Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Missing Arkansas

I'll never forget taking this picture of the famous Whitaker Point in the Arkansas Ozarks. Perhaps you might know it by its more common name, "Hawksbill Crag," called so for obvious reasons. It's probably the most photographed scene in the Ozarks. I've stood on it, and trust me, stay away from the edge. It's a long way down, and as well-known photographer and trail guide Tim Ernst says, "if you slip and fall, you'll probably die." There are lots of places like that in the Ozarks. No matter, it's still gorgeous.

The day this picture was taken, it was in July, and the temperature hovered around 100F. What kind of dummies would be hiking trails in the summer. . . and above all, in the South? Dummies like me, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I liked a plunge into the nice, crystal clear, cool Buffalo River even more.

I haven't been able to get back to my favorite stomping grounds for work and family reasons, but I miss it more every day. You can't cross a river or stream here in northern Illinois and view the muddy brown sludge and enjoy it much after you've seen the aquamarine clarity of an Ozark stream. The fishing is great, people show you the famous Southern hospitality, the food is great - especially if you can find an old Mom and Pop cafe or barbecue in a small town. Don't mess with the chain restaurants. Get out where the real comfort food is!

I'd better shut up. I'm making myself homesick, and hungry. Oh, well. Someday . . .

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