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Posts from the ‘Arkansas’ category

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Returning Home – Eureka Springs, AR to Dyersburg, TN

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 20; the post was published on October 18.]

Today is Day 10 of our 13-day vacation.  We are traveling home from the VROC Reunion Rally, which was held in Eureka Springs, AR.

 

We were showered, dressed and on the road by 6:45 am. Today was a travel day, Eureka Springs AR to Dyersburg TN.  We used the same route, in reverse, that we drove on Tuesday, September 15th. We made minimal stops along the way.  We stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s in Gassville, AR; we made a few fuel stops; and we made a photo stop in the city of Hardy, Arkansas.  The opportunity to stop in Hardy was the reason we used the same route that we followed on the last day of our trip to Eureka Springs.  Hardy was established in 1883 as a result of the construction of the Kansas City, Springfield, and Memphis Railroad.  The city has an old town feel to it.

WP_20150920_001We parked along Main Street in Hardy, AR.
You can see Bob’s motorcycle a short way up the road, and
my car is directly in front of the motorcycle.

Bob sat on a bench along Main Street, while I walked a couple blocks taking pictures along the way.

_LG18494 4x6Old Town Hardy Mural

This mural, located at the corner of Spring and Main Streets, was around the corner from where Bob was sitting.  In the summer of 1992 two artists, Ernie Patton and Kermit Kroll, were commissioned to paint this panorama of five long-gone landmarks. The mural is approximately 80 feet long and 23 feet high.  The five long-gone landmarks are: the Frisco Railroad Depot, an old gas station, the Old Iron Bridge that used to span Spring River, Wahpeton Hill, and the Beck House.  If desired, you may read more about each of these landmarks by clicking on the above link “Old Town Hardy Mural”.

I found along Main Street what appeared to be a newer mural of Hardy’s history.

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Hardy History Mural

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Further down Main Street I found a lovely city park.

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I am standing in the city park, as I took the pictures shown above and below.

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_LG18509 4x6The city park is located ahead, on the left.

_LG18502 4x6Sharp County Courthouse (historic)

For more than seventy years, Sharp County had two county seats, one in Hardy and the other in Evening Shade. In 1967, the Arkansas General Assembly abolished the dual county locations, and Ash Flat was designated the seat of government for the combined county.

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I took these two pictures, as I was walking back to where I had parked my car.

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These two pictures I took for my sister-in-law, Dorothy, who is from the UK.

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We would have eaten at the British themed cafe, Pig ‘n Whistle, if it had been lunch or dinner time.  As it was, our stop in Hardy happened mid-morning.

 

We arrived in Dyersburg, TN and checked into Quality Inn around 2:00 pm. We drove 296 miles today. It was an easy day. The sky cooperated and kept the sun behind clouds, for the most part, when it would have been in our eyes driving east. In addition, traffic was fairly light.

 

Today’s route:

VROC Reunion Rally 2015

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 18; the post was published on October 14.]

This blog post continues Day 8 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

So far, in past blog posts, I have shared the following VROC Reunion Rally events:

Susan’s Bachelorette Party
the
Outlaw Willie show
Susan and Joe’s Wedding

This blog post provides more details about the rally and Friday’s events.

With the exception of a few hours this morning, Bob and I spent the day at rally headquarters, the Motel 62 in Eureka Springs.

_LG18396 4x6Motel 62
VROC Reunion Rally Headquarters
Those at the table are selling raffle tickets and collecting BBQ donations.

_LG18386 4x6Selling raffle tickets and collecting BBQ donations

Throughout the 5-day rally, the hotel parking lot is where we gathered to converse with our friends…long-time friends, new friends and friends whom we had met only via Facebook or VROC forums.

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A few snaps of parking lot socializing

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We had been Facebook friends with one VROC member for 5 years and met him and his girlfriend for the first time at the rally.  Some long-time friends we had seen recently at the SEVROC rally in May in Maggie Valley, NC.  Other long-time friends we hadn’t seen since June 2009, when we attended the Wolfman’s Wandering Rally in Richmond, KY.  The parking lot conversation runs the gamut of political talk, tall tales, catching up on family events and the telling of riding adventures.

I purchased a leather vest earlier this year.  I remedied its virgin status, while in Eureka Springs, by adding a couple patches.

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This is the seamstress, who sewed on my patches.

Leather Vest - new patch

The first patch I purchased was the VROC patch.
I like that a pair of wings is in the vest design, as well as on the patch.

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I purchased the VROC Reunion Rally patch too,
along with the 2015 Eureka Springs AR rocker.

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Around 5:00 pm, we assembled for the traditional group picture.

12140043_966007173422564_2315198082446660227_oKatie, of Ayers Open Road Photography, was the official photographer and did a great job.
Katie gave me permission to post this photograph.

 

After the group picture was finished, we headed over near the smokers, which had been running all day.  The smells coming from the smokers were tantalizing!

_LG18402 4x6Gathering for the BBQ

Before the BBQ, though, there was a special presentation to the young man in the “Tattoed and Employed” t-shirt.  Bradley had no idea what was about to happen, when I took the picture shown above.

