Monday, August 13, 2012

Ozark Backroads: To Fayetteville on Highways 21 and 74

Heading north on Highway 21.

The Ozarks are short on diagonal roads.  Most highways through the hills run north to south; a smaller number run east to west; but none run northeast to southwest, meaning that those of us going from Central Arkansas to Fayetteville face a wide choice of routes.  The right angle made by the interstate is, of course, the fastest and I am glad to have it, but, when you make a drive once a month, you want a little variety, especially on a pretty summer day when you don’t have to be in a big hurry

Coming back from my folks’ to Fayetteville on Friday, I opted for a new variant of the scenic route, leaving I-40 at Clarksville to take Highway 21 through the Ozark National Forest to Kingston, where I picked up Highway 74 to Fayetteville.  It’s one of those routes with signs that say “Crooked and steep next 20 miles,” so it’s not for those in a hurry or watching their gas gauge too closely, but it is well worth it.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Highway 21 north of Clarksville.
Patsy's Diner.  Don't miss it.
I have to put in a plug here.  I stopped at Patsy’s Diner in Ozone.  (They’re on Facebook.)  The adjoining antiques shop was closed for the day, but I got the best piece of peanut butter pie I’d had in at least 15 years and had a nice talk with the folks there.  Don’t miss it.  I should also note that the only vaguely religious angle to this story, other than church pictures, is that the next community north of Ozone is Salus, which perhaps provides a crumb to traditionalists looking at all of these Ozark meetinghouses. 

Upper Wharton Church.
 Picnic area on Highway 74.

There are a few more photos on Flickr.