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Monday, August 13, 2012

An Arkansas Birthday

Hotel Seville,  Harrison, Arkansas
George and I went to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas from August 4-8  to celebrate my big 70th birthday.   We had never visited that area of Arkansas ---and were really looking forward to hiking to several new waterfalls and also visiting the Buffalo National River area...

But,  to be honest,  we knew ahead of time that Mother Nature has not been kind to Arkansas this summer.   So--what we found was not totally unexpected.  However,   it is truly much DRIER and much HOTTER than either of us thought it would be.  I felt as if I had walked into Autumn with all of the brown grass and fallen leaves---but knew better when we felt those temperatures over 100 degrees....  Yipes!!!!

However,  since George and I make the BEST of all situations,   we found alot to do during those days ---and we had a great time making memories together.  Today,  I'll share a few of our memories to you!!!

Above is a picture of  the lobby area of the historical hotel where we stayed,   HOTEL SEVILLE (in Harrison, Arkansas).   We love old hotels.  This one was built in 1929.  IF you want more information on this hotel,  click  HERE.

Be sure to click on the photos in order to see them larger.



We visited one of my old stomping grounds,   Fairfield Bay, Arkansas.   I have great memories from that area since I owned a time-share condo there ---and visited there for many years during Christmas week, when my sons were younger,  and when we lived in Texas.  I enjoyed sharing this area with George --since he had never been here.  The picture above was taken from the marina at Fairfield Bay ---looking at Greers Ferry Lake and Sugar Loaf Mountain.




George and Betsy at Blanchard Springs, Arkansas
We left  Fairfield Bay and headed north to the community of Mountain View and on to see the creek and waterfall at Blanchard Springs,  which is in the Ozark Mountains.  Blanchard Springs is known for its caverns --but since we were on a time constraint, we decided to only visit the waterfall/creek there.   The dam was constructed in the 1930's by the CCC.  This dam forms the three-acre Mirror Lake which is fed by the 58 degree water from Blanchard Springs.   We were glad to see water here,  and stayed quite awhile  --both here and along Mill Creek.




Three Springs Waterfall,  Arkansas
We took a short hike off of Highway 341 near Big Flat, Arkansas to see one more waterfall,  also a spring-fed falls.   This waterfall  (actually there were 2 of them --but only one had water) is named Three Springs Cascade and Falls.  We'd love to come back here during the rainy season--and when it is not so hot.  There are MANY waterfalls in this area for us to visit sometime.




On another day,  we visited the BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER area, at one of several ranger/visitor stations. This was the first National River to be designated in the USA.    From the Tyler Bend area , we hiked to an old homestead and then on to some overlooks above the river.    If you want more information about the Buffalo National River,  click HERE.  The picture above was taken at the Sod and Ida Mae Collier Homestead built in 1928.   Here's more info about this area:  click HERE.




After checking out the homestead,  we hiked to an overlook above the Buffalo National River,  shown in the photo above.  Due to the drought,  the ranger said that the river is the lowest she can remember in the 15 years she has worked there.




After leaving Tyler Bend, we headed west to Hasty,   and when we crossed the river,  we stopped and took some pictures...  I enjoyed seeing the rocky bluffs above the river... You can note also the algae growing in the shallow water.




We got to the LOST VALLEY area (south of Ponca) ---and took a hike to check out a natural bridge.  There was not one single drop of water in Clark Creek ---so we decided not to continue on to the waterless waterfall in this area.   But---this was a great area and hike ---and we hope to return there sometime.  For more information about Lost Valley,  click HERE

One good thing about no water was that George could climb all around that Natural Bridge area.   He had a good time---and I enjoyed staying below taking pictures!!!! ha




Sunrise on Gaither Mountain, Arkansas on August 7, 2012
There are only a VERY few things which will get me up at 5:30 in the mornings... One of those things is a beautiful sunrise... We had read that driving up on Gaither Mountain (near Harrison) to see the sunrise was well-worth the trip.  AND---we were so glad that we did it that next morning.  Here is a picture of the sunrise that morning on top of Gaither Mountain.




