Good morning! I'm finally recovered (still a few more days of antibiotics to go though) and it feels wonderful! Yesterday, I went hiking with a friend and our kids, and we did 3.25 miles in exactly one hour, and it was pretty easy. This hike made me realize just how yucky I've been feeling, and even more grateful that I'm well.
Anyway, it's time for the next blog in my Arkansas Vacation series. On Wednesday that week, it was a bright, sunny day so we headed north into the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks. Nestled in the valley is Devil's Den State Park. It's a gorgeous place and we decided on the 5 miles trail. Even though I was sick, I powered through the (ultimately) 5.5 miles trek. It was a clear day as well -- unlike our Mount Magazine hike the day before -- and we got to see plenty of beautiful landscape.
This park has a few old settlements inside of it, of which this is one. I forgot to read the sign that explained more about this, but you can still see the base of what used to be a cabin. We sat here and had a snack.
Arkansas is forested, rocky, and full of mountains. We came across this set of flaky rocks and we stopped to take a water break here.
As we hiked the second half of the trail, we could see the mountains rise next to us.
Same view, just looking down to the creek/river bed.
My mom alerted me to this little guy: an albino squirrel. See those red eyes?
After we completed our hike, we drove up to the top of one of the ridges where they have a viewing shelter.
View down to another trail. I wonder where that one starts/ends?
Again! Isn't it beautiful? We sat here (or I should clarify that I did) and admired this stunning scenery. This is what I longed to see the whole time leading up to this trip.
As you can tell, I took the first four pictures with my cell phone, and the rest with my camera. As much as I love (and prefer) taking photographs with my good camera, it doesn't make for a good hiking companion. So, in instances like this, I just snap a few photos with my cell phone, but, man, they don't do as much justice to the landscape as my Nikon does.
If you're ever in Arkansas, I recommend spending a day or two at Devil's Den State Park. Not only does one have several hiking trail options, but there is camping, swimming, and other outdoor recreation to be had here as well. One of the nice things about Arkansas State Parks, compared to Nebraska State Parks, is that there is no entrance fee to get in them so visiting them is more than doable. And, like we had the day before, we packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed that among the beauty of nature. It was a great day that we all enjoyed and will never forget.