Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eureka Springs

The only other time I've ever been to Eureka Springs was in 1971.  I was 16, traveling with my mom & dad, and my little brother and our granny, who we called Mommy Owens.  I remember a quaint little town.  Already a "tourist trap" - but in a good way.  I remember little shops on the side of the road, selling locally handmade baskets and other "mountain" crafts.  In fact, I still have a basket I bought on that trip.  It's been in constant use for 41 years, and still just as sturdy as the day I bought it. 

My impression of the area in 1971 was also that it was a very Jesus - centered place.  I guess because of the world famous statue, Christ of the Ozarks, and the Passion Play. 

It all seems so different today.  I expected growth and the traffic that comes with it.  I did not expect so many liquor stores, lingerie/sex toy shops (in the downtown historic district, no less!), and so many businesses that cater only to folks on motorcycles.

I really don't have anything against alcohol, sex or motorcycles.  I'm just saying - this is not the Eureka Springs that I remember!  And yes, I'm disappointed.

I had just started dating the Cowboy when my family dragged me away on that road trip.  I didn't really want to go, but the charm of the place quickly won me over.  I didn't want to come home. And I was touched by my parent's obvious delight in showing us a place they had been to and loved 20 years earlier.  I wanted to share this special place with the Cowboy. 

I know, it's really no tackier than Branson.  And we had a great time in Branson.  But it wasn’t  what I remembered or expected.

We did go see the statue today, and it was just as awesome as ever.  But now instead of simply the statue and the play in the ampitheater, there are several offices, museums and a dinner theater included on the grounds.  Seems  sort of commercialized and overdone.

Well, enough of my whining.  We still had a nice day.  We even got some rain this afternoon, and right now the temp is a wonderful 76 degrees.

Heading east tomorrow. 
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