John’s Recon

May 14, 2009

Arkansas Rain

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Prichard @ 11:04 am

Poor Arkansas. It has rained heavy every day for more than 2 weeks somewhere in either the Ozarks or the Ouachitas or both. It made it cool around 60 F but it made it dreary. Our first trail was at Lake Ouachita appropriately named the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. I was told that the mountain bike portion was now up to 18 miles long. This trail was actually in the best shape (except for the parts that were under water) but we didn’t know it until we saw the other trails later in the week. So we walked about 1.5 miles of it until it dived into the lake and then we walked back. I now wish we had ridden it since there were longer parts and this trail drained very fast after a rain.

We hiked a Petit Jean trail and were later told that they were almost done with their mountain bike addition. We did the complete Bench Road Trail at Mount Nebo which was quite muddy in parts. On the 2nd to last day we did a portion of Fossil Flats trail in Devil’s Den but it was starting to rain hard so I didn’t get any pictures. All in all … a partial success. We got our feet wet in mountain biking and like it. Definitely do it again … especially the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.

The Ozarks and the Ouachitas are beautiful … even in rain. The only thing marring this beauty … trailer homes and chicken farms. You are driving along and the forest opens up a little to show you a spectacular view and what do you see … a trailer home on the edge of the cliff enjoying its view but detracting from yours. I think the state needs to invest in Log Cabin plastic siding so that it looks like you built a quaint little log cabin on the cliff edge. Slap this on the sides of the trailers and it will up the visual and tourist wealth of the state. Better yet Camouflage plastic siding … since most who live here are avid hunters … camouflage might be the way to go. Heck, if you do a good job, your house becomes the new blind … you could shoot your dinner 20 feet from the house.

There is nothing like the experience of driving along topless (I mean with the top down) and coming around a curve and being met head-on with a smell that reaches down into your stomach and can wrench loose your lunch. The most god-awful smell of a chicken farm can make you lose track of your line in a turn. I don’t know if they are dead, dying, or just pooped out … I just know it is a blight on such a beautiful land. This smell is even stronger and more putrid than a 18-hour-dead road-kill that catches a portion on the low-slung part of a fast moving roadster. Don’t ask me how I know this.

I have no ideas on how to fix this … no nifty concoction you can feed them to lower chicken BO.  So, my idea is to put a warning sign up about a 1/3 of a mile away that has a skull and crossbones and the words “Hold Your Breath”. One third of a mile isn’t really good enough for the real stinkers but at 55 mph it is hard to hold your breath for the entire maximum smell radius … this should give you a 30 second hold time thus protecting you through the 99% probability of gag/puke radius.

Pictures of this trip (not the road kill and certainly not a chicken farm), will gradually be uploaded in a new set “200905 Lake Ouachita, Petit Jean, Mount Nebo, Devil’s Den, State Parks, Arkansas”. Here is some in a slideshow.

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