After having some interesting coffee conversation with Mark Hooper we jumped back in the car. We had enjoyed meeting his lovely family the night before. The world is full of so many nice people. They actually live in the city where we are headed for tonight. Hot Springs Arkansas is not really on the direct path from Minnesota to California but the thought of “hot” anything now seems appealing.
As we leave Kansas City, I see this bridge that I recall seeing before, probably in a movie.The Christopher S. Bond Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri is a cable-stayed bridge across the Missouri River. Very cool.
Heading south through western Missouri is a nice relaxing drive through the country. There seems to be less corn and more black cows than we saw yesterday. You can still see forever as you look across the countryside. I wave as we pass another car with a Minnesota license plate. They wave back.
Once across the Arkansas border you can immediately tell that the landscape has changed. This must be the Ozarks. Blue ridges now frame the horizon. Slowing way down, we leave the Interstate. We have been seeing rock exposed along roadway but now the highway is cut through large walls of rock. Beautiful hillsides filled with a mix of pine and hardwoods. Scenic highway 7 winds back and forth as we make our way up and down the hills. A new beautiful scene appears around each turn. I am so glad that we decided to go to Hot Springs.
Tired and hungry we go in search of a German restaurant that we had heard about. Hard to find but appropriately named for the location. Steinhaus Keller is really in a “keller” or cellar. It is located below the grotto of Spenser’s corner in old downtown area of Hot Springs. Surrounded by rock archways where tobacco dried over a hundred years earlier. With German music playing we of course ordered some "brau" as we checked over the menu. It was hard to pass on the cabbage rolls but selected the Schnitzel (breaded pork cutlet for you not so germans). Brad ordered the sausage and kraut which came with pork tenderloin and German potato salad. The food was so good.
Hand mashed potatoes and gravy to die for. Hot potato salad like mom's. Diet and exercise will have to wait for a different day.