John and I both spend all day staring at screens and typing on fancy, back lit keyboards. We're lucky to have had success this year, one of us real, actual success, and one of us, mental success, in that I mentally made it through 2014. To reward ourselves and unplug, we rented a cabin in the Ozarks. In Arkansas. In what turned out to be a straight up holler.
You might be in a holler if you're 15 minutes off the highway on dirt roads with no stop or street signs. (Or mail!)
You might be in a holler if your address is GPS coordinates.
You might be in a holler if your cabin has its own electrical power supply.
You might be in a holler if all the trailers you pass en route are A) trailers, B) smoking meat, C) cooking meth, or D) all of the above.
You might be in a holler if the chickens are more aggressive than the dogs, and both are roaming at-large.
You might be in a holler if a truck follows you from town to the cabin because they're suspicious of anyone in a Camry. (That really happened. We were TERRIFIED.)
You might be in a holler if people are bowhunting while you're hiking, on a hiking trail, meant for hiking.
You might be in a holler if you get shot with an arrow while on Christmas vacation in a holler. (That didn't happen, but it could have!)
John was never scared. Apparently there are hollers in Baltimore. Who knew?! But seriously, we had a blast. Our cabin was in the middle of nowhere with no one around as far as you could see - total privacy. On the first morning, I woke up to a deer party going on in the back yard. I woke John up because I thought they were elk. Turns out, I've just never seen real deer. But on the second morning, I woke up to a BALD EAGLE. I've never seen a bald eagle! I woke John up again and he confirmed that it was a bald eagle, albeit a teenage one. It was a PYBT: pretty young bald thing. It flew off and made this huge circle in front of the cabin. Nature!
We brought piles of books and mostly stayed in the cabin reading, eating and drinking. We ventured out twice. Once to Eureka Springs, which was awesome. And once to Branson, which was heinous. But I got a concrete from Andy's Custard and John got to go to the Titanic Museum, so not all was lost. But seriously, Branson, thumbs down.
On Christmas Day, we did a 4-mile hike down the mountain to Cave Creek and goofed around there for awhile. I found an antler and a pile of bones that John thinks were from a cow. It was a lot of nature for one day. A young guy deer hunting passed us, noted my spandex running tights and John's collared shirt and peacoat and asked, 'Y'all stayin' in the cabin?'. We did not pass the test. Everyone everywhere asked where we were from. One man told John, "You some kind of TV Anchor or something?" I mistakenly wore my 'The Struggle Is Real' t-shirt. Guess what people in a holler don't think is funny? Ironic message tees. In fairness, I was also wearing striped leggings and high-top Chucks, so I did look insane.
We had such a great week. I had the shakes the first day from being offline, but I eventually detoxed and forgot I even owned a phone. Mostly. The cabin we stayed in is actually for 17 people. There were two whole levels of cabin that we didn't even use. We found it on VRBO. So if you're in the market for a 17-person cabin in the Ozarks, give me a holler ("holler" -ha!) and I'll give you the info. Disclaimer: you will need either an Eagle Scout or the 1995 Maryland State Orienteering Champion to get you there.
Full holler photostream (with captions) on
(and maybe Facebook later). I leave you with this video montage.