Last September, a friend of ours, whom I will call Squidgie Lumpkins – mainly because that is NOT her name – went to Montana to visit other friends of ours, GrizzBear and his wife Snuffygump (also NOT their real names). Montana- Big sky country… home of Yellowstone, moose, buffalo, and spectacular mountains.
While there, Squidgie accompanied GrizzBear and Snuffygump on a hike to Iceberg Lake in Glacier Park. A 10 mile hike carrying backpacks. Several pounds of food, camera equipment and various things to repel bears… sprays, air horns, whatnots… Squidgie called this the “hike of death.” It was arduous, took all day, and in the words of Snuffygump once she arrived to the lake and was faced with the 5 mile hike back, “I was ready to tell the others to leave me behind to die.” There was talk of armpit bruises from carrying the packs. I felt their pain.
On the plus side, they were treated to spectacular panoramas such as this:
Not wanting to be left out of the fun, my husband and I organized our own hike. The problem is that we live in the Ozarks, right up there in the northwest corner of Arkansas. We couldn’t join them except in spirit. So we decided to hike in a nearby park – Devil’s Den.
Here is our story:
Upon waking at 5 a.m. we got dressed and put on our new hiking boots.
Our bought-for-Montana hiking boots with practice dirt already in the treads. Now it was time to take them out on a real practice run… not just out to get the mail. After driving the mountainous and twisty highway to Devil’s Den, we were in need of a break. Not wanting to collapse before we even arrived, we partook of sugar and water.
… But decided as appetizing as they sounded, we would explore on our own.
First, we decided to see the dam. We were dismayed to find it dry.
Very, very dry. The drought had taken its toll. So seeing the silver lining in the dark cloud, we decided to explore the newly exposed riverbed.
Then we came to some unexpected water…
It was time to be careful.
After Randy helped me across the dangerous water, he fashioned a walking staff from river debris. He said it helped him to navigate the rough river terrain quite well…
As we looked about us we saw signs of Fall…
We even found evidence of animals that had passed before us. Here is the print of one of Nature’s big cats.
Either that, or a dinosaur…
We even found elusive Keebler scat on a rock in the tall grass.
Encouraged by such a rare find, we continued our trek until we came to the river where we found evidence of a Druid settlement…
We now had proof that the ancient Druids settled Arkansas, then died off when attacked by the Keebler hordes that continue to roam free to this day. One mystery answered, it was time to move on. We went to the water’s edge where Randy poked things with a stick.
We ate lunch, then continued on. Walking, hiking, climbing until we came to a peaceful spot.
Randy explored for a few seconds.
Then he succumbed to a nap.
I went exploring while he slept.
After his power nap of a few moments, Randy got up from his rock and went exploring with me. By then, we hurt so badly we decided to call it a day.
Do you have any hiking stories you want to share? Or favorite places to hike even if it’s just in the Mall, we would love to hear about them. Remember, to leave a comment click on the ‘Comments’ tag at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to check out the latest Photoblog on the right. Just put your cursor over the picture to read the caption, or click on one if you want to leave your comment.