Saturday, March 22, 2014


This photo shows part of the campus of First Baptist Church, of Mountain Home, Arkansas ( ), as viewed from Spring Street.  The campus is located at the corner of Club Boulevard (also called Highway 178), and Spring Street.  The large building on the right of the photo is the main Sanctuary, where Sunday worship services are held.  The large building on the left is called the Christian Life Center (CLC), and is the site of numerous activities that take place at FBC each and every day.  It is the second story of the CLC, in room 1203, where a program called First Place 4 Health will be meeting, starting in September.
First Place 4 Health ( )  is a nation-wide, Christ-centered healthy living program, with an emphasis on weight management.  The First Place 4 Health Bible study book for this session is called "Make Every Day Your Best Day".  It can be purchased from the First Place 4 Health website, or at on-line book sellers.  The price is about twenty dollars, depending on where it is purchased.  The class is led by Registered Dietitian Tricia Turner, and there is no charge to participate in the class, other than the cost of the book you purchase.  Classes and weigh-ins are held weekly on Wednesday evenings through mid-December.  (Note: The weigh-ins are private with other participants not seeing how much their class members weigh).  The weigh-ins are held between 5:45 pm and 6:00 pm.  The class starts at 6:00 pm, and is over by 7:00 pm.  For more information, you can phone the church office (870-425-6961) or email me at .  This is a great way to invest your time in a healthier lifestyle that will give you "MILES OF SMILES"  Tricia

Indiana Windmill

You may have heard the term "Destination Business", but did not know exactly what the term meant.  In my "neck of the woods", the original Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri, is an example of a destination business ( ).  It means people have turned visiting/shopping at that business, as the sole reason for their destination to that location.  I had the opportunity to visit another destination business a while back, while touring Amish Country in Southern Indiana ( ).  Our tour included a morning at Linton's Enchanted Gardens ( ).  That is where I took this photo of a windmill, that was located among their nine acres of  creatively landscaped gardens.  This megastore has the well-deserved nickname of being the "Disney of Garden Centers"!!  It also has rental space for what is listed as one of the largest indoor event venues in all of Indiana!  Genesis 2:8 says, "The LORD God planted a garden.....", which makes me ponder the concept, that if God Himself thought planting a garden was important, maybe I should as well!  So, if you are ever in the area of Elkhart, Indiana, make plans to visit Linton's !!  Their phone is 1-888-779-9333.  I know our "garden expeditions" will give us "MILES OF SMILES"!  Tricia

Sing to the Lord

Apostle Islands

Physical Training

Note the words from the New Testament  written on the van of one of the teams participating in the Hood to Coast Relay Race, held annually in Oregon.  The photo came to my mind, because I was looking for an image that illustrated one of my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verses.  1 Timothy 4:7-8 says "Train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."  It seems to me that this team knew the value of God's word, and they also knew the value of physical training---a balance we should all strive for!

One year I had the fun job of following a Hood to Coast relay team that my son was a part of, but doing so in an automobile. (You can see the article and team photo in my blog archives, under date of September 9, 2008). The Hood to Coast race consists of relay teams who cover all the distance from Mt. Hood, to the Pacific Ocean, by dividing the mileage up between team members.  It is a very popular event, and not all teams that try to enter are allowed to do so.  To keep the race size manageable, a lottery has been established to determine which teams will get to participate.  If you are interested in being either a spectator or a participant, just log on to to start planning your expedition.  It is an event that will truly give you HUNDREDS of "Miles of Smiles"!  Tricia


This photo shows boats at anchor on Lake Superior, at one of the many scenic areas of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  To learn more, click on to start planning your next adventure!

Hands of Time

Thorncrown Expedition

I am using these images of the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, as the visual aid for this First Place 4 Health ( memory verse that says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding." Psalm 111:10
Thorncrown Chapel was designed by E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1980.  The design recalls the Prairie style of architecture, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Jones apprenticed.  It was commissioned by retired school teacher Jim Reed, as he obeyed what he thought God was calling him to do.  It has won numerous awards, and is #4 on the AIA's top designs of the 20th century!  You can get more information on the website .  A visit to this beautiful place will give you "Miles of Smiles"!  Tricia

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

am very thankful that I had the opportunity to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio.  I wrote about my visit in blog posts dated September 4, 2008, and September 12, 2008, which you can access through the blog archives listed on the right side of my home page.  I am adding this photo to let my readers know they have updated their website.  You can check it out by clicking on .  A visit to this amazing location will give you "Miles of Smiles"!  Tricia

Ozark Fishing!



