TRAVEL THERE: STEEP STAIRS ARE MOUNTAINOUS IN EUREKA SPRINGS AR
A Little History
First, a little history. Native Indians found Eureka Springs first. For century upon century, the tribes shared the waters. We’re not sure whether they drank it or bathed in it, but the evidence of their presence is all around. Then in the mid-1800’s a more entrepreneurial group of Americans found the water. Local legend tells of a doctor hunting with his ailing son discovering the water’s healing properties. So what did he do with it? He started bottling it. Typical.
Word got out and on the fourth of July in 1879, a tent city had grown up around Basin Springs and the city was officially named. Little time was allowed to pass before someone built a luxury accommodations for the more affluent of the ailing and a railroad to haul them in. The rest is history.
The luxury getaway was called The Crescent Hotel, but things didn’t turn out exactly as planned, That’s why they now have a ghost tour every evening, but more about that later. Suffice it to say, we’d ordered tickets for the ghost tour online, but they’d been for the wrong date, so we needed to get up to the hotel and straighten things out.
After Lunch, a Stroll
Looking at the map on one of the brochures we could tell The Garden Bistro wasn’t very far away from The Crescent. In fact, Mapquest tells me it’s just.61 miles from one point to the next. Deb and I work out twice a week with a trainer. What’s half a mile, right? Well, we forgot about the stairstep city stuff.
The Garden Bistro is most probably the lowest point in Eureka Springs. The Crescent Hotel is the highest. Somehow that escaped us. We followed Main Street as it curved up to the stairwell we’d taken before. Then we climbed up Spring. Excuse me, we CLIMBED up Spring Street. In the picture you can see the slope, but it doesn’t look as extreme in the picture as it actually is.
By the time we reached Sweet Spring we were looking for a shortcut and even though the stairs that led up over the spring were steep, they seemed a more direct route. Here’s the problem, once we took the stairs, there were several more flights of them waiting above us. We chose to laugh, but whatever type of acrophobia is related to stairs, Deborah has it, so in places, the chuckles were nervous laughter. When we finally sighted the Crescent we were exhausted. In other words, don’t do this!!
Over-planning Pays Off
The hotel fixed our ghost tour problem in nothing flat. (Thanks to the email on my smartphone. Have I mentioned that I love my smartphone?) We were glad to have the ticket problem solved, but that left us with a problem. How were we going to get back down.
My husband claims that I over-plan vacations, but for once that was a good thing. I remembered Eureka Springs had trolleys and that the Crescent Hotel was one of the stops. Sure enough, the trolley waited right outside and, for just a few dollars, delivered us almost to the spot where our car was parked.
I can’t brag enough on the Eureka Springs Trolleys. Eureka Springs is just not the kind of town where you can drive your car to something and park outside.The trolleys are cheap, they run all day and there’s one coming by all the time. Believe me, you want to use the trolleys.
Once we were delivered to our car, it was finally late enough to check into our Bed and Breakfast Inn. I’ll tell you about that next week.