Bella Vista Provides Picturesque Setting in Nature

Out & About in Greater Tulsa by EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

EARLY MORNING VIEW: An early morning view of Loch Lomond Lake in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Loch Lomond is the largest of Bella Vista’s many lakes.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

I have long heard Bella Vista, Arkansas, referred to as a sought-after retirement community and vacation spot filled with golf courses and lazy afternoons. That description led me to conjure up the image of an expansive well-planned community of manicured Stepford-type homes dotting picturesque winding roads.

Add to that its two-hour driving distance from Tulsa, and, I admit, I have been curious about the area.

Bella Vista’s history stretches back to the early 1900s with the founders’ plan to create a summer resort town due to the area’s lakes and beautiful views. That vision slowly but eventually morphed into the area’s current state as a retirement and vacation area. The city was incorporated in 2007 and has a population of just over 28,000.

When I recently received an invitation to visit friends who live in the area, I assumed my preconcieved ideas would prove true. But while I found the picturesque winding roads, what I did not expect to find were miles and miles of towering pine trees with homes tucked among them, families of deer galloping through the trees and waterfront views complete with red foxes.

I have written before about my general discomfort with nature that is too close in proximity.

And I will admit that when my friends first pointed out the packs of vultures that hover in the trees near their home and sometimes meander across their roof, I felt, let’s just say, uneasy.

The flurry of noise in the treetops during my daily walks and the black shadows sitting among the branches felt reminiscent of a Hitchcock movie.

Yet, once I acclimated to their noises and general presence, that only began to add to the area’s charm.

And what I discovered was the calm and tranquility that only comes from the true quiet found in nature.

Bella Vista is a large area stretched across acres of rolling hills—some areas more populated than others. But the hills and forests have a way of creating a feeling of isolation, as if you are far away from other humans. Traffic is mostly nonexistent until reaching the main thoroughfare, about a 10-minute drive.

I took early morning walks when the woods were especially quiet and the deer felt free to venture out from among the trees.

I sat near the water’s edge, watching the early morning fog float atop the water.

I took leisurely drives, coasting over the hills.

There is certainly something to be said for the regeneration that takes place among nature. It’s easy to forget how often we need that.

Updated 02-07-2018

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