Thursday, March 27, 2008

Green Canyons and Little Rocks

Being a lovely summer morning, I took a few more shots at the valley and then ran up the view tower, an old (been there all My life, anyway) wooden construct for daring tourists to conquer and take in some fresh air and scenery and wriggly kids to work off pent-up energies by. A test of one's ticker, at the least. But worth the climb when you're up for it and it isn't too hot or cold or windy or whatever...definitely stretches the limbs after being cramped up in a car for a while.
Buffalo River.
Scenic Point sign. You know you're in the Ozarks by those wooden shingles. They're an icon.
Wheee, looking down at my car, and a few other things. (No, no fear of heights...fear of landing is an entirely different matter, lol.)
View from within the wooden tower. Quintessential Arkansas here.
All about in the dark shadows of the wooden tower, walking sticks were busy making...more walking sticks. Apparently this was also the walking stick love shack. I've never seen so many huge ones congregated in one area!
This time the gift shop was open so I spent awhile gawking at the wares, and ended up buying more little stone critters. Then I went on to the next scenic stop, same one I'd seen the gorgeous Milky Way view in on the way up. I explored those fascinating plants some more. Somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking they were passionflowers or maypops (though I don't remember why I'd think that). I was later delighted when I looked them up on the internet and found that was exactly what they were! I have sticky brains, for what good that may be.
Ozark landscape flora...
Gotta even out the pretty with the devilishly fascinating. Here's a web-tent full of tent worms. Kinda neat...especially if you're a wasp. Then it's a grocery bag.
Last snap at the oldest mountain range on the planet...
With a passionflower chaser.
I spent some great time at Coleman's, a cool rock shop down the way, and at another place, and even snagged a couple of things in Hot Springs. I crossed back over the little lakes and retirement villages and grand resorts around Hamilton Lake and thought I'd get out and stretch a few minutes at Caddo Lake, but the turn I made led into a pay beach so I stopped and looked at my map--looking lost and stupid I got some park ranger directions. Not so much because I was really lost, but there was no way to turn around without going through the toll booth and I didn't want to pay a day use fee for a quick not-important picture. Oops. Fortunately the nice ranger let me turn around and told me how to get to the main highway, and I did that and headed on out of Arkansas.
Home again home again jiggety jog...I toodled along in the annoying afternoon light towards Dallas. Somewhere along the way I got gasoline, a soda, and some black walnut ice cream (another weakness). "Nutrition" and fueling attended to, I also warned Nancy C. that I was in the state, though didn't know when I'd be in Waco...probably not for dinner. The drive home was interesting--I saw a trucker pull over and get out and then his rig caught on fire! Later on the opposite side of the highway, I saw a car slam into something and a lot of us nearly slammed into each other since people started rubbernecking and stopping to get out. The ambulance came a good time later, but enough people had gathered around the wreck that they didn't need more. Must be something in the air. Indeed, I got in Dallas after dark and nearly missed becoming a statistic myself since the van in front of me suddenly fell off its axle or hit something as I was trying to get into the correct lane to merge toward Waco. That can be startling with a soda in your mouth. snort Dallas is never a fun place to drive in, though. Add this clutzy-clutchiness in the stars thing and it's rather scary...
But I managed to get to Waco, and find Nancy's place, and she generously took me in for the night, and even let me go again in the morning. Packed my stuff back into the minivan, tetris-style, and had a leisurely time of coffee and bird-watching out her window before bidding fond goodbyes. On I drove until I had lunch around San Marcos and called my sis to tell her I'd be there soon enough, and I made it all the way back home with light still left for unpacking. I emptied the car and did a few chores. I even plugged in the cooler and discovered to my awe that it had thoroughly dried out along the trip home so it was in ok working condition, if rather beat up (I cleaned it and later stuck it back in the back of the car for shopping...its present lack of a handle made it a bit cumbersome for anything else, but that's what I used it for 99% of the time anyway, so no biggie). My older jumper-battery didn't want to power anything heftier than a cell phone any more, though, so I retired it. Did banking, caught up with sister, bought some reading glasses, scrubbed and cleaned and slept oh-so-comfy in my own bed...oddly enough I haven't needed the glasses too often since. I do have problems seeing up close, but it is mostly defined by how tired I am. Sigh, getting old, finally. Darn it, figured I'd skip all that. Anyone can do THAT...;-)