LOTR Post 17-013
As I have traveled to the Losh-Worley Family Reunion in Willow Springs, Missouri http://www.willowspringsmo.com/ from Kansas City, Missouri since July, 2010, and it involving so much time on the road, I had been getting frequent pics of Frisco Railroad cabooses in towns like Osceola, http://www.cityofosceolamo.com/ and even in Willow Springs, but initially to me, they were well preserved railroad rolling stock that I could get up close and personal with, and that was cool. I had even picked up an HO Scale Frisco Box Car on one of my trips from the Moccasin Trails Antique Mall https://www.facebook.com/OsceolaAntiques/ in Osceola.
But until the trip my wife and I took our recent trip to several cities in Arkansas http://www.arkansas.gov/ for our 27th Anniversary, that had us first landing in Eureka Springs, Arkansas http://www.eurekasprings.org/ on Sunday 4/23/17, later taking us to Rogers http://visitrogersarkansas.com/ Springdale http://www.springdalear.gov/ Bentonville @ http://www.bentonvillear.com/and various other nearby cities, I never stopped to consider the true impact of this “Fallen Flag Railroad” known as the St Louis-San Francisco or simply just “Frisco“, whose motto was “Ship It On The Frisco“, and whose logo was patterned after dried raccoon hides, that at one time were being sold at some old time depots in the road’s early days.
According to Wikepedia Incorporated in Missouri 9/7/1876, and formed from the Missouri Division of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, The Frisco operated in the Midwestern and South Central U.S. from 1876 to April 17,1980 (how appropriate that our trip was also in April.) At the end of 1970 it had 4.547 miles of road on 6,574 miles of track not including its subsidiaries Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway, and the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern. It was absorbed by one of my family connection railroads, the Burlington Northern on my wife’s birthday 11/21/1980. The Frisco one of only two railroads (the other being The Katy) that were authorized to build on Indian land.
The city of Frisco, Texas http://www.friscotexas.gov/ is named after the railroad and as the aforementioned Frisco logo is patterned after dried raccoon skins, the Frisco High School mascot is the Fighting Raccoon.
The Frisco had 16 steam locomotives #19, #1351, #1352, #1355, #1501, #1527, #1529, #1621, #1625, #1630, #4003, #4018, #4500 and #4524. In its time of operation, it also operated several stream-liner diesels. Today, the road is operated by the Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF).
On Sunday, 4/23/17 after arriving in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, we checked into the Green Tree Lodge http://www.eurekaspringslodge.com/ where the owner graciously upgraded us to the Honeymoon Cabin at no extra charge once she found out it was our anniversary, and I have to tell you the cabin was extremely luxurious, and even included a jacuzzi tub, a back deck, and we felt really spoiled. She also found out that I am a huge rail-fan, and directed us to the location of the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad that we could walk around and take all the pics we wanted to.
Later that evening, we visited the Lake Leatherwood City Park in Eureka and I recorded one of my Moments Of Tranquility Videos, at a nice waterfall area. I encourage you to check out this growing series on You Tube, as I encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed by life to “Take 5 and have a virtual sit” by streams, creeks, ponds, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, from our various travels as well as our local Kansas City area and to focus on a scripture verse about water.