I have been to the little Searcy County, Arkansas,  community of Gilbert (population less than 3 dozen folks) on several occasions, and I was always curious about this boarded up building that sits on a corner lot in the center of town.  I could see no indications of what kind of past history this building had.  That is in sharp contrast to the Gilbert General Store, which was built around 1901, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Gilbert General Store is still in operation, selling supplies, hunting/fishing licenses, and snacks.  Gilbert started out as a railroad construction camp for the MNARR (Missouri North Arkansas Railroad, and was named after Charles W. GIlbert, who was the secretary-treasurer (and later president) of the MNARR.  Gilbert was a hub for commerce, with the transportation of cotton, logs, ore, and grain passing through the town on cargo trains regularly.  In fact, Gilbert was the home of a railroad repair shop until 1946.  Even though the tracks have been removed, the former rail bed is now a hiking trail along the river.  If you follow it long enough, you will come to the concrete supports of the railroad bridge that used to cross the Buffalo River.  But that history still does not shed light on the building in the photo.  Rather, the stone building relates to a time after World War I, when a man named C.E. Jordan bought land in the Gilbert area and divided it into lots.  He wanted the lots to be ready for the "colonists" from the Incoming Kingdom Missionary Unit, who preached that the world would end in a war between Catholics and Protestants.  People who believed this were what we would call "survivalists", and chose Gilbert to be their refuge from such a war, because of its remoteness.  It was, in effect, a Utopian Village experiment, and might be called the "first economic self-sufficient colony" in the United States.  It was these colonists who erected this brown stone building, and used it as both a meeting house, and a print shop for their weekly newspaper, called "The Kingdom Harbinger".  I am using this photo as a visual aid to help me learn one of my First Place 4 Health memory verses that says, "Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past."  Isaiah 43:18.  Considering I have lived in this area all of my life, and had never heard the story of  "The Harbinger", I would say that verse has been heeded!  Finding out "the rest of the story" about this building's history has given me "MILES OF SMILES"!  Tricia

Gilbert Expedition

Members of the Women Hiking the Ozarks (W.H.O.) are shown in this photo, as they hike on the trail formed along the former railroad bed of the Missouri North Arkansas Rail Road in Searcy County,  Arkansas.  The trail can be accessed in Gilbert, Arkansas.  You have your choice of going either up stream along the Buffalo National River, or downstream.  It is a hike that will give you "Miles of Smiles"!  Tricia

Thursday, March 20, 2014


If you are hiking through the hills and valleys of the Ozarks in the spring, you need to keep in mind that when the trail crosses a creek bed, that trail may be dry at one point, and a deep stream just a few hours later.   This photo shows two of my hiking companions as we neared the completion of our hike along the Buffalo River Trail between the Highway 65 Bridge and the town of Gilbert.   What had been a dry crossing for the "pre-hike" was now anything but dry!  I am using this photo as the visual aid for one of my First Place 4 Health  ( ) memory verses that reminds us to concentrate on the "here and now", rather than worrying about the past or the future.  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  (Matthew 6:34) .  Fortunately for our group of 4 ladies, we were able to follow along the creek to a place that was suitable for a shallower wade!  If you are interested in participating in some of these outdoor adventures in the Ozarks, sponsored by a group called "Harrison Outdoors", you can email the founder of the group at  for more information.   The Ozarks is a great place to live and to visit, so get out there and enjoy it!  I find it gives me "MILES OF SMILES"!!  Tricia

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I took this photo of my three companions, after we had completed our hike along the Buffalo National River between the town of Gilbert, Arkansas, and the bridge where Highway 65 crosses the river, a few miles upstream.  I had made the trip by canoe in the past, but never on foot, so I was eager to take part in the hike, when it was announced for the "Harrison Outdoors" group.  Because the trek included four miles of walking up and down the Ozark mountains, it was good for "physical training", so I am using this image as a reminder of one of my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verses that says, "Train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." I Timothy 4:7-8 .  If you would like more information about group outdoor opportunities in the area, email the founder of the "Harrison Outdoors" group at .  The Ozark Mountains are a wonderful place to not only get physical training, but also enjoy God's great outdoors and see the magnificence of his creation!  It never ceases to give me "MILES OF SMILES"!!  Tricia

Friday, March 14, 2014


Even though I have made dozens of trips to Eureka Springs over the years, it wasn't until last week, that I took the short "detour" off Highway 62 to check out what Lake Leatherwood looked like.  Lake Leatherwood City Park is located 4 miles west of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and is made up of 1610 acres of Ozark mountain countryside.  Activities available include hiking, biking, boating, fishing, camping, cottage rental, and picnicking.

