Exploring Arkansas January 2009

Exploring Arkansas January 2009


>>WHITE ROCK MOUNTAIN IN THE
OZARK NATIONAL FOREST NORTH OF
MULBERRY IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES THAT PEOPLE KEEP COMING BACK TO
YOU YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR,
AND TAKING A LOOK OUT THERE, YOU CAN SEE WHY, ESPECIALLY
WHEN NATURE DISPLAYS ITS FULL
ARRAY OF COLOR UP HERE, AND IT’S WHERE WE’LL BEGIN THIS
WEEK’S SHOW.
AND THEN WE’LL TAKE YOU TO WAR EAGLE CAVERN NEAR ROGERS FOR
THE WILD CAVE EXCURSION OVER
THERE, AND WE’LL CONCLUDE WITH A POTEAU MOUNTAIN RUSTIC ROAD
TOUR IN THE WATCH TAW NATIONAL
FOREST NEAR WALDRON. SO NOW, LET’S GO AND EXPLORE
WHITE ROCK MOUNTAIN.
>>WHITE ROCK IS A SPECIAL INTEREST AREA FOR ITS ZO
ZOOLOGICAL AND SCENIC
CHARACTERS. THE BLUFFS ALL AROUND THE RIM
HERE ARE JUST BEAUTIFUL,
SPECTACULAR, AND OF COURSE, THE SCENIC QUALITY IS JUST — IT
SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
YOU CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILE MILES.
AND IT’S A GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE.
>>YES, A GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE TO SAY THE LEAST.
TAKES A BIT OF A DRIVE, THOUGH,
MANEUVERING A FEW SERVICE DIRT ROADS AFTER YOU LEAVE HIGHWAY
15 NEAR SHORES LAKE, BUT IT’S
WELL WORTH IT WHEN YOU DO REACH THE MOUNTAINTOP.
WHITE ROCK MOUNTAIN RECEIVED
ITS NAME FROM THE APPEARANCE OF THE LICHEN ON THE BLUFFS, WHIC
WHICH, FROM A DISTANCE, LOOKS
WHITE. AT 2,260 FEET, WHITE ROCK IS
THE THIRD TALLEST MOUNTAIN IN
ARKANSAS, AND UP HERE, AS WITH MOUNT MAGAZINE, IT DOES HAVE
ITS OWN CLIMATE.
>>IT’S A BIT LIKE DINALI. WE HAVE OUR OWN LITTLE WEATHER
THING GOING ON UP HERE.
IT WILL BE RAINING OR SLEEDING AT SHORES LAKE, WHICH IS SIX
MILES FROM HERE, AND IT WILL
GET SNOW UP HERE, ABOUT TWO OR THREE TIMES DURING THE WINTER
IT SNOWS.
AS FAR AS SEASONS GO, FALL HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE MOST POPULAR
SEASON FOR WHITE BLUFF BECAUSE
OF THE FOLIAGE AND THE SCENIC VIEW.
SPRING HAS BECOME A VERY, VERY
POPULAR TIME. MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY HAVE
BECOME REAL POPULAR ALL OF A
SUDDEN, PEOPLE ARE STAYING CLOSE TO THE HOMES.
I’M SURE WITH THE ECONOMY BEING
AS IT IS, THEY ARE STAYING CLOSE TO HOME, THEY CAN COME
HERE, AND IT’S AN AFFORDABLE
PLACE TO COME AND ENJOY AND BRING THE FAMILY.
>>THERE ARE EIGHT FAMILY
CAMPING UNITS PLUS THREE RENTAL CABINS AND A LODGE, WHICH WERE
RESTORED IN 1991, FIRST BUILT
BY THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS DURING THE 1930s.
THERE’S ALSO THE WHITE ROCK
MOUNTAIN RIM LOOP TRAIL, WHICH COVERS TWO MILES.