The Eureka Springs Fire-Rescue-EMS made the presentation.

 

_LG18404 4x6Bradley and his dad, Jim, after the presentation

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Happy 21st birthday, Bradley!
I am sure that you will have many riding adventures on your new motorcycle!

 

After Bradley’s birthday gift presentation, we got in line for the BBQ.  The BBQ included ribs, brisket, sausage, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw — all of which were plentiful and tasty.

A raffle for prizes was held after the BBQ.  I won a Eureka Springs Fire-Rescue-EMS patch, and Bob won a VROC Reunion Rally t-shirt.  A 50/50 drawing was held as well.  Half of the money from the 50/50 benefited the Eureka Springs Fire-Rescue-EMS.

At the conclusion of the raffle, Condi and JR were recognized for their efforts in organizing this year’s rally, as well as their efforts in the past.

_LG18410 4x6Recognizing Condi and JR for their efforts in organizing rally

Condi and JR will not be able to organize the rally next year.  Another VROC member stepped up to the plate.

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Laura will organize next year’s VROC Reunion Rally.
In this photograph, Laura was pointing to “Moon”,
who has organized the rally in the past, stating that she had offered to help.

 

When we returned home from Arkansas, I was curious how many years the reunion rally has been held.  I messaged Dianna “Moon” and asked if she had any idea the year that the rally was first held.  Dianna dug through her t-shirts and found one that said 10th Annual VROC Reunion Sept 16-20, 2009.  The first rally, therefore, was held in 1999.  This year’s rally is the 16th annual VROC Reunion rally.   Dianna told me that the first rally was considered the first “International Rally” because there were several attendees from Canada, one or so from Mexico, and even one attendee from New Zealand. This was the first year that Bob and I attended the VROC Reunion rally.  We hope to attend the rally next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Beaver Town Bridge Ride

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 18; the post was published on October 13.]

Today is Day 8 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

Bob and I went for a short motorcycle sightseeing ride this morning.

Today’s route:

 

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We rode over Beaver Bridge.

_LG18375 4x6I read that this bridge is referred to as the “Little Golden Gate Bridge”.

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The Beaver Bridge is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in Arkansas.  The bridge carries Arkansas Highway 187 over the White River.  The Beaver Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

We followed Arkansas Highway 187 to Beaver Lake.

_LG18378 4x6Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir and is formed by a dam across the White River. Beaver Lake has over 450 miles of natural shoreline. We saw only a small part of Beaver Lake.

Very soon after taking the photograph of Beaver Lake shown above, we crossed over the Beaver Dam.

_LG18382 4x6Beaver Dam

We returned to our hotel, the Motel 62, in Eureka Springs around 11:00 am.  We spent rest of the day at the hotel.

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Christ of the Ozarks

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 17; the post was published on October 12.]

This blog post continues Day 7 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

This afternoon Bob and I went sightseeing. Our first stop was at Thorncrown Chapel.  Our second stop was at the Crescent Hotel.  Our third stop was at the Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway Train Depot.  Our fourth and final stop was the Christ of the Ozarks memorial statue on the grounds of The Great Passion Play.

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Self-portrait of Bob and me with the Christ of the Ozarks in the background

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I obtained some interesting facts about the Christ of the Ozarks statue from its official website.

  • The foundation of the statue required 340 tons of concrete Interlaced with steel virtually welded into the rock of Magnetic Mountain.
  • The statue is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame.
  • It was necessary to build an elevator up the side of the framework, which was completely surrounded by scaffolding during construction.
  • The face is approximately 15 feet in height
  • The hands from wrist to fingertip measure approximately 7 feet.
  • The total weight of the statue is over two million pounds.
  • The arm spread from fingertip to fingertip is 65 feet.
  • The statue is located on Magnetic Mountain at an altitude of 1,500 feet.
  • The statue stands sixty-seven feet high.
  • The statue was sculpted by the late Emmet Sullivan, who was an apprentice to one of the sculptors of the Mount Rushmore monument.
  • The statue was completed and dedicated in 1966.

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We were amazed to see how large this statue really is when one is close to it!

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Eureka Springs Train Depot

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 17; the post was published on October 11.]

This blog post continues Day 7 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

 

This afternoon Bob and I went sightseeing. Our first stop was at Thorncrown Chapel.  Our second stop was at the Crescent Hotel.  Our third stop was at the historic Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway Train Depot.

_LG18363 4x6the Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway Train Depot
Note the 0-4-0 narrow-guard (24-inch) steam locomotive, used to advertise the railway.
The locomotive was built in Berlin, Germany in 1934.

The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway is a for-profit passenger tourist railway.  The railway offers excursion tours, a catered luncheon train and a catered dinner train. The train depot was closed, when we arrived.  Checking the train schedule, we determined that the last train departed at 12:30 pm.   We spent a few minutes checking out the train yard.

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We departed the train depot en route to our last sightseeing stop of the day — the Christ of the Ozarks (my blog post).

