Jessieville, AR to Snowball, AR
I spent a few days in Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains, which made me homesick for the autumn I had already missed in southwest Wisconsin, and eager to get back to what remained. The nights were cool, even sub-freezing on at least one occasion, and I was glad to be able to get my new warm, down sleeping bag out from the depths of my trunk, where it had spent most of the last two temperate months. Strange to think that I had been swimming in the ocean only a week before… a long week before! Since then I had revolutionized my thinking about waterfowl, passed through the nation’s ecological confluence, had a fleeting but passionate moment of patriotism… and traveled 1,000 miles.
The Ozarks were beautiful, as they’re supposed to be. It didn’t hurt that a few brilliant maples were left among the brown oaks, that the air was dry and crisp, and that I had remote campgrounds all to myself. I chose a lot of small roads, and went on a few short hikes, but didn’t spend too much time exploring beyond that in my journey from Hot Springs north through the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests.
Arkansas wasn’t really on my list of destinations for this trip… it just happened to lay between Texas and home. So after my day of historical sites, I had chosen the route that looked the most scenic, based on the areas shaded green on my map, and heading towards a long purple splotch at the northern end of the state. It turned out to be my last adventure of the trip, and I extended my stay in “The Natural State” a few days longer than I had originally planned…