>>AND IT’S NOT CHILD
FRIENDLY, I WOULD SAY, BECAUSE IT IS REALLY ON THE RIM OF THE
MOWN TAR, BUT IT DOES HAVE —
MOUNTAIN, BUT IT DOES HAVE A BEAUTIFUL VIEW.
BUT IT’S ONE OF THOSE I WOULD
RECOMMEND MORE FOR ADULTS THAN CHILDREN BECAUSE IT IS VERY
CLOSE TO THE EDGE IN SOME
PLACES, AND YOU JUST HAVE TO BE VERY CAUTIOUS.
IT’S ABOUT CIVILIANS AT POINTS
OF FROM WITH THE PRETTIEST VIEWS ALL AROUND THAT WERE
BUILT BY THE CCC, THE SAME
PEOPLE THAT BUILT THESE CABINS, BACK IN THE ’30s.
SO IT’S A VERY INTERESTING
HISTORICAL WALK IN ITSELF. AND ROCK STRUCTURES, THAT USED
TO BE WATER FOUNTAINS BUT ARE
NOT FUNCTIONING NOW, BUT THEY ARE STILL THERE FOR THE
HISTORIC VIEW.
THERE’S ALSO AN ARTESIAN WELL ON THAT WALK ON THE RIM TRAIL.
SO IT’S A VERY PRETTY WALK.
ANYBODY CAN DO THAT. PEOPLE OF ALL AGES COME UP AND
DO IT.
I IMAGINE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS YOU’VE ENJOYED IT UP HERE,
ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE YOU GET
TO MEET. >>I MEET A LARGE VARIETY OF
PEOPLE, AND THEY BECOME LIKE
EXTENDED FAMILY ALMOST. AS I WAS TELLING YOU EARLIER,
THE PEOPLE THAT VISITED THE
LODGE THIS WEEKEND, IT WAS THEIR 40th YEAR CONSECUTIVE AT
THAT WEEKEND IN OCTOBER, AND
THE LADY THAT HAD STARTED THIS TRADITION IS STILL LIVING AND
IS A HUNDRED YEARS OLD, MISS
STELLA MOSBY OUT OF OKLAHOMA, AND HER FAMILY IS CONTINUING
THIS FAMILY TRADITION.
I MEAN PEOPLE FROM MILES OVER. I’VE MET PEOPLE AS FAR AS NEW
YORK AND ENGLAND HERE.
SO I MEET A LARGE VARIETY OF PEOPLE, VERY INTERESTING.
>>SO DISCOVER AND EXPLORE
WHITE ROCK MOUNTAIN FOR YOURSELF AND THE OZARK NATIONAL
FOREST, AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN
ANNUAL FAMILY TRADITION OF COMING UP TO THE MOUNTAINTOP.
ALSO, AS AN EXTRA ADDED
ATTRACTION, NEARBY SHORES LAKE RECREATION AREA OFFERS A SUPERB
MOUNTAIN LAKE SETTING.
THIS 82-ACRE LAKE IS STOCKED WITH BASS, CATFISH, AND BLU
BLUEGILLS JUST WAITING ON YOU
TO THROW A LINE IN. >>WITH A SPECTACULAR NATURAL
ENTRANCE, WAR EAGLE CAVERN,
EAST OF ROGERS, HAS BEEN THE AMAZEMENT AND WONDER OF PEOPLE
THROUGHOUT THE AGES, FROM
NATIVE AMERICANS ON. NOW, YOU CAN TAKE THE REGULAR
COMMERCIAL TOUR HERE, OR
DEPENDING ON HOW ADVENTURESOME YOU ARE, THE WILD CAVE
EXCURSION, WHICH IS WHAT WE’RE
GOING TO DO TODAY. SO SIT BACK, RELAX, AND LET US
DO THE CRAWLING FOR YOU. WAR EAGLE CAVERN IS LOCATED ON
THE SHORES OF BEAVER LAKE OFF
HIGHWAY 12, EAST OF ROGERS. TEAMING UP WITH DENNIS BOYD AND
JIM MADISON OF WAR EAGLE CAVER
CAVERN, WE BEGAN OUR WILD CAVE TREK WHERE THE PUBLIC TOUR
LEAVES OFF, CRAWLING THROUGH A
THREE-FOOT-HIGH, 85-FOOT-LONG TUNNEL.
