of this peace and harmony?
We decided to take in some nightlife to see if melee may lay under
the surface. We spent some time at a biker bar, a rock & roll
club, a karaoke lounge and checked out some great traditional
hillbilly music at the New Delhi Deli. Each place was a inspiring
mixed bag of humanity. Christians ventured down from the highway,
gray ponytails smiled warmly and flashed peace signs, bikers shared
a beer with a lesbian or two. Lions laying with the lambs. Dogs
and cats living together
healing waters conquer all.
David & Veronica,