After breaking camp this morning, we continued driving through the “mountains” of northern Arkansas to Pea Ridge National Military Park. Rural Arkansas is full of small towns which seem to be in the middle of nowhere. I think the biggest town we’ve passed through the past couple of days had a population of about 15,000.
Another odd tidbit about Arkansas: they describe the mountain roads as “crooked and steep.” Pretty sure that either of us has never seen that on a road sign before!
Not far outside Pea Ridge we passed through the very touristy area of Eureka Springs. It reminded us of Helen, Ga. but a lot less charm and a lot more redneck. It seemed to be a nice enough place to get away for a few days, but we really didn’t see much other than hotels & restaurants
Pea Ridge NMP is a Civil War Battlefield that is an interesting study in how forgetting the fundamentals of battle will get you killed. In addition to driving the loop road we did a 2-2.5 mile hike from the Elkhorn Tavern (pictured at top) where we encountered more ticks than the two of us have seen in a very long time. And yes, we did use a good amount of Deep Woods Off. The little buggers liked us anyway!
After leaving Pea Ridge, we headed to our campground in Branson, Mo. Almost immediately upon crossing the state line the terrain changed from Ozark mountains to relatively flat farmland… definitely a change from what we’ve seen the past couple of days.
Branson is supposedly a bit like Gatlinburg, Tenn… a big tourist area with lots of mini golf and various entertainment shows. Thankfully, our campground was on the edge of town and we managed to avoid all the junk! Rain threatened just as we were setting up camp, but, thankfully, it avoided us.