Finally, I truly enjoyed autumn again. Just the view from the showers (shown here – click it to enlarge) was fairly impressive.
We have lived in Texas five years, and generally we get back to our home state of Arkansas three times a year — Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Easter usually comes too late to enjoy the redbud trees and sometimes too late for the dogwoods and other early spring blossoms. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, only clusters of shortleaf pine and the occasional cedar stand out from the drab hillsides. Texas’ trees offer only green, brown, and gray throughout the year, so I have been deprived for some time now.
This year I was determined that we would witness peak fall color back home in the Ozarks — known to rival that in the New England states. With any luck, we could combine it with my family and make it a major camping event.
We didn’t hit the peak, but we got pretty close.
For base camp I chose Long Pool Campground, just north and a little west of Dover, Arkansas. It accommodates large camp trailers like my parents’, and features a wide mountain stream running through dense forest. The site also happens to be in the foothills of the Ozarks, and the major north thoroughfares — state highways 7 and 21 — provide two of the most scenic drives in the central United States. It is, in short, a great taking-off point for dayhikes.
And take off we did.
(to be continued)