The  last day we drove on Scenic Highway 7 --and got some gorgeous mountain view pictures.  The photo above was taken near the "Grand Canyon of the Ozarks" ....  In order to get more information about this scenic byway,  click HERE.




Finally,  here's one last photo of George and me ---taken along Mill Creek in the Blanchard Springs area.  This Blanchard Springs area was the highlight of the week for us I think.   Part of that reason was because it was my 70th birthday (August 5, 2012) --and I was with the most wonderful man in the world!!!!

Thanks to my sweetheart for making my Birthday Trip so wonderful!!!!!  AND---thanks to ALL of YOU for all of my birthday wishes.  Between Blogger/Facebook/emails/cards/calls/text messages, etc.-----I received TONS of greetings.  They all meant so much to me.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Hugs and Blessings,
Betsy

79 comments:

Ms. A said...

It's crying shame the drought and heat have effected so much. Maybe you can go again, when it's cooler... or you could just move there. LOL! I saw the hints you were dropping to George.

Welcome home!

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, I am so glad you had a great birthday trip. If only the area was not in the drought. Your waterfalls are still beautiful and the mountain scenery is gorgeous. I love the sunrise, well worth being up early for. Loved the photos. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Snap said...

Welcome home! Looks like a wonderful birthday trip -- despite the drought!

Sharon said...

Quote from Bill: "How many more times as I going to hear, "look where Betsy and George went - we gotta put this on the list!" My reply: "You just need to hope we can still go like they do in a few short years when we are 70!" You both look terrific and so glad your birthday trip was fun. We've tried finding ANYWHERE cool for a few days during Bill's last break before fall semester kicks in and run in to the same heat issues in several places. First of August is just hot most anywhere!

Sharon said...

Geez, I should've proofed that comment better before hitting "send!" Sorry!

Valerie said...

Looks like it was another amazing trip!

Faye said...

What a contrast to the other photo accounts of your hiking-waterfall searching adventures, Betsy. However, looks like you and George still had a grand time together celebrating that important benchmark birthday. Keep on with that hiking and making the most of whatever comes your way and you'll never grow old.

I'm so glad you were up and at it at 5:30a to share that wonderful sunrise with us.

Lynn said...

Golly, I guess I have not been here in awhile. I love your header! Ah Mountain View, love that place, although for us it is the music in the town square and ice cream cones at dusk. Wouldn't have worked with all the heat. I actually have a similiar sunrise from the Mountain View area too. Of course, we knew you two would make your own magic, as always. Love the pic of George climbing around the canyons. Love the pic of the two of you. With you two, doesn't have to be a special day, you make everyone of them special together. Blessings.

Beth said...

What a lovely way to celebrate turning 70! You both look wonderful, but Bets, you are getting skinny, friend! Looking fantastic and very happy.
Beautiful photos, esp. that sunset.:>)

Denise said...

I love hearing about your trips and the photos are always fun to see. Looks like you had a very special birthday. You and George always look so happy. That sunrise certainly was worth getting up for.

Arkansas Patti said...

Sorry Mom Nature was so cranky but it really has been a brutal summer here in the Ozarks. Glad you could manage good times anyway. Guess it helps to have such a great travel companion.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Now that looks like a fun birthday adventure. I love George's photo of the water falling from the rocks.

Daisy said...

I'm sorry to hear the waterfalls and foliage weren't what they should be due to the drought, but it sounds like you and George had a wonderful time just the same. Nice pictures, Betsy! I'm glad to hear you had such a lovely birthday celebration.

linda m said...

What a wonderful birthday adventure. You and George are both to lucky to have good health and of course each other to be able to go on such wonderful adventures. It looks like a beautiful place to visit - just a shame the drought is around that the water levels are so low. Still the pictures are impressive.

Sandra said...

love the three springs falls and George in the rock and the hotel is beautiful. and love love love the ranger station. i would like to stay there if they have running water.

Big Dude said...

Looks like a wonderful BD trip Betsy. Too often going back to places from long ago is disappointing, but sounds like that was not the case here. You guys sure know how to make the most of your time.

