a car is essential, but the roads are not bad
it is hard to explore mountain view without a car. there is no public transportation. on the east side of town, a small airport takes tiny private planes.
from conway or anywhere farther west, and skipping shortcuts (see alternative route below), take I-40 east to highway 65 north ("conway"), then arkansas route 66 east ("leslie"), NOT arkansas route 9 ("shirley," very curvy and sometimes foggy). route 66 is north of (PAST) route 9. this route takes about 2-1/2 hours.
from conway or anywhere farther west, if you want to see some nice countryside, take I-40 east to highway 65 north ("conway"). go past greenbriar, then take arkansas route 25 east/north, then arkansas route 16 east/north, then arkansas route 5 north. there are some gentle curves and a very few 90-degree turns. any fog usually clears up during the day. this brings you to the east side of town. this route takes about 2 hours.
from little rock (30 miles east of conway), take I-40 east to highway 67/167 east/north, get off at exit 16 ("heber springs"). take arkansas route 5 north at the top of the exit ramp. beware of some gentle curves and a very few 90-degree turns on this road. beware of fog that usually clears up during the day. route 5 brings you to the east side of town. this route takes about 2 hours.
from memphis or anywhere farther east, take I-40 west to I-55 north at west memphis, arkansas. get off at highway 64, go west to the T-intersection in bald knob. turn right and follow highway 64 west to batesville. at a fairly large intersection, you will intersect with route 14. turn left (north). after several miles, there is a cutoff to mountain view -- route 14 turns right. take it, but beware that there are several curvy places. this brings you into the east side of town and takes about 4 hours from I-55. WARNING -- get gas either at or before the highway 64 exit, b/c there are very few gas stations between the highway 64 exit and bald knob.
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handicap access is a little tricky at a few places
most of the terrain in town is flat, so altho walking with crutches or a cane may be a little slow, it is not too difficult as long as you stay on the sidewalks and watch out for the cracks in the cement.
the ease of wheelchair access is slightly less predictable, but only on main street (south side of the downtown square) and parts of the other streets that border the square. the sidewalks and the restaurant/shop/B&B doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, but often you have to keep a good eye out for the wheelchair ramps from the street to the sidewalk, because there are not very many. in addition, the sidewalks in those places are about a foot higher than the streets themselves, so be prepared for somewhat of a balancing act if you need to get a wheelchair out of a car.
however, most people in mountain view are very friendly, so it is likely that you will get gracious assistance if you ask for it or spontaneous offers of help if you seem to need it. many people in wheelchairs come to mountain view, so i think the only real caution is that you have to allow a little extra time to do everything.
i know and have met several people in mountain view who get around by wheelchair, crutches, and/or a cane, and i have never heard one complaint, even from people i know fairly well (and from whom i would hear a complaint if they had one!).
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