Friday, June 26, 2009
Straight up, straight down.
I know. I've been gone for a while. Well, I was recovering from our three day road trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I picked this spot on a lark since neither HUBS nor myself had ever been there. And, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have picked it had I known that the whole cute little town was exclusively UP HILL.
We arrived on Tuesday two weeks ago after about a six hour drive. We headed into their historic downtown, which was blissfully empty due to the semi-late hour. We walked and took pictures a bit. It was kinda hilly, but not horrible. I was hot but since the sun was going down the heat wasn't that bad.
But then there was Wednesday. We got out right at the peak of the day, noon, when the sun is high in the sky and the universe is trying to kill me. First, let me say that this is NOT a town to drive in. They have a trolley that'll take you from most of the major hotels around the sites downtown; use it people! We didn't and paid for it by getting lost on their winding, hilly, embarrassingly narrow, not-laid-out-in-a-grid-at-all-albeit-pretty streets.
Most streets are 1/3 of this size. I'm not even playing.
Also? We went during the middle of the week thinking it wouldn't be that crowded. Um, it was like freakin' 4th of July down there. There were that many people. Hence our trouble parking and finally having to settle on a paid lot ($5 for 3 hours). Hi, Arkansas, I know you don't know us, but we don't have much money and HATE paying just to leave our car somewhere. Dammit, Arkansas!
So the first thing we did was go to this pizza place I'd researched. It was really hard to find, we were both hungry and since HUBS was driving this means he got really frustrated while I remained fairly calm. All the parking spots on the street were either taken or marked NO PARKING. (That's right, obvious parking spots in parking lots were actually labelled NO. PARKING. Fuck you Arkansas.) So, we headed for the paid lots we saw the day before.
Here's where things got hairy for me. In case you don't already know, I'm not in very good shape, I sweat a lot, I dislike heights, I abhor being hot and/or sweaty and I do not like to climb. In order to get back to the pizza place I had to: get hot, sweaty and climb heights. This lead to a copious amount of cursing on my part while HUBS remained fairly calm. There are several sets of stairs you can take from the parking to the higher streets where the pizza place was located. The one we took had (I counted) 89 steps. Jesus. Then we got inside the place, which had a bar and a restaurant, and guess what? Yes! The restaurant was up another 25 steps. I yelled out something like "Jesus' Ass!!" and soon realized that the people sitting in the restaurant heard me pretty clearly. Oh, well. Sorry, Arkansas.
Stairs like this were literally all over the place. Clearly the town was carved out of a mountain...and not very well.
Pizza=Awesome. Really some of the best we've ever had. Homemade herbed crust, huge slices, cheesy, and a good Parmesan spill courtesy of HUBS. We ate, cooled down, had two huge sodas, asked our helpful server dude for directions to our next site seeing adventure and took off.
HUBS dressing up our pizza.
We hit more steps (up, of course), walked up hill a bit and then things leveled off. I was grateful and could relax enough to take pictures as we walked. Then, we hit this:
I don't know if you can really grasp the height and scariness from the Polaroid, but that little wooden path on the right was about 2 feet wide, it went almost straight up (so much so that you had to lean forward when walking so as not to fall backwards), and to the right of the path was a straight drop onto the roofs of several houses (maybe 30 or 40 feet, definitely a kill-worthy fall). By the time we reached the top I was dripping with sweat and my t-shirt was actually soaked through. Yay! Wet t-shirt contest! You're welcome, Arkansas!
Then we had another challenge, a walk through the woods. Almighty God, that state really tried my nerves. There were anonymous houses to the left of the stone path through Jasonland and scary-ass woods on the right. There were spots in there where I thought I was going to just die, people. Thank God it was at least daytime.
We went through all this to get here:
An old church where you enter through what used to be the bell tower. It was kinda pretty but not exactly worth all the trouble. After our Lord of the Rings like journey to get to the place I expected there to be free gold or something that would end the coming apocalypse there. No such luck. We really should have taken the trolley...
Then we had to make our way down. When we hit the main part of downtown again, I had walked and climbed so much that I felt weak and my legs were rubbery, like I was going to collapse. We ducked into a souvenir shop for cool air and the lady behind the counter took pity on me and my wet shirt and offered me paper towels. Finally, thank you Arkansas!
Down was scarier than up. I had to lean back to not roll face first down the hill.
Even with all the trials I have to say I had a good time. We ate good food, saw new things, I got lots of good pictures and I challenged myself without knowing I was going to.
What else happened while we were there? We went to WalMart Tuesday night and got caught in the strangest electrical storm either of us had ever seen. Ran inside the store once we realized the noise we heard was sheets of rain slowly coming toward us. Got trapped inside WalMart while the hellish rain died down. Went without reliable internet access for two days. Changed hotel rooms to get one with a fridge/microwave combo and a better toilet (the toilet was still crap). Had hotel sex. Saw a deer just hanging out at the entrance to downtown. Ate awesome BBQ, ice cream and funnel cake. Sat on our balcony and watched a woman play catch with her dog down below. Walked a scary wooden bridge over the street. Tried to get to an all-you-can-eat catfish place before they closed, but the stupid street numbers were wrong so we ended up eating leftover pizza, tacos and fries for dinner. I walked through a spider web at a restaurant, found it on my neck a few minutes later, killed it with my utensils and then pretended I found the squished spider on my napkin to the waitress so she'd get me another one. Drove a half hour out of our way (while eating funnel cake) to get to an attraction that turned out to be closed that day.
A whole shop devoted to funnel cake? Yes!
Yeah, that was pleasantly eventful. Where are you going this summer?