Karin said...

It's sad that it's been so dry! Glad you were able to have a wonderful birthday celebration! Those pictures are so lovely! Lovely sunrise!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Tremendous photos Betsy and George, the sunrise pic literally pulsed out from my computer screen! I so hope that gorgeous old Hotel was lovely and cool after your hot day out!
What a birthday to remember.
x

Jeevan said...

Glad you enjoyed your birthday taking wonderful trails on yours favorite... waterfall and nature, along with the sweetheart :) The views on lake, river and sunrise are breathtaking. The last photo is adorable and I wish you stay quite forever alike :)

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Wow! What a great trip you both had to Arkansas. Arkansas is a beautiful state. I did not know about Fairfield Bay. I surmise it is similar to the Glade here. I was totally thrilled yesterday to spot a Goldfinch here. I posted about it today. Have a truly outstanding day today!

Marcia said...

Sounds like my kind of trip - seeing the USA! Thanks for the nice job you do of sharing such special places.

Linda said...

You and George are much more determined than Doug and I when it comes to persevering in this heat. You've captured some beautiful memories in beautiful photos. That sunrise is gorgeous. The Buffalo River is a place we've heard about and thought we'd like to visit. It sounds like spring or fall would be better times to go, though.

Amy Burzese said...

Happy birthday! The river shot is a great one and I love all of your waterfall photos.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful post, Betsy! I'm glad you and George had such a great celebration!! I wish you many more happy birthdays!

Small Kucing said...

Happy Birthday Betsy :)

The water level of the river looks rather low.

Love the Sunrise on Gaither Mountain

The Incredible Woody said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like you guys enjoyed it to the fullest! Such a beautiful area.

TexWisGirl said...

i am glad you had a great trip anyway. arkansas is having the drought this year that texas experienced last year - no hay to feed cattle. farmers and ranchers selling off herds and having no hope of crops. very sad.

joy said...

I am waiting for you to post about your birthday and I am glad you did now. And I am so glad that you had a goodtime together with the love of your life. And I love the sunrise so much. Beautiful. And may both of you continue to flourish like your love for each other. Hugs:)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You are able to find beauty even in those hot temperatures. Glad you had a wonderful time.
By the way,I tried to comment on George's bog and could not leave a comment for some reason.

SmilingSally said...

Happy Birthday, Betsy!

I see you and your Mr. Wonderful are still enjoying your trips.

You've lost some weight, haven't you? I think I found it!

Shug said...

The heat and drought can really do a job on the land. So glad you all had an awesome time on your 70th birthday. Of course, you always have a great time, no matter what you do.
great photos. BTW...I love your header photo..Beautiful.
Blessings,
shug

ladyfi said...

It looks beautiful even though it is so dry and hot there. Hope they get some rain soon.

You and George look blooming! What a fabulous way to celebrate.

Shilpa said...

Glad to see you back and so nice you had a memorable trip and birthday celebration with the company of waterfall and mountains... and of course George :)

I enjoyed these photos and great reading about the place and details. Thanks for sharing Betsy!

Hugs n kiss
Shilpa

Amish Stories said...

I had no idea that Arkansas was so very nice. Richard

Retired English Teacher said...

The effects of the drought are very evident in many of your photos. It is so sad to see this. I am always amazed when I see photos of Arkansas because I had no idea it was so beautiful. It looks like your trip was memorable and special for many reasons.

Hey birthday girl, you just keep on looking younger. What is your secret? Is it that guy next to you?

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

We've had the same kind of weather here in Missouri that Arkansas has had. It's cooled off a bit the last few days, but still no rain, just sprinkles in my area.
It's just been too hot to think about traveling, but the time is fast approaching. We've planned a repeat trip out west, but some have said it's smoky there in many places yet, from the fires, so we're really undecided as to where to go now. Guess we'd better be deciding!
Glad you still had a good time in spite of the heat and drought. Arkansas is a beautiful state.

Sylvia K said...

