2017 was out second time going to MINIs In The Ozarks and our second time camping, however this time we choose the Eureka Springs KOA Campgrounds as it was a little more out of town so hopefully a little quieter.
Nothing against the Kettle Campgrounds where we stayed last year, but it was right on the main highway through town and right on the outskirts of the city limits meaning it gets a lot of traffic. The KOA, on the other hand, is about ten miles out of the other side of town and then off on a side road. This means far less traffic.
Somehow when we packed we forgot all the tent poles so our tent was completely useless. A quick trip to Walmart in neighboring Berryville got us a passable replacement which worked out pretty well. No, it will not replace our really nice 8 person Cabella tent, but it did the job and was not too expensive.
As you can see in the image above we settled in pretty well and cooked up some chili for dinner. It was cool enough to have a fire and we do so love our campfires so as you can see we wasted no time getting that lit as well.
One trick we learned is that we now carry Duraflame logs to start our fires. After last year where we seemed to be constantly fighting to get a fire lit because of wet and/or green firewood, I was not going to go through that frustration again. Duraflame logs are the perfect answer to that problem. I like the Duraflame Gold 4.5lb 6 packs and just order one a few weeks before the trip. They burn for 2-4 hours depending on how much other wood I pile on top of them.
Since then, we have also learned that Duraflame logs are available at the local grocery store should you run out, however they are quite a bit more expensive than just ordering them on Amazon.
Turnout seemed pretty good this year, lots of friends showed up from the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio clubs. We even saw some people from MTTS last year. While we did participate in the group photo, we did not join in the MINI parade as we already had plans for the evening.
The weather was good for us but bad for the color change. I don’t think they had enough of a cold snap before we came to get the trees started changing colors so we had a lot of green. Not that I mind because the place is absolutely gorgeous at any time of the year, they just plan MITO at this time so the drives are colorful and this year they really were not.
The image above was taken looking off the balcony of the Skybar Gourmet Pizzeria restaurant on top of the Crescent Hotel. Fantastic pizza, fantastic views, excellent drinks, just be prepared for it to be busy and sometimes noisy.
Every year there is a Halloween parade in Eureka Springs called the Zombie Crawl. They encourage anyone and everyone to participate and to dress up like a zombie. Want to be in the parade? Dress up and step off the curb into the street, that simple.
Not only are some of the costumes absolutely amazing with makeup that would make Hollywood envious, but some of the decorated vehicles are simply jaw-dropping. People come from all over the US to see and participate in this parade so if you want to come, book your hotel room early.
We also learned that if you want to watch the parade and not be overwhelmed by massive crowds, move up the road out of downtown closer to where the parade starts. You not only get much better views, more candy thrown at you, and even places where you can sit down but when the parade is over you can get out and back to your hotel room or campground in a fraction of the traffic.
The party doesn’t stop after the parade is over, heck I am not sure the party every actually stops. After the parade, the after-party started up at Upstairs At Grottos featuring a live DV and some excellent 80s and 90s dance music. While we did not close the place down, it was early in the morning when we left. There is only so much fun you can have in one day!