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One HOT Weekend in Eureka
By Mike C. –
The inexperienced tourist has no idea how hot it can get "in the mountains." I found that out the hard way when the temps reached 106° where the VW folks were. Regardless of the temperature, I still had a blast from the going-to and the coming-back.
It began with an 8:00 AM departure from Memphis. I arrived in Little Rock at 10:30 that morning; visited the local self-servie car wash and dilly-dalliled there for a bit; and met with five of the Central Arkansas VolksFolks members at Burns Park at 12:00 noon. We all then caravaned back to I-40 to Conway. Out of Conway we took Highway 65 north. The only "event" that occurred was when a (can I say) jerk in a Suburban was making a real boo-honkus out of himself and we were all about ready to clobber him. But we finally moved on. From that point, the ride was smooth, quick, and eventually, pretty through the Ozarks. By the time we reached Harrison, the roads were getting pretty twisty and steep. But that made it more fun. Some of the hills were 8% grades, but the slowest anyone got was 45 to 50. I brought up the rear, right behind a ’67 sedan. I tell you, I believe he had as much power as me in my New Beetle! Never underestimate the power of an air-cooled VW!
When we got to Eureka Springs at the host hotel for the show, it was almost a show already. The type VW you had and the class determined where you parked. Luckily, I was able to park fairly close to my room. That evening, there was a cookout for everyone registered in the show. Afterwards, everyone just cleaned up their VW’s and hung out for a while. The next morning I slapped on some sunblock and went to work. After I had some final details worked out, it was 9:00 am and the judges were already making their rounds. I will tell you, if you wanted to see some nice VW’s of any type, size, shape, and color, you found them here. There were about 275 registered show cars and probably enough left not registered to make the count over 300+ Volkswagens in the whole town. There weren’t very many vendors. But if there were many, it would have taken another day just to visit them, as it was an all-day deal just to look at and appreciate every VW in sight.
There were 5 Memphis club members present (the Fosters, the Howrens, and myself) and I also ran into a few old friends along the way. Dee Foster came back with a 1st-in-class as usual, and I came back with a 2nd-in-class. Everyone then lined up and went on the parade through Eureka Springs at 3:30 PM. Talk about a long parade! I took about 45 minutes to get through it and downtown Eureka is beautiful, but narrow. You feel like you’re in a European town going through those narrow streets. Many of the Arkansas folks left and went home that night. I stayed over and left Sunday morning at 6:00 AM. It was fun travelling through the mountains as the sun come up.
I really do encourage the club to consider going next year. Make your plans early, as the motels fill up quickly for that event. You may want to plan a few days to see all the sights in and around Eureka Springs, in addition to the show. It is worth it just to go for the show. It does get hot in the Ozark Mountains!