For a month I’ve been absolutely dying to get into woods. July and August are just too hot to go camping, and I won’t do it until things start to cool down. I was thrilled when the temps started to drop into the 80s the second week of August. I was ready! My trusty friend and adventure partner was ready and willing when I texted her and said, “You up for camping next weekend?” She’d been having a bit of a rough time herself and was needing a break.
Mountain View, AR and, specifically, Blanchard Springs Recreation Area was our destination of choice. We’d been there last year, Elizabeth and I, but it was in May. It was cold, and the spring thaws were happening in yankeeland so the streams were overflowing. In fact, there was some fear that we might have to move our campsite due to flooding. So, we were stoked.
Camping is always an act of adaptation. When you camp with the public, you have to adapt to living in fairly close quarters with strangers. The weather is ALWAYS a wild card. When we went last spring we both packed for summer. At the last minute, I realized that, although 55 is fairly nice when you are sleeping inside, it’s pretty darn cold in a tent. I packed some jackets and things, but neither one of us really packed warmly enough. And, frankly, it can be uncomfortable with bugs and humidity and public showers. But, that’s part of why I like it. It helps me strip away all of the protections that I have, and makes me aware of the things I really need.
It’s Mountains, Music and Motorcycles weekend in Mountain View. Literally hundreds of motorcycles are in this small town. They have a Poker Run, a bike show, a concert and a Biker Church. Talk about great people-watching! And, if you want a sleazy tank top, you can get it here! How about a white with pink leather fringe adorning your cleavage? That one was drawing a crowd.
Wood’s Pharmacy is a place you must stop for a good old-fashioned soda fountain treat. While I waited on my Hot Fudge Sundae, the soda jerks were hand blending malted milk shakes squeezing fresh oranges for an Orange Ade. Everything was as beautiful as it was good! They have a Facebook Page, and, ironically the last post on their page was my pic of their Hot Fudge Sundae that I had in May 2011.
I needed a caffeine boost, so we stopped at Turner Coffee Tree for a mocha. This is where I decided to write this blog. It’s a great little place with comfy sofas and wi-fi. Most of the furnishings are designed and crafted by the owner Rachel and her family. Travis, the barista was as nice as he was good looking. He is a musician who hasn’t spent much time in Memphis, so I was trying to persuade him to come play at Otherlands. He and the owner of the coffee shop are both runners, so we chatted about that as well. And, I have to say, he makes a mean Mocha. Anybody that can steal my heart with chocolate and coffee is a star in my book.
Fires aren’t allowed in the campground due to the drought and a burn ban, so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing tonight. I love chatting with Elizabeth. She’s one of my friends that I know so well that we can discuss any subject – and we do. When I know somebody that well, I love to find out more and more about their childhood and history. It helps build context for who they are. People are just fascinating. I’m sure there will be stories tonight. If your ears are burning, one may be about you. 😉
So long for now…