Thursday, November 22, 2007

Guided Pheasant Hunts:Yellville Arkansas

Ozark Mountain Bird hunts provides guided pheasant, chucker and quail hunts on their farm located just one mile from Yellville, Arkansas. Mike and David offer a variety of hunting packages.

You can take your pick of hunting quail, pheasant or chucker or do a combo and choose to hunt all three. They also offer European style hunts for 5-12 people at a time. The European hunts include 15 pheasant per person and the birds are breasted, bagged and made freezer ready for you following the hunt.
Because they are a licensed hunting preserve it is not necessary to obtain a hunting license. Mike says that handicapped hunters are welcome. It is possible to use wheelchairs at this time and they will have golf carts available in the near future.

Each hunter must have their own gun. What's the best gun to use for game bird hunting? Mike recommends a 12 or 20 gauge with a modified or improved cylinder choke. You should use #7-8 shot shells for the dog hunts and #6 shot for the European hunts.
You must supply your own hunter orange. If you don't have your own bird dogs they will be supplied for you.

Ozark Mountain Bird hunts furnishes water and sodas and you are welcome to bring your own snacks. Absolutely no alcohol is allowed either before or during the hunt. You may be asked to forfeit the hunt if alcohol use is suspected.

Hunting season is open from October 1-March 31.

If you enjoy a good hunt then add a trip to Ozark Mountain Bird Hunts to your travel plans.

To book a hunt call 1-800-268-3474 or 1870-453-8502 or email Mike at
Their website is located at

Have a great trip!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Motorcyle Riding in the Ozarks

Thousands of bikers tour the Ozarks each year. With it's scenic drives, varied attractions and bike friendly hotels, restaurants and events riding here is the perfect way to spend your biking vacation.

When a road is marked "scenic" in the Ozarks it's a good bet that you're in for some very curvy and hilly roads. If you normally ride on flat and/or straight terrain or are new to riding, be cautious. It's easy to lose control on some of those curves even when you're used to them. Please be aware that not all Ozarks counties have 911 service available and cell service can be patchy.

Cruise the Ozarks is a great resource for trip planning. They have descriptions and maps of many scenic roads trip planning maps and bike friendly accomodations listings.

Eureka Springs is on everyone's destination list. Thousand's of bikers visit here each year. The narrow streets and unique shopping and dining venues make Eureka on of the most interesting places you'll ever visit. As an added bonus there are tons of scenic day rides in the area and it's near Pea Ridge National Military Park.

The biggest biker event in the Ozarks is Bikes Blues and BBQ held on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This huge four day event draws bikers from all over. It takes place the last weekend in September and runs Wednesday thru Saturday. They have BBQ cook offs, vendors, live music, a biker parade and great giveaways. It's estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 bikes were there last year. Since it's completely free they can't be sure.
If you have a bike or are planning on purchasing one. The Ozarks is the destination for you. Don't forget to include us in your travel plans.

Have a great trip!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Open Gym:Springdale, Arkansas

Every Friday night Durham's Gymnastics hosts an open gym. It runs from 6:30-8:30 pm and costs $8 for the first child with a $2 discount for additional children.

Kids under six must be accompanied by an adult but older children can be dropped off as long as appropriate paperwork is filled out. Your child should wear comfortable stretchy clothing that is adequate for doing gymnastics. It's not necessary for them to wear a leotard.

The average ages of children who attend are from 3-14 years old. Handicap children are accepted as well but you'll need to call the school at 479-751-8844 and ascertain whether the child will be eligible for drop off or will require adult supervision.

If you're having a family reunion or other event in the Ozarks and would like something fun for the kids the school will host an hour and a half party for up to fifteen children for $80.00.
If you're children are eligible for drop off it'll give you time to have a nice quiet dinner at one of the excellent nearby restaurants.
Have a great trip!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Carr Phillips 66: Cuba, Missouri

While you're traveling through Cuba checking out the murals make sure you stop by the restored Carr Phillips 66 station on the corner of Washington and Franklin streets.

Built in 1932 it's a unique piece of Route 66 history.

Have a great trip!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Coffee Break Bookstore:Pea Ridge, Arkansas

The Coffee Break Bookstore is a good place to spend an hour or so after touring the nearby Pea Ridge National Military Park . It's a cozy bookstore with places to sit and read. They also have a coffee shop and snacks.

They have a good selection of new and used books and they're very reasonably priced. If you've got books to get rid of they have a book exchange/store credit policy.

If you've been traveling and want to swing by with your laptop and check your email or just surf the net they have wireless internet available as well.

The bookstore offers a number of programs so you may want to call ahead and ask if any seminars or classes will be taking place during your visit to the Ozarks.

