Jared and I recently took a short trip to Arkansas. For me the trip was two fold. My father passed a way 10yrs ago in the Fort Smith area and I have long since wanted to find and visit his grave. As with a lot of family stories, my parents divorced when I was young and my father slowly drifted out of my life. Reasons and back story don’t really matter any more, time moves on and so have I. But the need for some closure was heavy for me.
So we set out after work one afternoon and drove and drove until we finally decided to pull in about midnight to the first campground we came across. Which happened to be right outside of Mena, Arkansas called Iron Mountain. After paying our fee at the site sign, we drove around in the dark unsure of where we were supposed to be setting up but eventually settled on a spot that the deer had just been grazing in moments before. We interrupted their midnight snack. It was a quick..setup the tent, throw in the sleeping bags and crawl in night since our scouting for the shower house ended in a bust. Not the most comfortable of nights, but oh well. It was quite cold and our spot near the roadway was a bit noisy.
The next morning we packed up and again scouted and found the shower house. It was nice and big and had lovely hot running water! If you’re ever in that area I recommend staying there, very pretty place …just pick a site further back from the roadway. After cleaning up we headed out to grab breakfast, and headed towards Fort Smith. I was now seeing Arkansas in the daylight and could try and catch some photos…even if they were from the Jeep window going 60mph.
Lovely Quachita Mountains and forest
Lots of logging trucks along the way, also lumber mills.
Fort Smith was a really nice place, very pretty. Lots of factory work there. I even got a shot of Mr. Peanut!
The rest of that morning did not work out the way I had hoped all these years, but that story is one I’ll keep for my own. After finishing up in Fort Smith, we headed out and headed east.
I loved seeing so many old barns and farms along the way. I think I could do a whole series on Arkansas barns.
Finally in the Ozarks!
I have to say driving on all those curvy steep mountain roads made for a queasy afternoon. But it was fun. When we reached Jasper, we found the road to Kyles Landing and headed down the dirt road into the canyon and towards the campground.
Once finally down there after a long and steep decline we picked out a camp site with the Buffalo River below us and beautiful cliffs behind us. Then explored a bit down by the river before it got dark.
After dark crept in we sat around cooking our dinner, chatting, and dreaming of what lay ahead of us the next day. This is always my favorite part of camping.
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