Time Off

We are finally off duty after 6 weeks. Now we have a full week off. This is one of the nice things about the job I have. When things work like they should, I will be getting a week off every three weeks. I would like to use this time for travel. Of course, we don’t make much money, so I have to be reasonable. Last time we were off we covered about 3000 miles during the week. We went through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. That’s more miles than when I was driving a truck for a living. But we spent time with friends, got to see new places, and we had fun.

We are not traveling far this week, but I am determined to explore new places. Yesterday I did just that. Arkansas is a really neat place to live. It isn’t as pretty as Colorado or Wyoming, but I figure it’s got Kansas and Nebraska beat by a long shot. Anyway, yesterday I visited a small town just northeast of where I live called Mountain View. What a neat community. The older section of town has all sorts of neat little shops to go through. They had a more modern section too with places like Warmart, Dollar General and so forth, but I didn’t spend much time in that section of town. I can see those places just about anywhere. I wanted to see the real heart of the town and that was around the town square. There is something about the old architecture that I really like. Especially the older courthouses.

I think I walked through most of the stores thinking my wife would love this place. She couldn’t come this trip because her parents are in town and they had other plans. So this trip it was me and Rascal. As for me, I’m not much of a shopper, unless it has to do with music. Once I found a music store I stayed there quite a while. Imagine that.

Music_store.jpgMusic is everywhere in Moutain View. It is known as the folk music capital of the world. That is why I had to go check it out. I was not disappointed.  This little store is quite different stores like guitar center that I tend to go to often. There were all sorts of string instruments like violins, dulcimers, Bangos, etc. But what was really neat was the small town atmosphere. In several of the rooms, there were people learning to play. The shop does a lot of repair work on all sorts of instruments. This was a very friendly place.

Right next to the music store is a little park with several little gazebos for playing music. When I first arrived there weren’t very many people in the park, but in the evening people came out to play their instruments.

While I was walking through the town I met a man in one of the shops who told me about some of the places to visit. He recommended that I travel about 12 miles north to visit a place called Banchard Springs. There are some caverns there along with a lake and so forth. I didn’t go to the caverns this round, but I was able to walk around and see a very pretty area.

 

Stone Bridge

Cave

 

I didn’t stay very long in Blanchard Springs or Mountain view. I really just wanted to go scope things out to know what it was like. I do plan on returning. They have a nice little campgrounds at Blanchard Springs. I watched some of the people fishing the river and they were catching some fish. I think I would like to try that next time when my wife can come and we can spend the night.

I headed back to Mountain View to see what it was like in the park during the evening.

 

 

 

Just outside the music store

When I got back into town the sun was just starting to go down. Several groups of musicians were gathering in different spots around the square.

One of my favorite things about living in Arkasas is when people get together to sing and play their instruments. We did this a couple times a week back in Mena, and I haven’t been able to see this done in Morrilton where I live now.

Mountain View has an abundance of musicians. One group was gathered outside of the music store. Several instruments where being played by the people there including some that I had never really seen before. It is just so cool to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the park there were several groups. I guess they will welcome others into the groups, but I just watched this time.

One of the locals explained to me that some groups don’t mind you joining in, but others kind of have their own way of doing things. Some groups he called knee-knockers because they gather in a very close group. I guess these are the exclusive kind of groups. These four and no more (kind of like some churches). I did see one group like that. They sounded pretty good too, but I didn’t recognize any of the songs.

Some of the other groups seemed more inviting and open to some mistakes. That’s the kind of group for me. I make lots of mistakes while playing and I can’t really sing well if people are listening. Still it is a fun time just to play around.

I definitely plan on returning to Mountain View.

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About Ken Sayers

I'm currently employed by a children's home where my wife and I care for a cottage of girls who have been displaced from their families. I'm a middle age man with two grown children of my own and one grandchild. I have worked as a United States Marine, a youth minister, a preacher, a childcare worker, and a truck driver. My hobbies include photography, horses, playing guitar, writing, and fitness.
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