Day Two ~ 470 Miles

Conway Travel Blog

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Basin Park Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Our motel in Conway was sitting right on U.S. Highway 65, which would take us into the town of Eureka Springs.  We awoke to a bright blue sky and cool temperatures.  The ride up U.S. 65 was perfect.  The road followed the natural curvature of the hills as we road north towards Missouri.  Our leather jackets felt good in the chilly morning air, but the sun was shining brightly on our backs, warming us up nicely. 

By the time we rode into Eureka Springs, it was lunch time.  A quick loop through the town told us what we needed to know.   This was an old town that could lure a stranger into staying longer than planned.

Lunch on balcony of Basin Park Hotel
   The shops and galleries inside the historical buildings were inviting, but we had miles to travel and no time to waste. 

The Basin Park Hotel, built in 1905, was serving lunch on the second story balcony.  We walked into the lobby of the old hotel and felt as though we had been transformed to another time.  The dark wood and overstuffed furniture was reminiscent of a gentler time when men and women dressed in their finest clothes for dinner.  When women were ladies and men were well-mannered.  But today we were wearing our blue jeans and tee-shirts.  No one gave us a second glance.  This was 2002, not 1905. 

The four of us climbed the stairs to the second floor and took a seat on the spacious second-floor balcony.

One of many historical bldgs in Eureka Springs.
  Tables and chairs filled the porch and we picked a spot close to the rail.  From this vantage point we could look down on Main Street.  Cars were coming and going but the crowds of summer had faded.  The shop owners were enjoying the leisurely days that followed Labor Day.  

Lunch gave us a chance to relax a bit before we had to continue down the road.   The weather continued to cooperate and soon we were riding in the heat of the afternoon.    The busy interstate highways were not part of our agenda on this trip, so we stayed on two-lane roads or US Highways when possible.  Fort Scott, Kansas, was just over the Missouri/Kansas line and we made a quick stop for a look-see.

Fort Scott didn't look like a fort at all.

Fort Scott, Kansas
  Or at least what I thought a fort should look like.  I had imagined tall fences made out of rough timbers with sharp points on the top.  This was to discourage any climbing by the local hostile Indians.  What we found was a cluster of twenty historic frame buildings and no fence at all!  I guess I had been asleep during the history lesson about forts!  Actually, this was a restored National Historic Site, but we didn't have the time to explore.

Across the street from the fort was the restored Victorian downtown.   Jerry and Randy were really happy that we didn't have time to shop.  Jan and I love to shop, but we had bigger fish to fry and didn't want to spend any money just yet.   We knew there would be many opportunities for shopping in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

We made it as far as Topeka before we started looking for a room.  Tired and hungry, we checked into our room before we walked across the street for dinner.   It had been a long day, but we didn't mind.  No one complains or grumbles.  There is no point in that.  Even when we take a wrong turn and get lost (only temporarily), the four of us just laugh about it.   In 2002, we didn't own a GPS, so Jan and I did a quick map-check before saying goodnight. The bed was comfortable and sleep came easy.  Tomorrow would be another glorious day.

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Basin Park Hotel, Eureka Springs, …
Basin Park Hotel, Eureka Springs,…
Lunch on balcony of Basin Park Hot…
Lunch on balcony of Basin Park Ho…
One of many historical bldgs in Eu…
One of many historical bldgs in E…
Fort Scott, Kansas
Fort Scott, Kansas
photo by: kingelvis14