Monday, May 23, 2011
The Weather Outside is Frightful
But so far we are alive and well and warm and dry. It started raining early yesterday evening, and we were under a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch all night. Not a good feeling when you’re in a motorhome, and especially bad after dark. We had nowhere to go except the restrooms, but they are just outhouses here, so probably wouldn’t hold up in a tornado anyway. Luckily other than thunder, lightning and small hail, we were fine. The thunderstorms started up again this morning and have continued all day.
After our friend Andy had his Lazy Daze hit by lightning last year in New Mexico, we unplug our power cord as a precaution when the thunder and lightning get close. Needless to say we’ve been unplugged quite a few hours over the past few days.
Since it wasn’t raining yesterday morning, we took a ride to Eureka Springs. Our first stop was Lake Leatherwood Park, a city park 2 miles from town. There is a small campground (glad we didn’t stay there), cabins, hiking and mountain bike trails, fishing and boat rentals on Lake Leatherwood. At the trailhead we saw a sign that a bridge was out and one of the trails was closed. Looking at the map we decided to hike 2 miles to the dam and come back the same way. Once we got to the dam I looked at the map again and realized we could make it a loop and come back a different trail on the other side of the lake. I think our brains were soggy from the humidity, so we didn’t realize that was the trail with the washed out bridge. It was a nice hike for the first 3.5 miles.
The dam and spillway.
We saw lots of butterflies and a big lizard.
Then the trail ran into the water, we saw the broken bridge, and realized our mistake. Jim said no way was he walking another 3.5 miles back the way we came. Luckily the water didn’t quite come to our knees, but waterproof hiking boots don’t help much when you wade through water that deep!
Since we forgot to bring our sandals to change into, it was a sloshy walk around the quaint little town of Eureka Springs after our hike. It reminded us of Bisby, AZ or Manitou Springs, CO. Lots of shops, restaurants, and galleries built into the mountainside. My photographer is slacking on the job. This is the only picture he took in town, just because he liked the old VW.
We hope to get to Branson tomorrow morning since It sounds like the bad weather won’t start until later in the day. We were concerned that our road out of here would be flooded, but due to the rising waters of Beaver Lake they released water from the dam several times today, so we should be fine. I feel for the people in Joplin, MO. What a nightmare they’ve been through. We sure picked the wrong time to come to this part of the country. If I said the word, Jim would skip out on our camp host job and drive west tomorrow.