We stayed there Sunday and Monday nights. Later, we realized my wife had left her glasses behind and we called the owner, she had found them, and fortunately, though we were in Bentonville at that point, we were returning to Eureka Springs the following weekend for their City-Wide Garage Sale, as well as to ride the aforementioned Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad https://www.esnarailway.com/ as it was only running Saturdays in April, so we were able to pick them up then. I am giving the Green Tree Lodge 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
Our next hotel stay was the Super 8 in the aforementioned Bentonville, Arkansas. You can find it on pretty much all the booking websites. It was clean for the most part, except for one area of the bathroom on some vertical support type structures attached to the tub, and we had some issues with getting the TV to operate properly. I am giving it 3 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
On Tuesday 4/25/17 we were in Rogers, Arkansas. First order of business was lunch after visiting with Ashley Matsumara at the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber Of Commerce http://www.rogerslowell.com/ where she presented me with a very cool Rogers Arkansas Chamber pin in the shape of a steam locomotive, and we both agreed that every railroad town ought to have something like it to present to visitors. I am giving the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber Of Commerce 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
Lunch was at Pop’s Hog Wild Barbecue https://www.facebook.com/popshogwild/ just across the street from the Chamber as the wonderful smoky smell that every barbecue lover knows, was wafting across the street and was not to be denied. Gary took really good care of us there. I had a pulled pork sandwich meal and Denise had the pulled pork nachos. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside and enjoy some Arkansas barbecue! I even took pics of Gary’s tattoos (though I am normally not a tattoo fan) because they were Batman and The Joker and I included them in a new Facebook Album I started (one of many I started on this trip) called The Batcave. I give Pop’s Hog-Wild Barbecue 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
And as we began to walk around the town of Rogers, with me in my Kansas City Southern Locomotive t-shirt, people immediately gravitated to us and realized I am into trains and began to share their stories of family members that worked on railroads and how much of a Frisco town Rogers is. I have not had that kind of welcome by so many people in any town we have visited in all our travels over the years. We certainly appreciate their very generous hospitality! The people of Rogers, Arkansas are definitely in a class by themselves and I give them 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
Folks that we met included Myra, the owner of The Trolley Line Bookshop https://www.facebook.com/Trolley-Line-Bookshop-221526167897843/ . She grew up with her father and several other relatives working on the Union Pacific Railroad and when she found out it was our anniversary week, she presented us with a gift in a mystery book that was written by a local author and takes place on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, that is also carried in the railroad’s gift shop. While we were there, Character Actress Sondra Torchia https://www.facebook.com/sondra.torchia stopped by. She calls herself “a Katy Brat” as her father worked on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.
So, of course, for her wonderful Rogers, Arkansas hospitality, and the cool name of her store, I give The Trolley Line Bookshop 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
We also visited The Rusty Chair Antiques https://www.facebook.com/rustychair/ where owner Julie Loose made us a sweet deal on an AT & SF Caboose print, and she had a couple other AT & SF items in the store including a caboose heater and a bucket.
Here is another railroad themed business in Downtown Rogers, The Rail: A Pizza Company https://www.facebook.com/The-Rail-A-Pizza-Company-127680870619752/
And the Iron Horse Coffee Company https://www.facebook.com/Iron-Horse-Coffee-Company-114000608623293/
Tuesday evening, we checked in to the Super 8 Hotel in Bentonville, where we would stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and we headed to the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad facility in Springdale where I took several pics and a short SD70ACE power move video, and ordered our tickets for the excursion trip we were to take on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday started out rainy, foggy and a bit chilly. I was told they had several inches of rain overnight, and when we attempted to visit the War Eagle Cavern, check them out http://www.wareaglecavern.com/ as we love doing cave tours and had done the Cosmic Cavern http://cosmiccavern.com/ in Berryville, Arkansas http://www.berryville.com/ earlier in the week, but due to all the rain, water levels in the cave prevented them from giving tours but they did let us take the trail that leads to a cave exit so we could see the water pouring out and all the streams that run along the outside. I recorded another Moments Of Tranquility video there as well.
From there, we headed to the War Eagle Mill, https://wareaglemill.com/ hoping to take the tour there, but they were just closing up, again, due to rising flood waters. Upon our return to Kansas City, my wife found pics online that showed the War Eagle Mill, and other areas we were in on the trip, including the Beaver Bridge http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge.html in Beaver, Arkansas http://www.beavertownarkansas.com/ that we had crossed twice trying to get home on Saturday 4/29/17 during heavy rains and rising waters under water. Didn’t realize until I started working on this posting how much of a landmark the Beaver Bridge is.
The War Eagle Mill just after we returned to Kansas City.
