Sunday, October 10, 2010

To Do: Hiking in Arkansas

Had I continued to live in Illinois the rest of my life, I probably would not have discovered that I really like to go hiking. I wouldn't go as far as saying that I have become an outdoorswoman, but I really do like the anticipation of reaching the destination that the trail leads you to, and the ability to use my map reading skills (not every woman can brag about this!). In Illinois, the closest I ever came to hiking was at the Stahl family picnic at Starved Rock State Park, which ironically was also this weekend. I think because of those first experiences, hiking in the fall just seems like a must.

Now I would be lying if I didn't say that my calves ache every time I get out of my chair. And if you see my picking at my hair, I am determined that a tick is hidden among this mess.

The highlight of my hiking adventure, or should I said most memorable moment, was when I was the leader on the trail. It's been hot and dry this summer, so the trails in the "natural state" look a little like this.

Would you notice the brown snake? Me neither! The same snake I STEPPED ON!! Did you hear me? Not just saw, but touched with the sole of my shoe. Ahh!! Matt says he has never seen me move so fast. And to make it worse, we went back to take it's picture to show you (convinced it must have been dead), but only to discover that it had slithered was ALIVE! Just waiting for my return trip I'm sure. And just so you know, I think it was about 6" around and 4 feet long! Matt seems to think it was about 1/2" around and 4" long...whatever! I'm the one who touched it!

Anyway, so while we did enjoy just getting away this weekend on our "staycation" in Arkansas, we also kept talking about our hiking adventures in North and South Carolina. Oh how we wish we could see trees like this again...

We took a 2.5 hour roadtrip to the ozark region of Arkansas to Mt. Magazine, which is labeled in all the magazines (ha) as the highest point in Arkansas--and a sign to prove it! Unfortunately, the trees weren't very colorful, but still a pretty view.

But still not as amazing as the Blue Ridge Parkway!

One our favorite spots (as our visitors will likely attest) when you came to see us in SC was going to see the waterfalls. When we got to Mt. Magazine and picked up the map of trails, we instantly knew that Bear Hollow Trail was the one for us. Sure it was 4 miles of "moderate" decent, but the waterfalls as the highlight would make it all worth it.


we forgot we haven't had rain for 29 days!
So instead, we'll just remember the days when we hiked to waterfall,

after waterfall

and still have so many we didn't get to see. Maybe someday!

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