DAY 34

April 17, 1999

I got up at 6:30, gathered all my stuff and checked out. J.R. had told me not to pay to stay in a motel while I was in Eureka Springs. At the continental breakfast table I ate 2 small containers of yogurt, 3 muffins, and 2 glasses of orange juice. I still wasn’t fully satisfied so I filled my pockets with 2 bananas and 4 muffins. Anytime I get a continental breakfast I take a few extra things with me, since I eat, eat, eat, and eat, some more!

Arriving at the Daily Planet Internet Café at 7:30am, I found J.R. busying himself with a few things since he just opened. It wasn’t too busy so we had more time to talk. J.R. has had an amazing life so far. He started out in photography and was the youngest person to ever receive the AP award in photography. For many years he co-owned a very successful business with 3 photography studios and 1 lab. Somewhere along the way he began buying and selling art and began doing "light" photography using neon light tubes. J.R. has traveled extensively and has spent much time in Prague, where he met his wife Jana. Together they have a 6-year-old son Tillian. Now, with a family and new business (just opened 2 days before my arrival), he won’t have as much time for travelling.

J.R. was nice enough to give me free Internet access during my stay so I could update my journal entries and check e-mail. I was able to spend the morning typing the notes from my journal. Afterwards, I went next door to Sparky’s for a grilled chicken sandwich. Upon my return I ran into Christine, and this time she was with her husband Theeron. Theeron seemed to be just as excited for me as all the others have been. He talked about the best place he’d ever been, out of all his travels, a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. His descriptions of the sun hitting the canyon walls during different parts of the day sounded incredible! It was nice talking to both of them, and again I felt as if I’d made some new friends.

Christopher and Mariellen came into the café and Christopher asked if I wanted to see the resort. I rode out there with him and listened to the history of the place. It’s called Lake Lucerne Resort and was owned previously by a physician who used it as a "Sanitarium." A sanitarium in the sense that people could come out here to relax and relieve the stress of everyday life. Mariellen originally purchased the place with her former husband, Leo, whom has since passed away. Leo was an artist and used the resort as his canvas. Meticulous detail was given to the lake, landscape, and all the cottages and chalets. It was indeed a very relaxing and peaceful place filled with natural beauty. After showing me around, Christopher offered me one of the cottages to stay in for the night. Wow! That was cool! I couldn’t believe I was going to be able to stay in such a place.

When we returned, I was able to talk to Mariellen some about her photography. She also looked at my photos and gave me some advice on light, framing, and distance from the subject. Come to find out, she was a famous news reporter that had worked with CBS. One of the big stories she covered was about a young man who stole a loaf of bread to help feed his family. The man got 17 years in prison for his crime and the story made national headlines. After his release from prison, Leo and Mariellen got married.

Deciding I needed to get out and enjoy this nice afternoon, I took the computer off my bike (so I wouldn’t add additional miles to the odometer) and rode around downtown. It was a very hilly ride through the streets. I also rode the historic loop to see all the old Victorian homes. What a neat town!

When I returned to the café I met Tracy and her 3-year-old daughter. Tracy owns "The Shooting Star Trading Post." She provides coffee and supplies to several places including "The Daily Planet." She told me about her experience in Alaska and we discussed my ride. During our conversation, Scott from Health Works returned my call. Scott and his wife own Health Works, providing massage therapy and some alternative healing methods. I was very much interested in meeting someone already practicing in that realm. Scott agreed to meet in the café tomorrow afternoon and talk with me.

Many people were in and out all day. It was a very busy day for the café. A group of Harley riders came in and one of them ordered a latte with 6 shots of espresso! My God! He’s going to have a heart attack! Pam came in to use the Internet access so she could check her e-mail. She was passing through and stopped in Eureka Springs for a few days. Pam decided to take a year off and travel the world. She had already been to Australia and was traveling the US until she goes to Europe. In Europe she will meet up with her daughter who is already there doing some modeling.

When things slowed down and Jana and J.R. were able to relax, I worked on Jana’s neck and upper back. After closing up shop, J.R. took me out to Lake Lucerne to meet up with Christopher. Christopher took me to cottage 16, which was a very nice, 2-story cottage. It was filled with pre-civil war antiques. It had a very comfortable feeling to it with a bit of class. Upstairs there was a 2 person Jacuzzi with very powerful jets. Wow, this is luxury!

Today -  0 miles
Total -  1785 miles

Update 05/28/02:
Tracy has closed her business, moved out of the area and got married.
JR has closed down his cafe' and is back to doing his art deals in Prague

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