Although  Highway 62 was clear of snow, parts of the drive along County Road 61 (which ends at Lake Leatherwood) were still snow and ice covered.

I was very thankful I had four-wheel drive on my vehicle, and had to use it navigating this snow and ice-covered incline section C.R. 61!

As is typical for limestone bluffs in the Ozarks during this kind of weather, there was a beautiful display of icicles alongside the road, formed when water "oozing" out of the porous rocks, gets frozen when it hits the frigid surface air.

The first area I explored was the Leatherwood Fields.  This area has full-size baseball and soccer fields, and also serves at the site of annual festivals, sponsored by the city of Eureka Springs. 

The field is equipped with lights for night games, as well as restrooms, and a large gravel parking lot.

The Community First Bank helped pay for this information kiosk that tells about park trails, the city of Eureka Springs, as well as information on the local flora and fauna.

Adjacent to the ball fields parking lot, is a handicap accessible trail, that completely encircles the ball fields.  It is called the Sports Field Trail, and makes a one half mile loop, along completely flat terrain.

One gets into the other parts of the Lake Leatherwood City Park, either by hiking/biking trails or by car.  That is where you will find the 85-acre spring-fed lake.  The water is held back by an 18 foot tall limestone-faced dam.  This is also the location of the marina, with covered boat stalls for customers and small fishing boats.

Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and paddleboats are also available for rental at the marina.  In addition,  Northwest Arkansas area kayak dealers sometimes conduct clinics at Lake Leatherwood, where one can try out various kayaks that the particular retail store has available. 

This is a view of one of the housekeeping cottages that is available for rentals at Lake Leatherwood, and its location overlooking the lake, makes one imagine enjoying an extended stay there during the lazy days of summer!

Several other rental cottages are spaced out above the marina area, and also have great views of the water or the mountains.  You can phone 479-253-7921 for rental information on the cottages, boats, and other facilities within Lake Leatherwood City Park.  More information is also available at .

There is an outdoor fireplace, with covered pavilion, that can be reserved for group activities.

This fishing boat is being used as a planter, and I can imagine in the spring, it will be full of color, from flowers planted inside.

Just above the lake there is a shower house.  Lake Leatherwood was built by the CCC during the WPA era, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  One can still see remnants of the CCC masonry work along the trails, including an old stone bridge.

This building serves as the office for Lake Leatherwood City Park.  The office, as well as the port-a-potty next to it, are handicap accessible.

This paved launch ramp would make it easier to launch watercraft that you have brought yourself, if you are not renting from the marina.

Park literature states there are 25 miles of hiking, walking, and biking trails within the 1610 acres that make up Lake Leatherwood City Park.  The C.A. Fuller trail is 2 miles long (with numerous spurs) and follows the contour just above the lake.  When six members of the Harrison Outdoors group hiked at Lake Leatherwood last week, they explored the Fuller Trail, the Mulladay Trail, and the Overlook Trail. These were mostly flat, except for the Overlook Trail, which is a steep climb, to access an area that overlooks the limestone dam.  There are several creek crossings along the trails, so wear appropriate shoes, if you are exploring this area! 

The Ozark hills here contain many seeps, which keep the trails wet and slick.  Such conditions are perfect for critters called salamanders, which may be why there was a large poster on display, showing the various types of Arkansas salamanders one might encounter on their treks through the park.   However, PLEASE NOTE!!  If you see an alligator head just above the surface of the water near the swim beach, it is MOST LIKELY a decoy that has been placed there to scare away the resident flock of Canada geese.  That is because the "fowl droppings" of the geese caused a bacteria count so high last summer, that the beach had to be closed to swimmers.  It is hoped that the alligator decoy will deter the geese from "swimming" at the area labeled "swim beach"!  That area is reserved for humans only!

I am using this map of the Lake Leatherwood hiking trails as the visual aid for one of my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verses that says "A prudent man gives thought to his steps." Proverbs 14:15.  It is a reminder to investigate the area you will be exploring, and  "give thought to your steps", by studying a map in advance.  My Road Scholar ( ) hiking guide in Sedona had similar advice for me, when he told me "no walking and gawking" while I was negotiating the sandstone cliffs of the Arizona desert.  He wanted me to keep my eyes on where I was putting my feet, instead of mindlessly staring at the distant scenery, thinking about the next photo I wanted to take!  If you are interested in participating in some of the hikes of the Harrison Outdoors group, you can email the group leader: for information.  Getting into God's great outdoors will give you "MILES OF SMILES"   Tricia