When my wife and I walked up to the desk at Mount Magazine Lodge, the attendant said, “Last name, please.” I said, “My last name is Ford but we don’t have a reservation.” He looked at me incredulously and said, “You don’t have a reservation? We have no rooms left.” Apparently, the colorful fall is their peak season. Then the lady on the other end of the counter said, “Wait a minute, I think we do have a king on two.” And, sure enough, we got lodging on the second floor, in a room with a spa, balcony and lovely king size bed. There was room at the inn!
We had started the day just rambling north, enjoying all the fall colors. We saw autumn’s finest hues on golden hickories, red dogwoods and sumac, multi-colored gums and yellow sassafras. And, in doing so, we ended up at Arkansas’s highest point. After we checked out our room with a view, we had a lovely dinner in the rustic restaurant and went outside to get our meager luggage. We got our first taste of winter up there. The wind was intense and it bit shrewdly. The dude on television gave the weather for northwest Arkansas and I felt we were in the Midwest instead of Arkansas.
I got a great photograph of the sun coming up over the clouds, which were below us, nestled in the valley. Then we went down for a good buffet breakfast and later, a walk in the welcome sunshine. It was still breezy and chilly, but the sunshine felt good and illuminated the fall colors wonderfully. We stayed at the lodge till almost checkout time, and then drove down the mountain to nearby Paris. Paris, Arkansas, of course.
We were looking for a bakery. We remembered one time when we were in Ozark, Arkansas for the flea markets, we stumbled upon a great local bakery and had coffee and baked goodies and we thought maybe Paris would offer similar fare. We walked into a Paris flea market and asked the lady if there were such a place in the town. She said, “No, but, interestingly, I am planning to eventually put a coffee shop in right up there beside the door.” Of course her plans were great, but we could not wait that long. So we browsed her shop and wandered some more. I spied a sign that said “Donuts,” so we went a couple of blocks off the square and entered the establishment. My wife had a couple of delicious crullers and I had a bear claw. The nice lady even made a fresh pot of coffee for us, the only customers in the place.
We then drove on up to Ozark and found the bakery. Closed, the sign said. We were glad we had stopped for pastries in Paris. We spend the rest of our spontaneous outing in the huge flea market down by the railroad tracks. There, I enjoyed people-watching. Colorful people added to our enjoyment of colorful nature.