One thing to keep in mind is that this bookstore is not handicap accessible and the aisles are fairly narrow.

The do have a seperate kids room for the young readers in your family. And there is a public restroom available.

If you need a break from sight seeing this is a wonderful place to relax.
Coffee Break Bookstore
955 Curtis Avenue
Pea Ridge, Arkansas 72751
Phone: 479-451-8924

Have a great trip!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tour Missouri's Wineries

Missouri has over fifty wineries. some offer free tours, others have cottages and restaurants available as well. Take time to visit a Missouri winery while you're touring the Ozarks. You'll be glad you did.

White Rose Winery-Carthage, open daily except Wednesday, bed and breakfast and restaurant

LeCave Vineyards-Billings, hosts events throughout the year

Whispering Oaks Vineyard & Winery- Seymour, hosts a yearly grape stomping event

Stone Hill Winery- Branson, Hermann and New Florence, open daily

Peaceful Bend Vineyard - Steelville, open Tues-Sun. Cabin rental available

Bonanza Spring Winery-Poplar Bluff, open by appt only.

Have a great trip!

The History of Wine in Missouri
Make your own wine
Making your own wine labels

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hiking the Ozark Highlands National Trail: Arkansas

The Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail is one of the most spectacular trails you'll ever hike on. The 165 mile trial stretches from Lake Fort Smith State Park all the way to the Buffalo National River.

If you're a beginning hiker you can still enjoy the trail. You'll find that it's been broken into many shorter more manageable hikes. You can always contact the Ozark Highland Trails Association and join them for an outing. They list upcoming events on their site.

For you folks that are old pros at hiking you'll find the trails challenging will be rewarded with views beyond compare. If you're new to the Ozarks make sure you study the local wildlife before starting off. I've listed resources at the bottom of the page.

A word about chiggers. Chiggers are tiny red bugs that gather where every your clothes fit closest to your body, like the top of socks or under your waistband. You can barely see them and they come in clusters. When they bite you, you'll itch like crazy for two or three days. Regular mosquito repellent will also discourage chiggers. If you're not up for chemical repellents powdered sulpher will work just as well.

Please remember that not all rural areas have 911 service as of yet. If you are carrying a cell phone as most folks do these days make certain that you get the emergency services numbers for the county you'll be hiking in. In the event of an accident you'll be able to contact the correct authorities with a minimum of fuss. This should be done even if you only plan to hike for a couple of hours or so.

While you're on your Ozarks vacation make time for at least one trail. With the wide number of short hikes available it's a great addition to your travel plans. Always wear sensible shoes, stay on the trail and follow safety rules even for short hikes.

Have a great trip!

Ozark Highlands Trail Maps and Mileage
Ozark Highlands Trail Association
Lake Fort Smith State Park
Poisonous Snakes of Arkansas
How to remove a tick
What is giardia?
Be aware of bears
Hiking for beginners
Low impact camping
First aid kit list for hikers

Buffalo National River

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Silver Dollar City: Branson, Missouri

Thousands of people visit Silver Dollar City daily. It's a great thing to do when you visit Branson. They have world class roller coasters, lots of shows, water rides, shops and kiddie rides. There is literally something for the whole family.

To get the complete experience you need to plan on spending a couple of days here. The best way to do that is with a season pass. Currently a season pass is only about $20 more than a one day pass.

A season pass has other benefits as well. Here they are as listed on the SDC website.

Unlimited visits to Silver Dollar City. Save $5 off the regular one-day adult or child admission price for up to 6 guests visiting with you on all operating days, except March 29, 2008. Save 10% on meals over $4.00 for you and up to 6 guests (Not valid on concessions). Save 20% on breakfast at Molly's Mill 8-11am through October 25 for you and up to 6 guests with you. Save 20% on Eva & Delilah's signature loaf breads (Limited quantity). Kids eat FREE at the Mine Restaurant after 4pm through October 25 with adult meal purchase. Only one discount or offer applies to food purchases. Valid 2008 operating season only.

The best way to plan your trip is to spend the morning on the rides and the afternoon in shows or the shops. The lines get very long as the day wears on. If you get wet have lunch and dry out before going into the shows. Some of them are very well air-conditioned and some have cloth seats. If you go on the Lost River Ride, The Water Boggan and Fire in the Hole you will get wet. If you have a water fight in Geyser Gulch you'll be soaked to the skin.

Don't forget their free night time show comes with the ticket. It's always a really good show. And it doesn't cost extra. If you're staying for a week or so you can always plan to attend it another night.

Keep in mind, there is no transportation through the park. The terrain is very steep and hilly. I wouldn't plan on using a regular wheelchair or trying to get through it with a walker. You need to be in pretty good shape. If you use a motorized wheelchair make sure the brakes are in excellent condition and your battery has a full charge before you attempt this park.

