First Impressions of a 2017 Mountain Harbor Resort Guest

We just had to get away. My husband Steven and I are both self-employed with separate businesses that have had us burning the candle at both ends for months. We promised each other a long weekend away for our anniversary, but we’re terrible at planning ahead.

We don’t like big hotels or packed cities. We tend to avoid tourist hot spots and prefer remote natural locations, but we have to have Wi-Fi for work. It’s often a challenge to find the seclusion we want along with the connectivity we need.

Last week we realized if we were going out of town, we had to do it right away. Steven is about to be buried in an extensive project through the end of the year and I would be immersed in the usual holiday rush. We normally use Airbnb, but everything we liked was booked.

Steven Googled “Arkansas Cabins” and eventually found Mountain Harbor Resort. When he called, they said C-18 was available. 

Booking a Cabin

Somehow during booking we got mixed up on our dates, and we didn’t realize it until the office called. We weren’t supposed to check in until Saturday, but they called Friday to see if we were still coming.

The staff was cheerful and friendly, and since they still had availability for the dates we needed, they rescheduled for the correct dates and didn’t charge us for our mix-up. I was so ready to get away.


We live in East Texas, and the drive was long. We were eager to reach our cabin, so we didn’t stop to eat along the way. We easily found the office and smelled food while we were checking in, and suddenly our hunger turned starving.

Steven sat down as several other guests arrived and I was still talking to the manager about our booking. My husband is a wonderful, kind man, but he was out of patience. Our waitress was precious. She asked the kitchen to put a rush on our food and had it out in minutes.


Once we had eaten, we could actually take notice of our surroundings. Our cabin was in Harbor North, so we drove away from the office, then turned back toward the lake.

The leaves had just started to change all the colors of fall, and the late afternoon sunlight shone through the trees to make the colors crisp against the bright blue sky. My travel impatience melted away into wonder.

We stopped several times to get out of the truck and take pictures as the short drive offered one breathtaking vista after another. It was one of those moments where life distills everything lovely into pure drops of happiness bathed in gold.

Our cabin was easy to find, and everything inside was cozy and clean. We dropped off our bags, unpacked the cooler and ran around exclaiming at everything we saw, from the firewood ready to light in the fireplace to the towel swan on the bed.


That night we sat on the deck and watched the sun go down, then got in the hot tub to look at the stars. I couldn’t imagine a more romantic place to be with my husband in celebration of our marriage.

I’m an early riser, he likes to stay in bed, so the next morning I had my coffee on the deck and went for a run. It rained in the night and the morning was cool, so all I could hear was the drip of the trees, the crunch of my shoes and the caw of the birds.

I couldn’t stay on the road because of all the beauty luring me away to explore. I ran to Harbor East in search of Turtle Cove Spa and heard water trickling in the woods and hiked to find this stream meandering through the damp leaves. When I headed back home, I rambled down to the water several times to take pictures.

The rest of our stay, we just relaxed. We drove to Hot Springs for lunch and spent the rest of the time on our deck. I was sad to leave, and hope it isn’t long until we can get away for another visit.

By Missy Ticer