Fall Dog Trip to....
Monday Oct 3, 2011
Posted in: Prospect's Journal
You have probably seen the Facebook chatter where I have been wanting to go somewhere to enjoy fall foliage and outdoor time. New England has been on my radar. Vermont and New Hampshire are the Holy Grail of fall colors. Neither Ed aka The Chauffeur or I have been past New York and there is lots of exploring to do in New England.
We really had hoped for a long road trip this fall. But something about "obligations, time, and budgets" has Ed convincing me to stay closer to home. He says when we go to New England we need to have enough time to visit not only the outdoors, but visit places like Boston. Apparently there is a Green Monster he wants to see... this from the guy who gets weirded out when he walks through a cobweb and does a fancy "spider dance." Why would he want to see a monster?
He says with two hard days traveling on each end of the trip, we would not be able to do justice to everything New England has to offer. Plus we would have to leave this week to catch the Yankee Leaves. (If you're thinking of your own New England journey this year, you might check out YankeeFoliage.com.) But Ed apparently has not worked hard enough to clear his schedule this week and we have one more step to complete to get my Prospect 2012 Calendar printed; the physical printer's proof should arrive any day and we want to make sure it is perfect.
So he suggested we go to the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas with a stop in the Ozark National Forest and Boston Mountains. The Ouachita Mountains (pronounced wash-uh-taw) have been on our to-do list for a long time. We have always had lots of dog fun in Arkansas. In March 2010 we had planned to visit the Ouachita National Forest, but a big snowstorm kept us away and dodging snowflakes.
We still had lots of fun that trip. Okay, so I didn't enjoy trekking around the mud fields at Crater of the Diamonds State Park (click to see the video of me not liking the mud). And the out-of-the-way drive to find Jenkin's Ferry State Park was a little much for me. But I tolerated it since seeing that spot meant a lot to Ed; apparently one of his ancestors fought in a battle there and wrote about the difficulties of moving the artillery through the muck and mire of the swamp.
Click photos to read about and see more photos from Prospect's visit to each Arkansas dog spot
But that trip also included Lake Catherine State Park where we enjoyed some great hiking and met a friendly local dog. Then there was Pinnacle Mountain State Park where we hiked the East Summit Trail to enjoy a great sunrise, then back down around the Base Trail and up the West Summit Trail for more great vistas. The rocks got too big for me to safely get over, so we did not make it all the way over the peak.
Then there was the Big Dam Bridge and Woolly Hollow State Park that trip. This year, March 2011, found us stopping in Arkansas on our way to Texas. At Praire Grove Battlefield State Park, Ed made me go on a history tour when I could have been chasing squirrels (unfortunately for me the park staff were very dog friendly). But again I was a good dog since Ed also had ancestral ties to this spot.
Then we camped at nearby Devil's Den State Park. While hiking at Devil's Den we met a very friendly human Mike. Mike has a website ArklahomaHiker.org where he provides reviews, maps, and pictures of Oklahoma and Arkansas trails. We have been using Mike's website as a resource for ideas this fall. So many options.
And of course there's the fun we had visiting the sites in Fort Smith.
If you have any tips or live in Arkansas, we would love to hear what you have to say and suggest. We've been hearing that if we're do the weekend of Oct 15 the leaves should be nearing peak (Ed says they're also turning early and quick here in Missouri). I know one stop I wouldn't mind driving out-of-the-way to visit. Coursey's Smoked Hams. I really enjoyed that stop!!
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