And, of course, Wednesday evening, we took our train ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad. These folks were also extremely gracious in the fact that there had been a change in their schedule so that instead of just a regular excursion that evening, there was a group of 60 children from a local school that were now riding as well. And as with the Green Tree Lodge upgrading us to their Honeymoon Suite, the Arkansas & Missouri gave us a train car “The Explorer” pretty much to ourselves, except for the Conductor, Christopher and one of the other train crew being with us for a good portion of the time, and in addition to more pics and video, I recorded a two-part Episode 14 of the Legacies On The Rails Podcast with Christopher.
Thursday, 4/27/17 we were back in Rogers, Arkansas, and checked out The Cottage At The Barn Antiques https://www.godowntownrogers.com/cottage-at-the-barn anbd had a picnic lunch at The Railyard Bike Park http://rogersar.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/The-Railyard-57 and I got to go catch a very short Arkansas & Missouri Railroad freight train. Then we walked the trail that ran from The Railyard to Lake Atalanta https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arkansas/lake-atalanta-trail that has a stream that runs along the trail and empties into the lake, so I took the opportunity to record my third Moments Of Tranquility video that was then posted to You Tube along with the Legacies On The Rails Fan Video of the train.
Later in the day we visited the Crystal Bridges Museum Of Art http://crystalbridges.org/ in Bentonville. We later checked into our final motel of the trip, the Country Mountain Inn http://countrymountaininn.com/ back in Eureka Springs. The owners are a wonderful Christian couple that we had a great time of fellowship with as we checked in.
On our anniversary Friday 4/28/17, we rode the Eureka Springs Trolley http://www.eurekasprings.com/transportation/transport.html originally meaning to use it to get to the various locations that the City Wide Garage Sales were going on, but quickly figured out that wasn’t happening because if we got off at stops that were not assigned Trolley stops, it would be even longer and harder to get back on each time. So instead, we chose to get off in Downtown Eureka Springs and walk around the various shops there. We later returned to the Country Mountain Inn and retrieved our car and took it to catching the last two hours of the garage sales. Dinner that evening was at the Forest Hill Restaurant http://foresthillrestaurant.com/. When we first arrived and for most of our meal, we were the only ones there except for the staff. The facility was clean, the staff was friendly, the food was good. There is a gift shop that you pass through as you enter that looks like a part of a Christian bookstore. I give the Forest Hill Restaurant 5 out of 5 LOTR Railroad Cross-Bucks.
Later that night, we enjoyed having a bonfire with the owners of the Country Mountain Inn.
On Saturday morning 4/28/17 we headed back to Downtown and rode the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad. And, who knew that on the trip with us would be another couple from our native Northland area back in Missouri with their anniversary being the same day as ours but Jimmy Jay and his wife Sabrina Jay from Excelsior Springs, Missouri who had been married since 4/28/01, and are also our Brother/Sister in Christ were on the train with us. Jimmy and I are now Facebook Friends and hope to eventually get together for further rail-fanning! It is truly a small world! We were riding the ES&NA Passenger Car #2585 and were pulled by the former Missouri Pacific Alco #2742 that has 600 tracktive effort horsepower.
But there was a challenge that lay ahead for Denise and I that I eluded briefly to earlier. It had rained all night in the area we were in and rain had steadily picked up as we were riding the train and as we headed back to Missouri. The route our GPS (nicknamed “Dorothy”) was taking us kept leading to nearly flooded or already flooded roads during torrential down-pouring rain. We were really scared of getting trapped and were both getting frustrated but God was faithful and we eventually found our way out but it had taken us 4 hours to reach 71 Highway when it should have taken just 1. Here are is a pic Denise later posted of the Beaver Bridge that we had to cross twice that was later quickly under water.
I’m John Losh “The Losh-Man“, and I pray that with all the references I make to it here in the blog and on my videos that if you had not already done so before reading any of my posts that you have now entered into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and are experiencing the joy of following Him each and every day. If you haven’t, you can still do so! And, when it comes to trains and all things railroading, Continue leaving Legacies…On The Rails! I’ll see you next time!