AH, BUT THE FUN WAS JUST
STARTING. >>WE HAVING FUN YET?
>>USED BY NATIVE AMERICANS
HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE FIRST SETTLERS CAME TO THIS
AREA, WAR EAGLE CAVERN WAS ONCE
KNOWN AS BAT CAVE AND IS STILL HOME TO ONE OF NORTH AMERICA’S
LARGEST COLONIES OF PIPESTRELLE
AND GRAY BATS. IN FACT, AT ANY GIVEN TIME,
THERE MAY BE AS MANY AS 75,000
BATS IN THE CAVE, AND YOUR CHANCES OF COMING UP UPON HUGE
COLONIES OF BATS LIKE WE DID
ARE QUITE GOOD. BECAUSE THE GRAY BATS USE THE
CAVE AS A MATERNITY ROOST
DURING THE SPRING MONTHS, WILD CAVE TOURS ARE CONDUCTED ONLY
FROM JULY THROUGH OCTOBER. AS FAR AS CAVES GO, WAR EAGLE
CAVERN ISN’T AS OLD AS MOST
CAVES, ONLY ABOUT 250 MILLION YEARS. >>SO THIS CAVE IS ACTUALLY A
MUCH YOUNGER CAVE THAN A LOT OF
CAVES, AND WE’RE A VERY HORIZONTAL CAVE, MEANING THIS
IS A RIVER WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING
GOING BACK UNDERGROUND, AND UP TO JUST A SHORT TIME AGO, ABOUT
500,000 YEARS AGO, THIS WAS A
MASSIVE RIVER FROM CEILING TO FLOOR.
AS THAT RIVER FINALLY RECEDED
FROM THERE, THEN THINGS START WITHDRAWING, AND 500,000 YEARS
IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GET ALL
OF THESE REALLY GROWING ON THERE, SO YOU’VE GOT TO COME
BACK HERE, CHUCK, IN ABOUT
ANOTHER HALF MILLION YEARS, AND WE SHOULD SEE A LOT MORE
STALACTITES BY THAT TIME ON
THERE. WE ARE GOING TO ENCOUNTER SOME
FURTHER BACK ON THE CAVE IN
THERE. RIGHT NOW, THIS IS HOME TO
BATS, AND AS YOU’VE PROBABLY
BEEN ABLE TO SEE, WE’VE GOT SOME BATS HANGING OUT ON OUR
CEILING.
THEY ARE GETTING READY TO GO INTO HIBERNATION HERE, THE
LITTLE BROWN BAT, EASTERN
PIPESTRELLE WE SEE HERE. >>THEY ARE NOT THE ENDANGERED
KIND?
>>NO, SIR. ALL BATS ARE PROTECTED.
VERY SO SOME GRAY BATS THAT —
WE HAVE SOME GRAY BATS THAT ARE MORE RARE, AND THEY HIDE FROM
US.
>>I GUESS THE ONES WITH THE LONG EARS ARE MORE ENDANGERED?
>>YES, SIR.
THERE ARE MORE THAN A THOUSAND KINDS OF BATS.
WE HAVE TWO THAT MAKE THEIR
HOME IN THE CAVE AND PROBABLY ANOTHER FOUR OR FIVE DIFFERENT
SPECIES THAT LIKE TO HANG OUT
HERE IN THE SUMMERTIME. >>AND YOU MENTIONED TO US
BEFORE THE REASON WHY THEY HANG
UPSIDE DOWN. >>WELL, THE REASON A BAT
HANGS UPSIDE DOWN — I DON’T
KNOW IF WE CAN SPOT ANY HERE. THEY ARE A LITTLE DISTANCE
AWAY.
BUT YOU ONLY SEE A BAT HANGING UPSIDE DOWN FOR ONE VERY
IMPORTANT REASON.
IT’S THE ONLY WAY HE CAN FLY. HE’S GOT VERY SHORT LITTLE LEG
LEGS, VERY LONG WINGS,
DISPROPORTIONATE TO HIS BODY. SO TO FLY, HE WILL LET GO, FLIP
OVER, GLIDE, AND FLY.
WHEN HE LANDS, HE’S GOT TO FLIP UPSIDE DOWN AND GRAB HOLD OF A
CEILING.
IF A BAT IS ON THE GROUND, HE IS IN REAL TROUBLE DOWN THERE.
>>WE TALKED ABOUT THE BAT
GUANO HERE, AND IT IS STILL USED TODAY.
>>WE HAVE PILES OF THAT.
WE HAVE NEARLY 100,000 BAT USERS CAVE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR,
AND THEY LEAVE A MESS BEHINDS.
BAT GUANO IS NOTHING MORE THAN BAT POOP OR FERTILIZER, USED AS
FURTHER LIESER.
IN THE PAST IT HAS BEEN USED AS GUN POWDER.
AND THE THING THE LADIES LIKE
TO HEAR, IT IS A KEY INGREDIENT AS A BASE TO MAKE EYE MASCARA
WITH.
>>I DON’T KNOW IF THEY ARE GOING TO PUT ANY ON AFTER THIS.
>>WE HAVE A LOT OF LADIES
SWEAR OFF OF MASCARA WHEN THEY HEAR THAT. >>ALONG THIS WILD CAVE
ROUTE, YOU’LL COME UPON A 3
30-FOOT-TALL NARROW ROOM WHERE WATER DROPLETS EVENTUALLY MAKE
THEIR WAY DOWN TO THE CAVE
FLOOR. WATCHING THEM AS THEY FREE FALL
IS, IN ITSELF, QUITE
FASCINATING. YOU MAY WANT TO CHALLENGE
YOURSELF BY TRYING TO CATCH ONE
OR TWO OF THE DROPLETS WITH YOUR MOUTH. THIS TWO-HOUR WILD CAVE TOUR
AT WAR EAGLE CAVERN IS BY
RESERVATION ONLY, AND YOU MUST BE AT LEAST FOUR FEET TALL.
A LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT IS
RECOMMENDED TO AVOID SCRAPES, AS WELL AS LONG PANTS, NO
SHORTS.
GLOVES, KNEE PADS, AND A HELMET WOULD ALSO BE WISE, ALONG WITH
AT LEAST THREE SOURCES OF LIGHT
FOR BACKUP. ALSO, BRING A CHANGE OF CLOTHES
BECAUSE YOU WILL GET WET AND
MUDDY. BUT ALL IN ALL, IT IS A LOT OF
FUN, AND YOU JUST MAY WANT TO
COME BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN TO EXPLORE THE INNER
DEPTHS OF WAR EAGLE CAVERN. >>EVERY TIME YOU’RE IN THE
CAVE, IT IS DIFFERENT.
PEOPLE THINK THEY WON’T CHANGE, BUT THEY REALLY DO.
TODAY THE CAVE IS REASONABLY
DRY. WE’VE NOT HAD AS MUCH RAIN
LATELY.
BUT THIS SPRING THERE’S BEEN TIMES WATER HAS ROARED THROUGH
HERE.
WE HAVE TIMES A FOG CAN ROLL INTO THE CAVE.
SO EVEN THOUGH OUR TEMPERATURE
STAYS APPROXIMATELY 58 DEGREES YEAR ROUND, THE HUMIDITY CAN
CHANGE, AND IT REALLY CHANGES
THE LOOK OF THE CAVE AND THE WAY WE ENCOUNTER BATS AND
DIFFERENT CREATURES IN HERE, IT
ALWAYS CHANGES. SO EVERY TOUR YOU GO IN IS
SOMEWHAT OF A MYSTERY, AND WE
STILL HAVE NOT FOUND ALL THIS CAVE.
