The Healing Waters of Eureka Springs

 If you’re driving along route 62 through Northwest Arkansas and don’t venture off the main highway, you will only catch half of Eureka Springs. Depending on one’s bent, it’s the best half or the worst half.

Along the highway, the businesses seem to cater mostly to Christians and bikers, but they share the space in peace and harmony. Many establishments sport slogans like “Family Owned” or “Bikers Welcome” to entice their chosen… CONTINUE READING >>

Unique building in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

If you’re
driving along route 62 through Northwest Arkansas and don’t
venture off the main highway, you will only catch half of
Eureka Springs. Depending on one’s bent, it’s
the best half or the worst half.

Along
the highway, the businesses seem to cater mostly to Christians
and bikers, but they share the space in peace and harmony.

Many establishments
sport slogans like “Family Owned” or “Bikers Welcome”
to

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
“Rider’s Rest,” coexisting side by side, just as
God intended. The entertainment

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas choices
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.

It’s
easy to see why the bikers love the crooked and steep byways
of the Ozark hill country, but the Christians come for the
vision of renown racist Gerald L.K. Smith
and his Christ of the Ozarks. This very large, garish monument to
our Lord and Savior has spawned its own little hamlet of Christian
attractions.

The Round Rock worth over 1000 dollars in Eureka Springs, Arkansas 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. Smith‘s
grave (at the foot of the tacky 67’ Jesus statue, of
course) and, our personal favorite, the round rock worth over
1000 dollars.

If you
choose to explore off the highway, down the main street
of the old town things take a dramatic turn for the different.
Lovely Victorian Era homes and turn of the century storefronts
line the narrow lanes.

Along the
way we lingered at the various mineral springs that gave the town
it‘s name, each boasting its own healing power. The Basin
Spring alone claims to

have healed “90% of the cures in Eureka
Springs.”

The haunted Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas The
pinnacle of the town is the Crescent Hotel, billed as “America’s
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.

The Palace Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas The
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
“America’s 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.”

The
Palace’s mineral baths employ the original claw-foot
tubs in painted
wooden booths on the same spot that they have been
for over one hundred years. The warm waters seeped in to
our pores to cure what ailed us.

Original claw foot tub at the Palace Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Eucalyptus steam barrel at the Palace Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

After a relaxing soak,
it was on to the eucalyptus steam in wooden barrels. The
kind where your head sticks out the top like in the old
movies. Sweatboxes. Veronica found it a bit off-putting
at first, but relaxed once she figured out she could release
herself anytime she wanted to. Once the initial freak-out
subsided, she begged to be left in as long as legally permitted.
The toxins not soaked out by the baths were left in puddles
at our feet. The opulent pampering was completed with clay
masks and luxurious Swedish massages. Oiled up and unbelievably
relaxed, we slithered further on down the hill.

We stopped
in at the Eureka Daily Roast on Spring Street, run by Jim
and Janet Fyhrie.
The Daily Roast was a great place to hang out and watch the shenanigans
that flitted by the large windows facing the main road. They make
a mean frothy latte and the company was superb. The locals popped
in and out for a bit of gossip and shared the latest happenings
for our eavesdropping pleasure.

Some
more strolling up and down the steep streets and we were ready
for dinner. We chose the romantic Devito’s, 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, we’re going there!) groovy.

Besides the
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 “They’re
Coming to Your Town.” “They” meaning “the
gays.” From what we’ve read, the DVD is basically a
how-to on assuring that “your town” isn’t 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…

Maybe the
healing waters conquer all.

David & Veronica,
GypsyNester.com


Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Did you enjoy what you just read? Then you’ll LOVE our book!

Going Gypsy
One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All
 

GoingGypsyBook.com – See how it all began!

ORDER NOW –
Wherever Books Are Sold!

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – IndieBound – Books-a-Million
Also available as an audiobook from Audible.com

4 thoughts on “The Healing Waters of Eureka Springs”

  1. We were married there at the Thorncrown Chapel. If you didn’t take it in, you missed the best part of Eureka Springs. It’s known as the glass chapel in the woods, designed by E. Fay Jones. Check it out at thorncrown.com

  2. My hubby and I love Eureka Springs! We too visited (and opted NOT to stay) at the Crescent. We stayed at a quaint little B & B–many moons ago–can’t remember the name. We also ate at Devito’s. We loved the relaxed pace and strolled happily through many an antique store. One of our favorite things-besides doing nothing in particular-was riding the train and having lunch enroute. So fun!
    You guys are giving me whiplash! In Prague one day then strolling Eureka the next! Whew!
    Kudos and keep on adventuring!
    Chana K.
    BTW, my book THE FALL is here in my hot little hands at last! Stay tuned. My website will be up and running and ready for orders hopefully by the end of the day 🙂
    http://www.chanakeefer.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *