"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Arkansas - Lakes and Rocks

Greers Ferry, Arkansas
Shiloh COE

The weather was very interesting leaving Missouri driving to Arkansas.  The skies went back and forth from heavy storm clouds to blue skies.  Once again, we missed the worst of it. Our route was diagonally SW for 4 hours.

Before we crossed the White River we ran into a detour that took us through some very narrow roads.  Once on the other side and down the road a bit we passed a turnoff for the town of Oil Trough.  It sounded interesting so I looked it up.  At one time this area was full of bears.  The early hunters rendered the bear oil and stored it in troughs hollowed out of tree stumps.  A Post Office was established in 1849 and the town was named.

We pulled in just as another storm passed and we were greeted by this rainbow.  We had high hopes for more kayaking and fishing but the temps are hot, humid and stormy for the week we'll be here.
Shiloh COE Campground on Greer's Ferry Lake.  30a, $17, site# E14 across from the lake.
The sites are large, but unless you are across from the lake, the other sites are quite sloped.  There are a lot of sites here but they are mostly empty.  It's probably because it's Sunday.  I'm sure when next weekend rolls around it gets busy.  They have a huge marina and many boat docks that are all full.

After settling in and watching the sunset we stayed inside as it was too hot for a campfire.

Mostly we drove around the lake, through the small towns and back roads checking the area out.  I happened to see something on the news about a free Subway sandwich on Tuesday.  So we enjoyed a yummy Cali Chicken Avocado sandwich.  Thanks Subway!

We did get out for a few paddles later in the evening as it cooled down just a little.  There was sure some great areas to fish!  The lake was very full, actually flooding some campsites and roads, from all the storms of late.  There were several trees and bushes in the water and plenty of deep rock ledges, but NO fish that we could catch!  I don't feel too bad after asking around and the fishing hadn't been very good.

The water back in the coves was very nice but there were some very windy days that we couldn't get out due to the whitecaps.

Four miles north of Clinton on US 65 is The Natural Bridge of Arkansas.  It was a pretty drive through more of the teeny tiny towns we have been driving through for weeks. 
Hidden in the Ozarks down a very steep, narrow road brings you right to the entrance and small parking lot.  It is pet friendly so Hurley could come along on the trail.  The admission was only $5.
We just peeked into the cabin as another storm was imminent and we wanted to get to the bridge before any rain started.  We'll check it out on the way back down.
They have a cabin filled with old kitchenware, tools and machines.

Just a 1/4 mile down the trail brings you to your first view of the 100+ foot sandstone bridge that took millions of years to get to this point.  It's actually a slab and not an eroded archway.  There is a ledge behind the bridge.  This is on private property and they do a great job keeping it well kept.

The trail is gravel with plenty of well taken care handrails and steps.  Easy for most anyone.
This is as close to a hike as we have had in a long time on this trip.  We sorely miss it.
Here it is visible from above. While it is very thick, you are not allowed to drive or walk on it.

It was a nice but short hike and it leaves us looking forward to Colorado later for some real hiking.
On the way back down we went back in the cabin.  This old bathtub looked pretty snug.

Underneath the cabin, downhill, is an old still.
I love the huge barbed wire fence.
Back towards the entrance cabin/gift shop were some interesting "rocks" from the area.
While we have seen the round concretion rocks in other states, we have never seen the Turtle shell type.  Really cool.
On one of our last evenings we met up with an old ranch friend from California.  Dawn and Phil moved here about 15 years ago and they loved it.  Dawn has since passed away and Phil has remarried and still loves it here.  Unfortunately we all forgot to take a picture but we had a nice dinner back in Clinton at a Mexican place.
It was a pretty quiet week until the weekend boating crowd arrived.  We got the jacks up and back on the road before the rain started Sunday morning.
The weather was off and on windy and very stormy.  We were half way out of Arkansas on our way to Oklahoma when we saw this up ahead.  That's not a tornado I hope?

Nope.  Turned out it was Arkansas Nuclear One.  It is a 2 unit pressurized water nuclear power plant outside of Russellville.  Whew.  Here we come Toto.  Luckily it looks like we'll have 2 weeks without storms.  That's a good thing when you're in Oklahoma in July!


  1. Another beauty spot! Interesting bridge, rocks and cabin.
    Safe travels!

    1. It's a great place to relax, paddle and fish.

  2. So mush water for your kayaking pleasure! Loved the natural bridge and the cabin, so cool to find treasures like that!

    1. I wish the fishing was better. With all the lakes we have been at it just hasn't been good at all. The bridge was really pretty.

  3. There is a reason they call Arkansas the "natural state". Lots of outdoor stuff to do there. Its a state on our list to look at for a possible place to live after we come off the road. Figure we will spend a lot of time there in probable 2023 looking around. US 65 out off Clinton is a good route to hit Branson and through the mountains up to Interstate 44 then over to Oklahoma. Tornados in eastern Oklahoma come out of Oklahoma City area and head toward Tulsa. In May of 2019 there were 18 touchdown around us in Tulsa. We were used to them so no big deal. August is way late in the year to worry about them anyway.

    Good for you guys taking time to get into the back areas of Arkansas and handle the roadways. Cost of living there is not bad in parts of the state but the taxes are something I'm looking into a little more. Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing areas in the country.

    I suspect you already now about the New Madrid fault down there. Could be a worst earthquake than California stuff within the next 1000 years. Even St. Louis MO has upgraded their bridges in preparation for it.

    1. We like Arkansas and have been through parts of it before. Always more to see and I'm sure we'll come back through again. I don't have the desire to see Branson but I really wanted to see the OKC Memorial so we routed south to I40 most of the way to Tulsa where we had friends to visit. We prefer the backroads. We've found that State Routes are almost always problem free. Our friends live in Leslie. Never heard of the New Madrid Fault. Luckily I'll be long gone by the time that would happen!


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