What a wonderful birthday, Betsy!! And such a beautiful place to spend time -- even with the heat! The sunrise is awesome and definitely worth getting up early!! Your photos are terrific! Have a great week!

nanny said...

I am so happy that you managed to find beauty in my HOT, Dry, Dead State.........You did find some too! What a gorgeous sunrise. I love Blanchard Springs, it's always a great place to visit. Did you pass Mellons Country Store on the way? I love to browse there.
Glad you had a good trip.

Small City Scenes said...

You do have a wonderful sweetheart but then again you two seem to be meant for each other. Always giving to one another.
It sure does look hot and dry where you were. It's kind of sad there is a drought in so many places. Lovely pictures as usual.
Glad you all are home safe and sound. MB

Happyone said...

I'd say you had a wonderful time away. Great looking at all your photos.

Relindis said...

Glad you had such a lovely trip despite the heat and hope you can go back sometimes when it's cooler. You covered a lot of ground and your photos are lovely.

EM Illustrator said...

You really get to see so many beautiful places. The pictures are just gorgeous. Thank you for taking us on this tour. Have a lovely day!

Hugs,
Eva

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Yall always have the most beautiful pictures...it is sad to be so dry in AR. Glad you enjoyed the 70th

Maple Lane said...

This is an area I have never visited so I enjoyed your photos, especially the lovely sunrise. Glad you had a safe and happy birthday trip, Betsy.

Terry and Linda said...

So are you going to have 'another' home in Arkansas? Your house of your dreams for the summer and where you live now for the winter?


Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Busy Bee Suz said...

This looks like a lovely trip even if Mother Nature was not working in anyones favor. Love seeing the happy photos of you....you deserve the best birthdays ever, and George never disappoints does he???
XOXOXO

Janie said...

What a great birthday trip! Your Arkansas pictures bring back memories, since we vacationed there many times in the 70's. We canoed on the Buffalo River once, many moons ago. You and George make such a cute couple.

RoeH said...

Those photos are always so darn cute of the two of ya'. Looks like a fun trip. So much to see; so much to do.

Susie Swanson said...

Oh how I want to visit that place.. what a way to celebrate your birthday.. so happy for you both..Sad the state the country is in with the drought.. Welcome back, Susie

Miss Debbie said...

Beautiful pictures...looks like you had a wonderful and safe time. Good for you! So glad your bday was special! Way to go, George!! :-)

Ann said...

Looks like you had a great birthday trip Betsy. Even if the weather hasn't been kind to the area you still got some great shots. You and George could have a great time no matter where you are.

LV said...

Just a happy couple that are the best when traveling in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Linda Gross said...

We were hearing the same on our waterfall trip to Ohio how the river and creek beds are at their lowest levels in so many years. As you saw, the waterfalls that we visited were badly in need of water. At least we didn't find a dry waterfall!

Nice pictures of the two of you throughout the post. It looks like you had a wonderful birthday vacation.

BTW I read George's post about your dream house. I told him to remind you that he has planted so many roses for you and that he would have to start all over again, if you moved!

Rohrerbot said...

Oh it's good to hear from you. A couple days go by and I think, where or where is Betsy and the George?:) Glad you both made it home safely. It's sad to hear about the drought and the river looks low. But it's nice to know that you both had a great time together and the pics are beautiful. I've heard Arkansas is a great place for hiking. Hopefully the heat will let up some and bring more rain to the state. We've had a nice year so far with monsoon so I hope it keeps up. Glad you're back home, healthy and happy:) Chris

Pam :) said...

Your old stomping grounds look mighty fine, Betsy.
I so enjoyed seeing Arkansas with you and George.
Hugs

Mary said...

Glad you found some new waterfalls and that they still had water in them. Sounds like a super birthday!

Nellie said...

Lovely pictures of a wonderful time! I think it would be difficult to find an area of the country that has not been negatively affected by the weather this summer.

Happy birthday, Betsy! I'm not sure that I sent you those wishes earlier.

xo Nellie

Rose said...

Wow, Betsy, you really filled your time...so glad you had a good time. Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

The pictures are wonderful even thought the drought wrecked havoc on the area. It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! Loved learning about the area.

carolina nana said...

Glad you had a nice birthday trip. I knew you all would be hunting for waterfalls somewhere.
It is so sad that there is such a drought in our middle states. I feel so bad for the farmers and wildlife in those areas.
Those are beautiful pics, especially o the sun rise.
We are having a taste of early fall here with rain moving in tonight.
Blessings
Marilyn

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

A wonderful trip for sure. Beautiful sunrise photo. Keep enjoying life!

Carletta said...

First of all Betsy, very Happy Belated Birthday wishes!! George sure knows how to make the day special doesn't he!!
I loved seeing all your pics but the sunrise shot is just gorgeous!!!
I'm glad you both had a wonderful time.

Nava said...

Betsy--hopefully you can come back when things are more normal. I enjoyed your photos--and will come back and read your notes again. Thanks!

Fun60 said...

Happy belated birthday. That sunrise was spectacular - well done for getting up and capturing it for the rest of us.

Neal said...

Very nice Betsy. It appears that you really enjoyed yourself even if there wasn't much water.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

yes, yes....I did miss you and wondered if you two were on another waterfall excursion....what beautiful scenery. The Ozarks...the best thing I like about that area of our country is the huge amount of Black Walnut Trees [of course when the walnuts are ready to pick]. And the rolling hills.

That sunrise...for me, it's the best part of the day...a beautiful wonderful and rich sky to begin the day.

A belated happy birthday to you. Glad you enjoyed ---even with the heat and drought.

Farida said...

Blessed birthday, Ms Betsy! Wishing you many great years ahead, more photos of wonderful places you'll be visiting in the future, good health, much love and everything you desire! :D

Out on the prairie said...

You sure know how to party right.lovely shots to share

Catherine said...

Looks like you had a perfect birthday trip Betsy! That George treats you right! :)
Have a good week!
xo Catherine

Janice K said...

We drove through Arkansas this spring on our trip to Texas and Missouri....We drove through, but you really saw it. Glad you had such a wonderful birthday.

Pat Tillett said...

Even in the heat, it looks like you still had a great time. Nice photos!
I know I said it earlier, but Happy Birthday!

Brenda said...

Well, your trip looks so wonderful! It's really sad about the water levels in the creeks (or no water at all in some). But all in all, looks like your birthday was celebrated very well and so happy you and George had so much fun. I love your beautiful photos.. I especially love the photo of the sunrise on Gaither Mountain!! BREATH TAKING!!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful trip with us. So glad you got so many "well wishes" for your birthday. You are SO deserving!
Hugs,
Brenda

imac said...

Most wonders from your cameras my friends.

Marie said...

What a beautiful place to spend your birthday! I'm so sorry it was so hot and dry, though. Still you took some lovely photos, of the waterfall, the historic hotel and the the old homestead....and much more. I'm glad mostly that the two of you were together, and had a wonderful trip of sharing and just being together. Happy Birthday again, dear lady!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Wow, Betsy thsi looks like such a wonderful birthday celebration! You look like a teenager in the last photo --seriously--what is your secret to all your weight loss this year? I have been desperately trying to lose 30 pounds with out luck. Stress has worked against me and my doctor sternly told me I have to do it--no more excuses!

Happy birthday month! Continue to celebrate!

diane b said...

I agree with Pat above, you look so young and slim. How did you do it. We need to know the secret or more like the hard task. Your trip looks like you made the most of it even though it was hot and dry. It sounds like our states got confused this year. We usually have hot and dry but we've had cold and wet this year. However, the temps are going up this week and giving us a taste of spring and it has stopped raining for 3 weeks now.

Chatty Crone said...

I am sorry for the people of the area with that drought. That's tough. I am glad you had a great 70th birthday and as usual you two had fun! The inside of the hotel was pretty as were the waterfalls.

Love, sandie

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Lynda said...

Even with the horrible heat and drought, you still find beauty all around you. The sunrise pic is stunningly beautiful and I love the looks of your hotel.