|When in Fouke visit Monster Mart|
|Inside Monster Mart is a museum/tribute to the hairy creature|
|You can see Bigfoot foot casts and pick up your souvenir. Don't forget to sign the guestbook!|
Fouke is a quiet little town that is best known as being the locale for the Fouke monster legend, one of the most popular legends in the state. The town attracted attention in the early 1970s when a resident of Texarkana reported seeing a mysterious creature there. A reporter for the Texarkana Gazette wrote an article about it and a legend was born. Fouke and its monster became famous and were featured in the 1973 movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. The Fouke monster has been described as something of a Southern Sasquatch- a “big-foot-type monster.” The documentary style film on the creature was made by South Arkansas native Charles Pierce in the early 1970s. The film assured a place in folklore history for the Bigfoot look-a-like, which has allegedly been seen in and around Fouke since the 1940s. The low budget, campy movie earned cult status and the familiarity of this tale and the regular resurgence in the media of yeti, Bigfoot, and caveman-like characters keep the legend alive.
Sadly disappointed we did not see the Fouke monster we headed northeast to the Ouachita Mountains and the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. For centuries, Native Americans, early European explorers, and visitors from around the world have flocked to the natural hot springs to bathe in the healing waters. Today, the rich history of the hot springs has been preserved, and the bathing rituals continue to be popular among travelers.
|Gulpha Creek runs through The Gorge in Hot Springs National Park|
|We had to go all the way to Hot Springs National Park to see the first sign of fall|
|Many buildings in Hot Springs are from the Art Deco time period|
|This bathhouse window had a Gothic look|
|Shady character on the streets of Hot Springs, Arkansas|
|Stained glass ceiling of a bathhouse|
|Statue inside bathhouse honoring explorers and Native American's that visited the springs|
|Rows and rows of mailboxes at the Oupaw Bathhouse|
|Fordyce Bath House is now a cafe & brewery|
|Statue honoring in square of Hot Springs|
After spending the afternoon touring the bath houses at Hot Springs we headed back west to where our cabin awaited us at the Mena Mountain Top Cabins in Mena, Arkansas. We stayed in this location once before and enjoyed it so much we were back for another visit. The small cabins at Mena Mountain Top are clad in pine and rustically decorated each with a theme (our cabin had a fishing theme). Each cabin has a screened in porch that over looks the mountainside and is a great place to sip your morning coffee.
|View from the road near our cabin|
|View from our road near our cabin. You can see Rich Mountain in the distance.|
|Interesting hike to Heavener Runestone|
|The Heavener Runestone....what does it say? "Glome Dal" or "Glome's Valley"|
|Rural Heavener, Oklahoma|
After leaving Heavener we drove the back roads south to Queen Wilhelmina State Park to take in the scenery. Queen Wilhelmina State Park is located atop Rich Mountain which is the second highest peak in Arkansas. Some of the most breathtaking views can be seen from the Queen Wilhelmina's newly renovated lodge. We stopped here hoping to have lunch in the Queen's Restaurant, however, it was a long wait to sample their delicious southern cuisine. We decided to head back to Mena and enjoy the rest of the day touring the town before we said our goodbyes to the Natural State.
|Mountain views from Queen Wilhelmina State Park|
|And more mountain views from Queen Wilhelmina State Park|
|And even more mountain views from Queen Wilhelmina State Park|
|Old Mountain Creek Bridge outside of Mena, Arkansas|
|Mountain Creek near Mena, Arkansas|
|Old post office/general store of Whitetown, Arkansas|
|Could not resist photographing these beauties although I disturbed their dinner|
|Sundown at our cabin. Goodbye day, goodbye Natural State|