A Day or Two in Mountain View

It has been and continues to be a long, hot, dreary summer. With temperatures even hotter than usual for the hell scape that is the south in the summer, Covid variants continually lurking in the background, and the stressors and strains of everyday life, Sarah and I wanted a change of pace took an end of summer weekend trip, ostensibly to celebrate her college graduation this past May.

We wanted to stay somewhere unique and chill for a few days, maybe go to a few shops, eat, read, and just have some downtime. So after searching accommodations around the state, we found the most adorable loft in the most improbable location of Mountain View, Arkansas. Mountain View is a tiny town located in Stone County and known as the Folk Music Capital of the World. Home to the Ozark Folk Center and located near Blanchard Springs Recreation Area and the White River, the town is a major draw for music lovers, outdoorsfolk, artisans, and craftspeople.


We arrived at “The Ivy Nest” around 2 p.m. It was all that the listing promised and more. Located in a building constructed in 1910 which once housed the Farmer’s and Merchants bank, the converted loft space was perfection in its style and decor. An unassuming metal flight of twenty stairs led to a door but once inside, we found both an industrial and cozy upcycled dream of a space with modern amenities and rustic charm.

Under normal circumstances, I am a master planner but this time I didn’t make any plans except the reservations. So not long after we arrived, I went to the local dollar store to buy some drinks and snacks, bearing in mind anything I bought would have to be lugged up that flight of stairs!

Our first afternoon and evening were very low key. We read, watched some Gilmore Girls – which I have never seen and Sarah has been asking me to watch – cooked a frozen pizza, and I crocheted. Whenever I have time to “relax” I almost feel obligated to do all of the things for a short amount of time. I will read…ok, enough reading…I will write…..check, next, I will craft! Relaxation roulette.


We went to bed the night before with the intention of getting up and going to a local cafe for breakfast. We did no such thing. I finally rolled out of bed around 9 and brewed a pot of coffee, started a new book and then wrote for a few minutes while waiting for Sarah.

Once we finally emerged into the great outdoors, we found it just as hot and humid as we had left it the night before. Too late for breakfast, we went down the street a couple of blocks to Bushel and a Peck Cafe and then explored a few of local shops. It was just too hot to wander aimlessly around town, so we decided to get a frappe from a drive through coffee shop and head back to the loft.

Downtime was our chief objective for this little getaway. You might argue that we could have accomplished this goal by staying home and just hanging out there. But there are responsibilities there….and pets…and the need to be doing various and assorted household tasks. Thus we ended up in a loft in the middle of an Ozark town in the dead of summer. So the afternoon found us reading, resting and relaxing until it was time for dinner.

View from my be curtained bedroom area
Fried and smothered in gravy

Sarah wanted “country” cooking for dinner; a quick search found PJ’s Rainbow Cafe and we called in an order for takeout. And country cooking it was – chicken fried chicken with fried okra and mashed potatoes and berry cheesecake for dessert. We settled in to watch Gilmore Girls with our plates of fried goodness. Later, I took advantage of the GORGEOUS Japanese soaking tub. The entire bathroom was beautiful – a rainfall shower with lovely tilework and detail, but this tub was something else.



Our main objectives for Saturday were coffee and breakfast, a mercantile shop downtown, a farmer’s market, and a used book sale at the local library. We decided to scope out the Stone County Farmer’s Market before getting a bite to eat (scoping out anything in Mountain View takes less than five minutes) and were disappointed to only see a few vendors. My guess is that since it is the end of the season, pickings are getting slim. So we skipped that and went to the The Rusty Cup Cafe for coffee and breakfast. Next up was Mountain Thyme Mercantile – which was a delight – a large space with endless varieties of candies, fudges, spices, and sauces along with other merchandise. We both found a few books at the Stone County Library’s monthly book sale ($1.00 for hardbacks and .25 per paperback!) Then it was back downtown to a couple more shops and a peek into the Arkansas Craft School, which offers workshops and courses as well as a small gallery and shop with hand made artwork and craft items.

We returned to the loft in the early afternoon, read, napped, and continued to excel at our assignment of chilling out. As we had the night before, we ordered takeout – this time from Mi Pueblito, a Mexican restaurant just around the corner. Ironically (since we were visiting the Folk Music Capital of the World) the one thing we didn’t do is go listen to any music! There was a band on the courthouse lawn as well as the usual groups of people gathered in the park for informal picking sessions. The fact of the matter is, neither of us enjoy being out in the heat and I am such an introvert that I tend not to embrace new experiences. And honestly my dislike of crowds in general has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Despite not really leaning into the experience of the town, we did have a good weekend together and spent some time doing things we enjoyed in a fun and unique space. I have been particularly mercurial lately. Change, uncertainty, and chaos that seems to hit on a regular basis is tantamount to living in a heightened state of anxiety at all times so it was nice to get away for a few days.

I always have a bit of disappointment after a trip I have been looking forward is over, and now that we are back home, it’s time to settle in for another ordinary week. As we continue to muddle through the dog days of summer, I am desperately looking forward to fall, but acknowledge that we must, in the words of Morgan Harper Nichols, “let August be August” and journey on with the day to day task of living, taking time in our days to appreciate what is here and now,

-Karri Temple Brackett
August 7, 2022

Random barn outside Mountain View

Let July be July

 by Morgan Harper Nichols

Even here, you are growing.
When August is approaching
and you feel a little restless
thinking about how
this month might end
and how
this year might end
and how you are supposed to
start again,
you are growing,
you are growing,
in grace

And it is okay
if it does not feel like it.
It is okay if there are moments
where you cannot see
the way you have grown,
because far beneath the surface
the seeds have still been sown.
The ground beneath your feet
is still a bed for new beginnings.

So much is changing around you 
but you are changing, too.

You are so much more than the brokenness
that you were certain would define you.

It has not been easy for you.
You have worked so hard
to be the positive one.
You have given your best
in areas of your life
where the effort was not returned. 
And this has made it so hard
for you to keep going,
and there have been days
where you were not sure
if it was even possible.
But after everything,
here you are,
just a little stronger,
holding on a little longer,
and you still found room for hope. 

So take heart
breathe deep
you are still becoming
who you were meant to be.

Let July be July.
Let August be August.
And let yourself

just be
even in
the uncertainty.
You don’t have to fix
You don’t have solve
And you can still
find peace
and grow
in the wild
of changing things.

Leave a Reply