Sleeping in the Ozarks

We’re here in Calico Rock today at Carolyn & Christian Eck’s accessible B&B. Well, technically it’s really a cabin with a small kitchenette and a nice big front porch. Carolyn provides some homemade bread, coffee, juice and cereal in each of the cabins so her guests can fix their own light breakfast at their leisure. It’s a good arrangement.

I had the opportunity to sit on the porch and chat with Carolyn last night, so I just had to ask (as I always do) why she made one of her cabins (she has four) accessible. She went on to tell me that she started her B&B in her house some 20 years ago, and after a while she decided to build two cabins. Well one day her son brought home a college friend who happened to be a wheelchair-user. She said she vividly remembers taking him out on a flat rock that overlooks the river here, and how happy he was to experience a piece of nature. She told me that at that moment she thought that if she ever built any more cabins she would make one of them accessible, so everybody could have this experience. Later she also began to notice that some of her guests had problems getting up the four or five stairs to the front porch of the cabins, so she figured that access would benefit them too.

Last year they finally decided to add two more cabins to their inventory and they were completed just before Christmas. And as promised, one cabin is accessible, complete with a ramped front porch and a roll-in shower in the bathroom. We’re only about the third guests to stay here, as the season really hasn’t started quite yet. I have to say it’s very nice and secluded (the Ecks have 190 acres) and it’s great to wake up to the sounds of nature.

It’s encouraging that more and more people are choosing to make their properties accessible. I truly believe they are responding to the changing market, which is a very good thing. I call that progress.

Today we are off to visit the Ozark Folk Center for a sample of some Ozark crafts and to see the Merle Travis Guitar Festival & National Thumbpicking Guitar Contest. It should be a fun day.