Monday, July 21, 2008

Mountain Home Arkansas Road Trip Planning

Our next Oklahoma Road Trip will be to the scenic Arkansas Ozarks town of Mountain Home. They call this part of Arkansas the Twin Lakes region. We have a cabin booked near the confluence of the Buffalo River & The White River. Due to a strange weather phenomenon, rain seems to follow us to every river we visit this year. I see it is already entering the Arkansas forecast for this weekend.

Dianne and I love taking float trips on the Buffalo River, but this will be our first trip on the White River. My son is a bit concerned about the surviving for two days without a TV, but it looks like the area is loaded with fun to me. With attractions like the ones listed below, why stay in the cabin?

The North Fork of the White River

The North Fork of the White River begins in the Mark Twain National Forest and flows to the south for around 78 miles before it empties into Norfork Lake. It is loaded with exciting class II rapids. An abundance of springs keeps the water level almost constant year-round and the water quality excellent. Relatively swift current moves paddlers downstream at about 4 MPH over moderate drops. The White River State Park marina/store offers: kayak and canoe rentals, supplies, equipment, boat / motor rentals and gifts for sale.

Bull Shoals Lake

45,400 acre lakes with clear water, rocky shorelines and cliffs, gravel points, numerous tributary creeks and numerous coves.

White River Canoe Race July 23-26, 2008

The 42nd Annual National Invitational White River Canoe Race is an adventure of over a hundred miles from the heart of the Ozark Mountains near Bull Shoals Lake to the foothills of Batesville, Arkansas. Visit the White River Canoe Race website for full details!

Family Fun at The Zone

The Zone in Mountain Home, AR offers: 18 hole Mini Golf course, Go Kart race track with both single and double Karts, batting cages, video arcade...the Works!

The Zone
4818 Hwy 62 West
Mountain Home, AR
870-425-GOLF (4653)

The Dripstone Trail at Blanchard Springs Caverns

Blanchard Springs Caverns, part of the Ozark National Forest, is located 55 miles South of Mountain Home, AR off Arkansas 14.

As you can see, we are unlikely to require much time for watching TV! The few hours I spend awake indoors will most likely be devoted to deciding which BBQ restaurant in Mountain Home to choose: Beuford's, The Black Wolf, The Blue Pig, Couch's, KT's, Fireside or Brent's Barbeque.

Got any local dining tips for me and Dianne?

Barbecue 101 Field Research

Dianne and I have been trying to do more 'field research' on smoked meats and styles of barbecue lately because we bought ourselves and electric smoker! We chose the Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse because it was on sale and looked easy to use.

It is a pretty cool device that uses electricity for heat, like the oven in our house, but it uses wood chips for the smoke. In our past attempts at BBQ, we had problems maintaining consistent heat around 200 degrees and getting the right level of smoke AT THE SAME TIME. An Electric Smoker offers a thermostat to keep the heat right and an easy way to monitor/control the smoke levels.

I like using the wood chips because it is easy to find a wide variety of inexpensive choices of woods to smoke with. I love keeping the heat and smoke outdoors, especially during the hot summertime. Cooking at such low heat levels takes a really long time, so we also grabbed a Wireless BBQ Thermometer. It literally yells at your when the meat starts to get ready!

Naturally the successful deployment of the new BBQ technology forced us to go out looking for great new dry rub and sauce formulations. If you know which spot in Mt. Home Arkansas creates the best Q, then please leave a comment on our blog... soon!

Happy paddling!


gardenvariety said...

The closest body of water to Mountain Home is Norfork Lake. How could you have missed that?

Thomas said...

Boy is my face RED! I certainly never intended to overlook the lovely Norfolk Lake area, I just haven't seen it yet. Frankly, I am continually surprised to learn about the fantastic outdoor resources in the Ozarks.

Narconon said...

Nice post