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Crescent Hotel

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 17; the post was published on October 11.]

This blog post continues Day 7 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

This afternoon Bob and I went sightseeing. Our first stop was at Thorncrown Chapel.  Our second stop was at the Crescent Hotel, perched high above Eureka Springs.

I obtained the following information about the Crescent Hotel from a Wikipedia article:

“The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 as a resort for the rich and famous, but quickly became unmanageable and fell into disrepair. In 1908, it was reopened as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women. This institution closed down in 1924, and then opened again in 1930 as a junior college. After the college closed in 1934, the Crescent was leased as a summer hotel.

In 1937, it got a new owner, Norman G. Baker, who turned the place into a hospital and health resort. Baker, a millionaire inventor and radio personality, styled himself as a doctor, despite having had no medical training. He claimed to have discovered a number of “cures” for various ailments, including cancer, and launched frequent attacks on organized medicine, which he accused of being corrupt and profit-driven.

Having been run out of Iowa for practicing medicine without a license, Baker moved his cancer patients to Arkansas and advertised his new health resort at the Crescent. His “cure” consisted primarily of drinking the area’s natural spring water.[clarification needed] In 1940, federal charges were filed against Baker for mail fraud and he spent four years in prison. The Crescent Hotel was left ownerless until 1946. In the spring of 1946, the Crescent Hotel was purchased by John R. Constantine, Herbert E. Shutter, Herbert Byfield, and Dwight Nichols. On March 15, 1967, the hotel was nearly burned to the ground. The only living owner at this time was Dwight Nichols.

In 1997, the Crescent Hotel was purchased by Marty and Elise Roenigk, who oversaw a six-year restoration and renovation of the hotel rooms.[3] Marty Roenigk died in a car crash on June 18, 2009; Elise Roenigk remains the hotel’s current owner.

The Crescent Hotel has been called “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”, and is said to be haunted by at least eight spirits. These include: a young woman who attended college there in the 1920s or 30s, who is either said to have died by jumping from the roof or being pushed; a nurse who worked in the building when it was a hospital; a man in a hat and tails, believed to be the ghost of Dr. John Freemont Ellis, a staff doctor at the original Crescent Hotel resort in the late 1800s;[5] Michael, an Irish stonemason, who lost his footing while building the hotel and slipped off the roof to his death; Theadora, a cancer victim who came to Norman Baker’s resort for treatment; a ghostly bearded gentleman wearing Victorian clothing and a top hat; Brecky, a boy who often came to the resort in its glory days and died of complications with an appendicitis; and Norman G. Baker himself.

In 2005, the hotel was visited by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, presenters of the television show Ghost Hunters. Wilson recorded a full-body apparition on their thermal imaging camera; the form seemed to be that of a man wearing a hat and nodding his head.”

We didn’t know its history, when we visited the Crescent Hotel.  Had we known more about the Crescent Hotel, we would have explored more of the hotel and the grounds on which it sits.  As it was, the sole purpose for our visit to the Crescent Hotel was to see the Christ of the Ozarks from the hotel’s observation deck on the fourth floor.

 

_LG18343 4x6We walked through the hotel lobby.

_LG18352 4x6Hotel Lobby Registration Desk

_LG18355 4x6Hotel Lobby

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Hotel Lobby Fireplace

_LG18351 4x6This beautiful cat had been napping on the stairs leading to the fourth floor.

_LG18349 4x6Paintings at the fourth floor landing

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Looking down from the fourth floor

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Fourth Floor Time Capsule

A framed note to the right of the time capsule indicated that Robert Rees was commissioned by Marty and Elise Roenigk, owners of the Historic 1905 Basin Park and 1886 Crescent Hotels in Eureka Springs to construct  the two time capsules located on the 4th floor of the Crescent and the Basin Park Hotel lobby.  Tyson Foods provided the massive stainless steel inner cores, which are designed by the artist to last well beyond the required 100 years.  The time capsules were filled during a Millennium Celebration held in the Ballrooms of each Historic Hotel on December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000.  No date was posted for when the time capsules would be opened.

To the right of the time capsule was a door that led outside, to the fourth floor observation deck.

_LG18345 4x6There is a great view of the Christ of the Ozarks from the Crescent Hotel.

In a future blog post I will share more photographs of the Christ of the Ozarks from a much closer perspective.

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Thorncrown Chapel

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 17; the post was published on October 9.]

This blog post continues Day 7 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

This afternoon Bob and I went sightseeing.  Our first stop was at Thorncrown Chapel.

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According to its website, Thorncrown Chapel “rises forty-eight feet into the … sky. This…wooden structure contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. It sits atop over 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone, making it blend perfectly with its setting. The chapel’s simple design and majestic beauty combine to make it what critics have called “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times.”  Since the chapel opened in 1980, over six million people have visited this woodland sanctuary…Thorncrown Chapel is located on Highway 62 West just outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.”

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Two things struck me most about Thorncrown Chapel, while sitting inside the chapel: the immense glass walls and ceiling and the dense forest visible all around.

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