WE’VE EXPLORED NEARLY FOUR
MILES, AND ABOUT EVERY TRIP IN, WE FIND A NEW LITTLE SIDE
PASSAGEWAY GOING SOMEWHERE. >>THE POTEAU MOUNTAIN
WILDERNESS AREA NEAR WALDRON IN
THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST THROUGHOUT THE YEARS HAS
PROVIDED NEEDS FOR MANY PEOPLE.
FIRST, THE NATIVE AMERICANS, THE OSAGE DRIVE.
DURING THE 1600s, FRENCH
TRAPPERS AND EXPLORERS CAME THROUGH THIS AREA.
NOW YOU CAN TAKE THIS 22-MILE
RUSTIC ROAD TRIP THROUGHOUT THE NATIONAL FOREST AND RELIVE SOME
OF THESE YEARS AND TIMES WITH
THE EARLY SETTLERS. [CAR STARTING] >>THE POTEAU MOUNTAIN RUSTIC
ROAD TOUR IS ACTUALLY ALONG
FOREST ROAD 158, LOCATED SIX MILES NORTH OF WALDRON OFF
HIGHWAY 71. OUR FIRST STOP ALONG THIS ROUTE
OVERLOOKS THE POTEAU RIVER
VALLEY, WHICH HAS A LONG HISTORY OF PROVIDING FOR THE
NEEDS OF PEOPLE.
>>AS EARLY AS THE 14th, 15th CENTURY, WE HAD NATIVE TRIBES
COMING THROUGH HERE.
THERE WAS AN ADEQUATE WATER SUPPLY WITH THE SPRINGS.
THERE WAS — THERE WAS FOOD FOR
THEM WITH THE BERRIES AND THE BOUNTIFUL ACORNS AND WALNUTS
AND HICKORIES.
THE OSAGE INDIANS, IN PARTICULAR, WERE ABLE TO USE
THIS AREA FOR SUBSISTENCE AND
GREAT HUNTING UP HERE. THERE’S BEEN BEAR, DEER, AND
WILD TURKEY ALL THROUGH THIS
AREA FOR CENTURIES. AND THEN THE FRENCH EXPLORERS
CAME THROUGH, AND THEY EXPLORED
THE VALLEYS, BOTH TO THE NORTH AND TO THE SOUTH, IN THE 1600s.
AND AS TIME MOVED ON, AS WE’LL
GO DOWN THE ROAD AND SEE, THERE’S AREAS WHERE THERE WERE
OLD WAGON TRAILS THAT CROSSED
OVER THIS MOUNTAIN, MAINLY GOING FROM TEXARKANA TO FORT
SMITH, AND AS LATE AS THE 1880
1880s, 1890s. THIS MOUNTAIN AT ITS HIGHEST
POINT IS ABOUT ALMOST THE
HIGHEST POINT IN THE STATE. IT’S JUST SHORT OF 2700 FEET.
BUT THE EARLY PIONEERS SETTLED
THIS MOUNTAIN. AS WE SAID, THERE’S SPRINGS UP
HERE THAT HAD BEEN DEVELOPED IN
THE EARLY 1900s FOR WATER. THERE’S EVIDENCE OF OLD HOME
PLACES, DUG WELLS, ORCHARDS,
AND IT WAS QUITE A — PROBABLY QUITE A DRIVING LITTLE PLACE UP
HERE ON TOP OF THIS MOUNTAIN. SOMEONE HAD TO BRAINSTORM
SOMETIME BACK TO TRY TO LET THE
PUBLIC GET OUT AND ENJOY MORE OF OUR NATIONAL FOREST, AND THE
CONCEPT CAME ABOUT TO HAVE SOME
AUTO TOURS. SO THIS ONE WAS DEVELOPED
PROBABLY ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO.
WE HAVE ABOUT SIX DESIGNATED STOPS THAT WE’LL SEE SOME OF
THEM TODAY.
