Saturday, July 22, 2017
Sneezeweed in full bloom.
The huge bloom of a Prickly Poppy. The shorter orange flowers
are Indian Blankets.
There is another short creek running to the north, but west of Cobb
Creek, that runs into a wooded area.
A Great Blue Heron fishing along the bank.
This beaver lodge in the delta of Cobb Creek is the second largest
Like most Western and Plains states, any open public lands are open
to cattlemen for grazing at the rate of $1.87 a head/month. Anywhere
you step ashore, you have cattle to deal with, and there appears to be
no responsibility for maintaining them.
Large, red sandstone cliffs hang out over the stream.
The bridge across Cobb Creek spans what they call Cedar Canyon.
Not far beyond, the stream grows much shallower, but compensates
with a nice, firm, gravel bottom.
When we bottomed out on the gravel bar, I climbed up the steep
bank to have lunch in a grove of trees. Nearby lay the skeleton
of a cow that had obvious laid there for a considerable span of time.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The Ram and Buddy at the Crowder Lake Park entrance.
Whether a one-percenter or just real lucky, the owner of this home
has a beautiful commanding view of the lake and their own boat dock.
Layers of rock formation create ledges at the edge of the lake.
Bold ridges and cliffs have eroded into the lake. See the pedestals
near the water's edge.
When the cliff broke away, the dirt slowly eroded and washed into
the lake. A few rocks in the dirt, however, protected the dirt
beneath them from further attack by the weather, creating a
protective 'helmet' that shielded the earth beneath to leave the
rocks on tall pedestals.
Along the remaining cliff face, swallows dig into the earth to
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Much of the history in the beautiful countryside is being preserved.
The bridge in the background, that no longer meets modern specs,
is being moved intact to where it can be used rather than being
Our return trip was in car 107 with its beautiful patterned tin
ceiling, called a Wunderlich ceiling.
In my youth, these double-decker 1940's-era Zephyr Vista Dome
cars were the epitome of first-class travel. I had always wanted to
see one, but it wasn't until this trip that I climbed on one with the
cleaning crew hard at work. Fortunately, I found this picture on
the Arkansas & Missouri web site sans cleaning crew and vacuum
This picture blurred as I tried to take it from the train as we flew past,
but it was important enough I felt it should be seen anyhow. The
construction on the Winslow Tunnel began on Sept. 26, 1881 with
a 300-man crew. Conditions were severe, and once inside the tunnel,
the air was scarce and stale. Men's skin turned yellow as they
grew weaker. Then smallpox swept through the crew with many
deaths, some buried in nearby cemeteries, some buried right along
the tracks they were laying. With the warming of spring, malaria
was added to their health challenges. The work had to be completed,
but the railroad president felt so bad about the toll in human life
(a condition I doubt we'd see in American industrial life today),
that he stipulated in his will that his body be returned to lay with
his workers on the mountain, and here he lies between two of
Greater Downtown Winslow. There is one more red building
to the left of these.
Arkansas & Missouri Railroad still runs passenger service from
The perfect Ron Howard-styled movie set.
Sunset on the Talimena Trail.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
This is not a paddling tale, but was a train excursion we took
last November. It was great fun.
Arkansas-Missouri Railroad's Springdale, AR, station and museum.
Engine 68 provided the muscle for our day-long trip.
Car 105 from 1927.
Car 105 was completely rebuilt and renovated in the Victorian
grandeur of mahogany, brass, and velvet.
Most people understand that when you go out into nature, you
have to accept nature on her terms. One traveler didn't get the
message. While nearly everyone rated the trip as 5-star, one gave
it a 1 or 2-star rating because the foliage wasn't as spectacular as
he expected. While the dro
ught had deprived the trees of their
normal fall glory, they were beautiful all the same. The trip
itself, was still 5-star.
The Boston Mountains