There are two ways to get rock samples here; dig or buy. The main kind of rock in the crystal quartz. It was formed obviously millions of years ago by water dripping through the rocks. Then the formation created hexagon shapes and they are in the dirt to dig up. Places along the road sell rocks and glass slag for you to take home. Lucky. Mt. Ida is the main point of rock selling and digging. Only about a dozen mines exist now, and they rocks are getting "panned" out. Along Highway 270 are many to stop and shop, or arrange a dig
This is an area that covers nearly the whole State and goes on to Oklahoma. It is "rustic" and camping and fishing are the real thrills. A very beautiful wonder for the US without trees cut down, and greenery everywhere. The park has 1.8 million acres, and much is not accessible.
We drove a short distance from the hotel over to the Garvin Woodland Garden. We had another coupon, and we got in for the senior rate $5 minus $1 each took the golf cart tour which was $6 each. This was very enjoyable. There were snowdrops and crocuses out, and some daffodils, some camellias, and an occasional azalea. There were a lot of water features, waterfalls and bridges.
Afterwards they asked me to fill out a questionnaire about how we had liked it, and one of the questions was what other Botanical Gardens we had visited. I started to try to list them and remembered 12 of them, but I forgot the Santo Domingo Botanical Garden, the Birmingham Botanical Garden and the Brookgreen Gardens in SC. That would have made 15.
This year (in addition to Santo Domingo and Birmingham) we've been to
*Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
*Harry Leu Garden
*Edison Estate in Ft. Myers
*Key West Botanical Garden
*Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange
*Elizabethan Garden on Roanoke Island
*Bouchart Gardens in Canada
*Golden Gate Park
A lot of people seem to stay on Lake Ouachita. We actually drove south to Degray Lake and stayed at a park lodge. This is a gem, and a bargain! For $85/night ($5-10 more or less depending on the time of year) you get to stay right on the lake, in a very nice and clean lodge. Or you can bring your RV, tents, or rent a Yurt and camp out. They also have some cabins.
There is swimming (pool and lake), hiking trails, bikes, horseback riding, fishing, watercraft rentals, golf, etc. (some for an extra fee of course). They also have programs and activities going on all the time.
For food, there is a reasonably priced lakeside dining room right in the lodge where you can eat all your meals, charged to your room bill, or you can get fast food with a 5-10 min drive south. This place will be a new favorite for our family!
If you enjoy rocks and minerals, you must go to Mt Ida to the quartz mines. These are spots in the mountains where owners have 'peeled back' the topsoil to expose some of the most beautiful quartz to be found in the U.S. The cost is around $20.00 per person to hunt all day. You keep all that you find.
Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum -- which houses (or did last I was there) two exhibits. One exhibit is famous people from American history, the other is famous monstrous figures like Dracula or Wolfman. Very fun for children of all ages.
250 Central Ave
Hot Springs, AR