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The Sunday morning after Thanksgiving dawned bright and early, mostly because the neighbor's dog was barking his fool head off. The barking woke me up and, trust me, I am not an early morning person. I tried to ignore the insistent barking for a while but finally got up and opened the bathroom window to shout at the offending animal.

"Shut up, dog!"

"Woof, woof, woof, woof." The barking continued unabated.

About that time a large doe emerged from the ravine by our house and ran up the hill by our garden. I figured the dog was excited by the deer. The barking grew more animated, so I got my pistol out of the drawer by my bedside and went out on the back deck. I shot into the air just once and the dog immediately stopped barking. So much for that, but now I was wide-awake with no desire to go back to bed.

Linda and I were sitting in the living room drinking coffee when she said, "I think we should do something different this morning."

"What do you have in mind?" I asked.

"Why don't we go out for breakfast?" she suggested.

"OK, where do you have in mind?"

"Oh, it doesn't have to be far. Miss Mary's would be fine."

So we got around and headed to Gentry for an early breakfast at Miss Mary's Café. The fact that we never stopped to question whether the restaurant would be open on Sunday tells you we don't eat breakfast out very often. Alas, when we pulled onto Highway 59 in Gentry, we could see that Miss Mary's was closed. Not to worry. I proceeded toward Siloam Springs as I went over the available dining options in my mind. Just as we were passing by Anderson's Lumber, Linda said, "I know where we could eat breakfast."

"Where's that?" I asked.

"We could eat at Susan's Café in Springdale."

Susan's Café sounded like a good idea to me as well, so we headed east when we got to 412. If you haven't eaten breakfast at Susan's Café, you ought to give it a try. I promise you won't be disappointed. When we arrived there, the parking lot was full. Fortunately, there was a car backing out of a spot close to the building, so we pulled in right behind it.

The sign out front of Susan's says they are, "Internationally famous, here locally." I like that. I had discovered Susan's Café when I was in nursing school. Sometimes classes would get canceled for various reasons and a bunch of us would head over to Susan's for breakfast. The restaurant is located on the north side of Sunset Avenue a couple of blocks before you get to Business 71.

As we were going in, we noticed a sign on the door which said, "Service animals are welcome, including husbands." We both had to laugh at this, but for some strange reason, it did make me feel more at home there.

Although there was a line at the door, it didn't take long for us to be seated. Susan's seats a good many folks and it was very busy. The waitresses were flitting here and there as they took orders and delivered food to tables. I am always impressed with the waitresses at Susan's. They are very professional and friendly and seem to have a real knack for taking care of their customers. Together with our coffee, Linda ordered one buttermilk pancake and I ordered two eggs -- over medium -- bacon and Texas toast. I don't really have a sweet tooth, but I thought I would give it a try. And while it was good, I was a little regretful that I hadn't simply ordered hash browns and toast with my eggs. I tend to be pretty traditional when it comes to eating breakfast out.

After breakfast, we decided to continue driving east, so we got back on U.S. 412 and headed toward Huntsville. The further we drove, the further we wanted to drive, so we continued on to the Kingston turnoff and from Kingston drove on toward Jasper. Linda and I both enjoy Jasper and the Buffalo River area. We especially enjoy seeing the elk herd over close to Boxley and Ponca. Just as we were approaching our turn south of Ponca, we spied a sign that said, "Lost Valley Recreational Area." Thinking we could get a walk in on such a fine day, we turned off the pavement onto a gravel road to check out the trail at Lost Valley. Lost Valley is not really lost, nor is it a true valley. It is located on Cove Creek, which only runs for about three miles. But it is scenic and unique and fairly close to home and highly recommended if you enjoy hiking at all.

There were only a couple of other cars in the parking lot when we arrived at Lost Valley. We got out and, based on the temperature, decided to wear sweaters instead of coats on our walk. The first quarter of a mile or so was handicap accessible, but after that, the trail turns into what I would characterize as mountain goat terrain. But the scenery was beautiful and the trail was only 2.5 miles round trip. So we hiked our way up the valley to see the 53-foot waterfall which was only a trickle due to the dry weather. There is a rock bluff on the other side of the creek which towers over you and makes you glad when it doesn't fall on your head.

From there we pressed on up many steps to the Cove Creek Cave. I am not exaggerating when I say that the trail is very steep and you need to watch your step if you don't want to lose your balance and crack your head on a rock. But, having said that, we loved the place and hope to go back after a rain or on a family picnic with grandchildren and such. It is that pretty!

Linda and I had some more adventures on our little Sunday outing which I will write about next week. Suffice it to say for now, that the take away from our day was that when you leave the house to go for breakfast at Miss Mary's, you better have a contingency plan in place. Just something to fall back on, you know. Otherwise, you might end up somewhere else. As it turned out, we were gone for almost 10 hours. But I have to say that our short trip to Miss Mary's was well worth it.

Sam Byrnes is a Gentry-area resident and weekly contributor to the Eagle Observer. He may be contacted by email at Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 12/06/2017

Print Headline: Breakfast at Miss Mary's, or not!

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