Jasper, Arkansas and The Ozark Grand Canyon
A short route, dinner and getting ready for the trip home.
Friday we decided to take one last short loop - we'd repeat the route we took with Carrie on Monday, then we'd relax a little and then start packing and getting ready for the long haul home.
As usual, the views from the back of our cabin were just amazing.
Carrie doing her "Sexy Robo-Cop" pose before we headed out.
We made our final stop at the Ozark Cafe in downtown Jasper - where Carrie and Bill tried their best to give themselves diabetes with the "Ozark French Toast" - a concoction of syrup, caramel, nuts, powdered sugar, cinnamon and somewhere at the bottom of all that a piece of bread soaked in egg batter and cooked.
Jasper Arkansas is beautiful, gorgeous really. Still it is very obvious that the people who run businesses don't have the slightest clue what they are doing. From the burnt out nightmare that is now "Dogpatch USA" to the motorcycle resort called "The Lodge" it is obvious that people come here with big ideas, spend a lot of money and then lose it over the course of about 10 or 15 years. The picture below is from "The Lodge" - a 90% abandoned multi building strip at the top of a very nice hill. No kidding, the place could be used as a scene for a zombie movie. Empty buildings, cracked pavement, grass that is waist high everywhere. There IS a hotel on premise and it seemed clean enough - if you don't mind being the ONLY working lights in the place. I found it creepy as hell.
Honestly, what probably drives off success would probably be the NON-STOP Jesus that is pretty much everywhere here. They shove it down your throat and it's a real turnoff. Even if I was religious, and I'm not, I would get tired of there being more churches than there are literally anything else. There are more churches than there are firemen or policemen - it's insane. In Harrison there are two MEGA churches across the street from each other with competing neon signs. \+RIGHT next to the motorcycle resort is a ginormous church, and I can only imagine the "friendly encouragement" they offer guests to come to Sunday service.
It is very obvious that if you aren't Christian you aren't welcome. Given how much of the USA that is no longer "hard core religious" I can see fewer and fewer people coming here more than once. "It's great" they'll say "beautiful" and then add "but we didn't feel comfortable." If you are gay, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu or remotely capable of critical thought then you ARE unwelcome. Amusingly MOST of the people who'd come here to spend money are hippies, free spirits, etc and those people do NOT do well with these locals.
About the locals. They are either meth heads or jesus freaks or they are a super, duper, tiny minority.