Experiencing life "Unplugged"
What To Expect
EXPECT the final access road leading to StoneWind and roads on the property to be gravel. They are in excellent to good repair at all times and completely accessible by all types of automobiles. Still driving at StoneWind is not like driving in the city.
EXPECT the road up from Chester to be a winding two-lane hardtop that becomes gravel just before you turn onto Wilson Branch Drive (which brings you to our entrance gate). Wilson Branch is a one lane gravel road that crosses a low water bridge then climbs steeply to our facilities. Do not drive TOO fast - no more than 10-15 mph.
EXPECT to cross a cattle guard on Wilson Branch Dr. (Cattle guards are round metal pipes set in the road to prevent cattle from leaving the fields), up the road from the bridge around a bend to the right. The cattle guard is an excellent landmark confirming you are headed in the proper direction on the right road. StoneWind's entrance is marked by two large moss-covered standing stones on either side of the road. Once you pass the standing stones, you are on StoneWind land and on StoneWind Dr.
EXPECT to be on the lookout for deer and other mountain creatures. Deer generally travel in twos or threes and can leap across the road at anytime--day or night. We are, after all, on their turf!
EXPECT it to be very, very, dark at night. There are lights on the yurt decks, but not on the roads. We provide flashlights in the yurt cabins for your convenience and each yurt is marked with its own reflective address sign.
EXPECT to bring food supplies for your stay. If you forget or do not have time, Bassham's Grocery is 9 miles away on Scenic Hwy 71 in Mountainburg, and there is a Wal-Mart Super Center at Alma, AR approximately 21 miles south off I-540. (Take the I-40 exit to Alma, go south on Hwy 71 to the stop light at Hwy 64; right on Hwy 64 to the next stop light. WalMart is on the left.) . "Popping over" to stock a few items for the evening will take some time. Trust us on this one: planning ahead is the best option!
EXPECT Crawford County to be dry--and all of Arkasas dry on Sundays, so bring any liquor or wine you might want as the closest liquor store is 30 miles away at either Fayetteville or Ft. Smith.
EXPECT good ole fashioned country cookin' at the Chester Café located on Front Street, the main street through Chester (5 miles down the mountain). The Café is open for Lunch from 11:00am to 2:30pm Mon-Fri, Dinner from 4:00-8:00pm Friday evenings.
EXPECT to find popular franchise restaurants, including the Cracker Barrel Restaurant and the Red Rooster Restaurant, at Alma, 21 miles south on I-540.
EXPECT StoneWind to provide coffee, tea, and basic condiments (salt/pepper, sugar, Sweet'n Low) in all kitchens.
EXPECT a "green" environment. We recycle glass, plastic and aluminum, and we use energy efficient light bulbs. We also use only organic pesticides and weed control products.
EXPECT "Reverse Osmosis" water (properties of distilled water, different process) at the kitchen sink in each yurt for your drinking and cooking convenience (and for good coffee). All water at StoneWind is supplied by the City of Mountainburg, but in keeping with our "green" policies, RO water provides a high standard of purification and flavor that makes bottled water--and the attendant problems with plastic disposal--unnecessary.
EXPECT to bring insect repellent and walking shoes or hiking boots with socks if you want to take full advantage or our walking trails and hiking areas.
EXPECT all major cell phone carriers to work on the mountain. Exceptions are Crickett and some of the disposable cell phone cards.
EXPECT to be "unplugged," which means there is no cable or satellite TV reception. We have radios with good reception and televisions with DVD players, some HDTVs and BluRay players located in the yurts. We also have two of those "antique" VHS players you can borrow and hook into the TV's. So if you want, you can bring your own movies to play video "catch up," plus StoneWind maintains a DVD/Video lending library with a selection of Soul Food, Mind Food, and Comfort Food. But if you are addicted to TV, you may find yourself suffering from temporary withdrawal. Once you go cold turkey, you may be surprised to discover how much time you've actually been spending watching the tube...how much it has dominated your mind--your life.
"Unplugged," yes. "Unconnected," No. If you have a laptop,
you can surf the net from your Yurt Cabin via our 3G Wireless network, although
our bandwidth will not accommodate Netflix, YouTube, and other bandwidth hogs.
The fact is that any internet in these mountains is something of a miracle,
considering where we are in relation to "civilization." And please note:
With the elevation fall on the mountain, some cabins require booster radios
and ethernet cables in the cabins, so iPads without ethernet capability will
not connect properly. If all you have is an iPad, request one of the cabins
with a wifi hot spot. We also allow guests to use an office computer to check
e-mail if you have no laptop. We know you might miss it, but there is no dial-up
access in the yurts.