Lockers are available but they're all the way up by the ticket booth so it isn't convenient to run back out and get something that you've left there.

They do have stroller rentals if you didn't bring yours along. You'll park in a lot and ride a bus or trolley up to the park entrance. So if you've got a large stroller be prepared for that. If you don't want to deal with parking and driving the Best Western nearby runs a shuttle service if you're staying with them.

If you're looking for an inexpensive place to stay you can try Tall Pines Camping Cabins. They are a good alternative when you're on a budget.

When you get to the park you can purchase an insulated mug and get refills inexpensively all day. Well maybe not inexpensively but it's cheaper than buying fountain drinks all day. And you'll have another souvenir mug to add to your collection. Also I've found that the restaraunts will fill it with ice water at no extra charge.

Just remember to pace yourself and enjoy the day. With that season pass you don't have to worry about cramming it all in. If you get tired, go back to the room and have nap. After all it's a vacation. Naps are allowed.

Have a great trip!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Helpful Links for Ozark Travel

These are some links you may find helpful when planning your Ozarks vacation.

Current Gas Prices

RV Park Reviews


Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri

Attraction and Street Map of Branson, Missouri

Missouri Route 66 Points of Interest

Missouri Scenic Highways

Missouri Grottoes (Caving clubs)

Equine accomadations in Missouri

Branson Attractions


Arkansas Civil War Sites

Arkansas Scenic Highways

Arkansas Razorbacks game schedule

Arkansas Ozarks Bed & Breakfast

Top five Midwest Vacations

Scott County Museum: Waldron, Arkansas

Blythe's Famous Scott County Museum in Waldron, Arkansas is a perfect addition to your Ozark travel plans. Mr. Blythe began collecting Indian artifacts at the age of nine after his grandmother explained to him that they were part of his heritage.

To date he has collected and cataloged over 14,000 arrowheads. He also has numerous pieces of pottery and a selection of tools. The bulk of these are Caddo in origin. Universities and other groups frequently tour his collection.

The collection does not stop with Indian artifacts. While a large portion of items originate from the United States Mr. Blythe traveled extensively during his military career and brought back many treasures from overseas. Napoleon's swords from France, coins from Ancient Greece and Chinese armor are but a few of the items exhibited.

An impressive firearms collection representing many eras is on display alongside uniforms and other gear. There is a lock from Judge Parker's courthouse, a beard washing bowl, and many many other antiquities. Some have been requested by the Smithsonian.

Mr. Blythe plans on keeping them in Scott County and continuing in his quest to preserve the history of his Indian ancestors, Scott County and the rest of the world for generations of visitors to come.

The museum is housed in the end of a long blue metal building. A pawn shop is in one end and a mechanic shop is in the middle. It looks ordinary from the outside. It's anything but. From the stumps of extinct petrified trees and the county's long abandoned grain gin in the parking lot to the extensive collection inside, this museum is one of a kind.

They don't have regular hours at this time as they are undergoing a renovation. It should be complete in early 2008. Give them a call to set up a tour 479-637-3730. You can find them at GPS: 34º 40' 2.4'' N / 93º 14' 8.4'' W or Business Hwy 71. Watch for a small sign that says Museum almost obscured by trees on the north side of town.

Maybe it will inspire you to start a collection of your own.

Have a great trip!

The Caddo Indians in Arkansas
A Guide to Hunting Arrowheads
Ancient Greek and Roman Coins
Collecting as a hobby

Turkey Track Bluegrass Music Park: Waldron
Weather conditions in Waldron Arkansas

Friday, November 2, 2007

Research Your Family Tree: Springdale, Arkansas

The Jones Center for Families in Springdale Arkansas is home to a full service LDS genealogy center. The Family Research Center is staffed five days a week by knowledgeable volunteers. They don't do research for you but are available to suggest resources, help you get started on the computers and help you locate available resources.

A number of computers are available with access to This will allow you to access census, military, birth, death, and marriage records to name a few. They also have microfiche records which include Accelerated Indexing Systems (a list of persons living in the US from 1607-1906), Periodic Source Index (subject index for genealogical journals) Parish and Vital Records List, Parochial Registers of Scotland and many more.

The Family Research Center is normally open 10am - 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-1 on Wednesday, 10-6 on Friday, 10-2 on Saturday. If you are planning a trip you may want to call 1-479-756-8090 x 154 to confirm that they will be open.

While you're there consider taking advantage of some of the Jones Center's other facilities such as free swimming and ice skating. Whatever you choose to do, the Jones Center for Families is a great addition to your Ozark travel plans.

Have a great trip!