Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Having a grape time in Altus

After heading to the top of Mount Magazine, there was one last place I wanted to check out before heading home. I drove by these fields filled with some wildflowers (or weeds?) along the side of the road.
Flowery fields

Easy to see why the flowers were thriving, seems like they've gotten lots of natural fertilizer...

My next stop was the town of Altus, Arkansas. Altus is probably one of the coolest small towns in Arkansas. You might remember Altus as being the location where Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton embarrassed themselves in the first season of "The Simple Life" a few years back. Going to college just twenty miles away, we used to make many trips to Altus, for several reasons:

1) Food. For being a small town (population 817), there are some great places to eat. The Swiss Family Bistro at Wiederkehr Village is a must. And I'm craving the chicken béarnaise from Kelts right now.
2). Wine. Altus is home to four wineries, including Wiederkehr, which was founded in 1880.
3). Liquor. I went to college in a dry county, so we made a few trips out here for some other types of liquid refreshments. And now Altus is one of only two cities in the state that sells alcohol on Sunday (Eureka Springs being the other).

This was taken along the side of the road north of Wiederkehr Village.

Looking back, I probably should have taken the price tag off before taking the picture.
Before & After

Another cool thing about Altus is the really neat old Catholic Church. St. Mary's Catholic Church, built in 1902, is filled with lots of neat murals and stained-glass windows. It was late afternoon and the light was pouring into the church.
St. Mary's Catholic Church

And a shot of some of the stained-glass windows:
St Mary's

And a shot of the outside of the church, which sits on a hill with a commanding view of the valley and Altus below.
St. Mary's Catholic Church

My plan was to get a shot of the church lit up at night, and I sat out there for awhile waiting for it to get dark. It was actually a bit cold up on the hilltop, and it seemed like the church really wasn't lit up all that much. There was a spotlight that shined on the steeple, but the rest looked like it was dark. Tired of sitting alone in the parking lot, I gave up and headed on. At least I got some wine out of it...


Jonw said...

It should be illegal to not sell booze on Sundays...if you're a god fearing sort, don't you believe god made grapes, or barley, or crack? I mean, come on, nothing helps the average joe through a long winded sermon like a nip from a flask. Wasn't it even Jesus that said "Huh, you're out of wine? Drink my blood! Sure it sounds gross, but my blood with f_ck you right up! Ok Judas, that's your 8th one though, you're cut off."

Cormackphotos said...

Yeah that is a sucky thing about living here, the fact that we are dry on Sundays. That is one reason why I like going to Dallas, since they sell beer on Sundays and they have a wider selection of imports, which are apparently too "fancy" for those of us living in the sticks.