Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To the Ozarks

Fall doesn’t really exist in central Texas—some leaves change to blah yellow, but that’s about it. So Kristin and I decided to take a road trip to Arkansas to see fall. It was the closest place we could drive to. Plus, I’ve always wanted to see the Ozarks.

We left early on Thursday morning and headed towards Texarkana with some canned food, basic camping equipment, an atlas, and the GPS. There wasn’t much planning involved as usual. We arrived in the dark (thanks useless day-light savings time) and headed towards a tent symbol on the atlas. It turned out to be a horse camp, but it was empty which was fine with us. Until the car battery died on us after we set up the tent with the high beams on.

So in a deserted camp with a dead car and thoughts of the movie Deliverance in our heads, we went to sleep. Around 7am we were gently awakened by the sound of flickers, nuthatches, kinglets, and Carolina wrens. Around 8am Kristin scrambled out of the tent to catch a truck that had driven into the camp. Car battery problem solved! So we took a nice hike in the woods and went to see some bluffs. For those of you who are like me and haven’t heard of a bluff, or at least could not define it in terms of a geographical feature…"a steep promontory, bank, or cliff, especially one formed by river erosion on the outside bend of a meander”.

Here we are on a bluff--although you can't really tell. We had to hop out to the rock which made it particularly difficult to take the picture. Luckily Kristin isn't as much of a heights chicken as I am, so she was able to push the button, run, jump over the gap, and not knock me off the bluff in the process. Oh camera timers are great!
We took a scenic drive through the Ozarks…passing through one town called Deer, “Home of the Deer Antlers”. And the next town was called "Nail"--I assumed home of the nail biters. We also drive through the Ouachita mountains which go into Oklahoma (my first time in Oklahoma, and I was actually quite impressed!). We tried to rent a canoe or kayak but got freaked out by some backwoods cabin with barking hound dogs (insert banjo playing here). We spent the last night at another empty camp ground--except for a tent, food, and bunch of gear that looked like it had been left suddenly. When no one showed up by the next morning we decided to check the tent for dead bodies. We found none, but were slightly worried that we might be tracked down later as murder suspects.

Overall it was a great trip. Kristin and I had a lot of fun, and got to catch up on some girl talk. Good to get some fresh air and get out of Texas for a little bit.

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