THIS ONE THAT WE’RE ON NOW INCLUDES THE VISTA TO THE
SOUTH.
WE HAVE TWO PICNIC TABLES UP HERE WITH FIRE RINGS THAT YOU
CAN COME FOR A DAY, DRIVE
THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN WITH A PICNIC LUNCH, AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THING ABOUT THIS DRIVE IN THE
FALL IS THAT IT’S ALL FREE. WE ARE PART OF THE OUACHITA
NATIONAL FOREST.
THIS IS THE POTEAU COLD SPRINGS RANGER DISTRICT.
WE BORDER OKLAHOMA.
THIS DISTRICT IS COMPRISED OF ABOUT 380-SOME-ODD-THOUSAND
ACRES.
BUT THIS PARTICULAR STRETCH OF THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST
STARTS JUST NORTH OF WALDRON ON
HIGHWAY 71 AT SQUARE ROCK LAKE, AND PRETTY MUCH GOES WEST ALONG
THE TOP OF POTEAU MOUNTAIN FOR
ABOUT 22 MILES. >>OUR SECOND STOP IS LOOKOUT
GAP.
OF PARTICULAR INTEREST HERE IS AN OLD ROADBED THAT CROSSES
FOREST ROAD 158.
>>THIS TRAIL WE’RE ON RIGHT NOW IS — WAS ALL HISTORICAL —
WITH ALL HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS
WAS THE OLD FOOT PASS FOR THE NATIVE AMERICANS, THEY PROBABLY
USED IT SOME.
THE OSAGE WERE IN THIS AREA. THEY USED IT, IT WAS THE BEST
ROUTE, IT WAS IN A LITTLE BIT
OF A GAP COMING OVER THE MOUNTAIN, SO IT WASN’T QUITE SO
STEEP.
THEY WERE ABLE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AGAINST AMBUSH FROM
THE EARLY SETTLERS JUST BY THE
VEGETATION AND THE TERRAIN. AND THEN AS TIME PROGRESSED,
AFTER, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE
TRADING AND SOME OF THE EARLY SETTLERS CAME INTO THIS AREA,
IT WAS USED, IMPROVED TO A
WAGON ROAD. SO CAN YOU IMAGINE COMING OVER
HERE WHEN YOU’RE ALL HOT AND
TIRED AND A SQUEAKY RA GONE ROUGH COMING UP AND DOWN THE —
WAGON ROUGH COMING UP AND DOWN
THE SIDE OF THIS MOUNTAIN. ALSO, OUR ACCOUNTS FROM WHAT WE
HAVE FROM HISTORICAL
DOCUMENTATION, ABOUT THREE MILES TO THE NORTHWEST OF HERE
TOWARDS FORT SMITH IS THE
LEGENDARY BELL STAR CAVE, WHERE I HAVE EXPLORED PERSONALLY
MYSELF, AND IT LOOKS LIKE A
VERY, VERY GOOD HIDEOUT PLACE THAT’S TUCKED UP IN A BLUFF
SHELTER WITH SOME ROCKS PUT IN
OVER THE FRONT OF IT. SO BELL STAR WAS ALSO RUMORED
TO HAVE COME THROUGH THIS EXACT
FOOT TRAIL OLD WAGON ROAD THAT WE’RE WALKING ON RIGHT NOW. >>OUR NEXT STOP IS THE
REMNANTS OF DOBBS SPRING.
>>THERE’S NO TELLING HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS THIS WAS —
HAS BEEN HERE.
THE NATIVE AMERICANS COULD HAVE DEVELOPED THIS SPRING AT ONE
TIME FOR WATER, A WATER SOURCE
UP HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN, AS WE ARE.
THE EARLY SETTLERS THAT CAME
THROUGH IN THE 1800s, I’M SURE, FOUND THESE SPRINGS UP HIGH AND
DEVELOPED THEM.
