2013 Ozarks

Jasper, Arkansas and The Ozark Grand Canyon











The route

This was a terrific route, every bit as technical and challenging as it looks on the map.

This is the view from our back porch

Carrie took Tuesday as a rest day, so I snapped a few pictures before we headed out for our ride.


Unlike the Monday route, there were a few spots to pull over and take pictures today.  On the other hand, the roads were magnificent and I didn't feel like stopping much.  Great pavement, terrific turns and twists and elevation changes and no traffic for MILES.  It literally felt like we had the entire state to ourselves most of the time.


One of the things we learned on this trip is "when in Arkansas, if you see a gas station, STOP" because there might not be another one for 50 or more miles

After our ride we came back to the cabins and decided to go to a local tourist stop called "Mystic Caverns" - basically it is two caverns that they discovered about 10 minutes north of Jasper.


Again, we literally were the only people there besides the two people who worked there.  We WERE the tour group.  We learned that we arrived the week AFTER the last week of tourist season, which explained why the whole area was a ghost town.  I have to remember to ask the locals when we book next year's trip when the tourist season ends, and see if we can show up after that because it was AWESOME.


A sidenote on Mystic Caverns - the proprietors are SERIOUS about their religion.  There is literally no way you're going to experience this place without hearing about their personal faith in Jesus Christ.  I'm not kidding when I say that the tour guide bellowed out "How Great Thou Art" in one of the caves for a solid MINUTE.  It was a bit awkward, but he did have a great voice.  We also got a lecture on how it doesn't take "thousands" of years for these formations to occur, but they can happen in hundreds - so the Bible is true.

Look, I don't mind your personal faith.  I really don't care who your favorite comic book hero is and how that has affected your life.  That's a personal thing and we're all trying to make sense out of being alive.  I get it, really I do.  However, I spent the first part of my life being metaphorically strapped to a chair and force fed someone else's beliefs, whether I was hungry or not.  I'd appreciate it more if they could have backed off just a TAD on the constant, nonstop proselytizing.  To give you an idea, here is a picture of the graffiti from the men's room.

Oh, one last thing:  the sunrises in our cabin gave Carrie a chance to take some AMAZING backlit pictures.  This one is from her cell phone!!  Yes, I'm shameless.