AND I SUSPECT, CHUCK, THAT THIS WAS PROBABLY A PRETTY GOOD POOL
OF WATER AT ONE TIME, BUT A LOT
OF THESE LITTLE ECOSYSTEMS HAVE THEIR — AND WITH THE
DECOMPOSITION, THE FALLING
LITTER AND LEAF MATERIAL ALWAYS COMING IN HERE AND DECOMPOSING
HAS ACTUALLY PROBABLY FILLED
THIS IN A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT. THEY COULD HAVE STORED SOME OF
THEIR MILK PRODUCTS AND SOME OF
THEIR OTHER — USED THIS AS A MEANS TO, LIKE WE WOULD USE A
REFRIGERATOR TODAY TO KEEP
THINGS COOL. BUT YOU CAN SEE FROM THE ROCK
WALL AND, ACTUALLY, THERE’S AN
OLD PIECE OF BARBED WIRE THAT’S VERY OLD THAT THEY PROBABLY
FENCED THIS TO KEEP SOME OF
THEIR GRAZED CATTLE OUT OF HERE.
IT’S POSSIBLE THEY COULD HAVE
IRRIGATED SOME OUT OF THIS BECAUSE THIS AREA HAD ORCHARDS
ON IT, WAS HOMESTEADED, AND
PROBABLY HAD QUITE A BIT OF DOMESTICATED ON MALS ON IT.
>>THOSE ORCHARDS, I GUESS,
JUST UP THE HILL FROM HERE >> FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THIS
PART OF THE COUNTRY DID HAVE A
LOT OF HOMEINSTEAD AND/OR CHARDZ.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BACK IN
THE TURN OF THE CENTURY ENDED UP BUYING A LOT OF THIS
MOUNTAINTOP LAND BECAUSE PEOPLE
COULDN’T PAY TAXES ON IT, BUT SOME PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO BE
SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH TO PAY TAXES,
AND THERE’S ACTUALLY A PIECE OF PRIVATE JUST BEHIND THIS THAT’S
LANDLOCKED VIRTUALLY WITH
NATIONAL FOREST ALL AROUND IT. BUT TODAY THIS SPRING PROBABLY
LOOKS A LOT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT
IT DID A COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
IT STILL HAS A FAIR SUPPLY OF
WATER IN IT, AND A MINUTE AGO, THERE’S SOME GOOD SIZE DEER
TRACKS, SO IT’S STILL BEING
USED TODAY BY SOMETHING. >>OUR FINAL STOP THROUGH THE
POTEAU MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS AREA
IS AT BUFFALO WALLOW. BUFFALO MAY HAVE WALLOWED IN
THIS POND.
IT WAS ALSO USED TO WATER RANGE CATTLE.
TODAY IT SERVES AS A SOURCE OF
WATER FOR THE AREA WILDLIFE. >>SO TAKE THE POTEAU MOUNTAIN
RUSTIC ROAD TRIP FOR YOURSELF
AND DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF THE BACKROADS OF THE OUACHITAS, OR
IF YOU’RE UP TO IT, TAKE THAT
WILD CAVE EXCURSION NEAR WAR EAGLE CAVERN NEAR RODGERS.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT GOING UP TO
WHITE ROCK MOUNTAIN NORTH OF MULBERRY.
FOR MORE ON THESE AND ANY OF
OUR OTHER DESTINATIONS OR TO VIEW MAPS OR ORDER A COPY OF
OUR EPISODE, VISIT OUR WEBSITE,
AETN.ORG/EXPLORINGARKANSAS. WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR
ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON
EXPLORING ARKANSAS.

2 thoughts on “Exploring Arkansas January 2009

  1. WATCH FOR SASQUATCH IF YOU ARE WALKING . THEY ARE THERE . I NEVER BELIEVED IT TILL I FOUND 18 INCH TRACKS ABOUT 1 HOUR DEEP THERE , HAD A ROCK THROWN AT ME AND HAVE MADE 5 CASTINGS OF TRACKS. EVEN A CLASS A ENCOUNTER IN 2008 .

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