I went on vacation to Arkansas recently and saw many beautiful things, including the Ozarks in Arkansas, hence I call the trip Ozarkansas. I know, I’m punny. I live in Texas, and go to University of Texas at Austin, so I can’t stop repping my horns in Arkansas. Heck, I haven’t been outside of Texas in almost two years. My trip to Arkansas was enchanting. Arkansas has got some beautiful natural wonders, and I thank God that such beauty exists. I am so glad to take a trip with my family and enjoy the simple things.
First, we went up Mount Nebo. Mount Nebo State Park is up on the top of the mountain, so the climbing is done by the road there. The views were quite nice. This place has a bit of novelty with the steep roads and hiking, but has something for everyone.
Next, we went to Petit Jean State Park. This was the first state park in Arkansas, and it is quite wonderful. My dad and I hiked all the day down to the Cedar Creek Falls. It was a huge waterfall, and the way the creek carves the sides and makes the sudden drop is truly magical and breathtaking. The falls are well-framed in harmony with all the surrounding greenery. The view from the overlook pales in comparison, because the water just seems to disappear and it can only be seen from a certain angle. Petit Jean Mountain is truly beautiful.
The next day, we traveled south to Hot Springs. I got to see the bath houses, only one is still operational due to the decrease of popularity in bath houses. As an architecture nerd, I love how each bathhouse has its own character, yet complement each other with common features, such as awnings. The town itself is a bit of a tourist trap, as there are many stores, and restaurants, but overall, the town is quaint.
Later, we went to Lake Ouachita, a man-made lake in the middle of the Ouachita Forest. My dad, my brother and I went on canoe, while my sister and my mom went on a paddle-boat. The lake was nestled between the hills. It was simple and relaxing navigating the area of the lake within the state park. We finished off this easier day here and took things slow.
One of my favorite places we went to was Mount Magazine. This has the highest point in Arkansas at 2753 feet. The unique thing at this place is that the highest point is on a flat hill within the mountain. There is not much of a view from the highest point, but rather you have to travel to the edge of the mountain to see a view. There are so many views from each mountainside. Each one I saw was so majestic, and I could see for miles. The place is well inhabited by different creatures ranging from rare butterflies to bears. This place is so beautiful and I love it so much I wish I could live at the Lodge there.
The last place we went to was Blanchard Springs Caverns. This place has a huge cavern underneath the hills of the Ozarks. The spring comes out of the caverns. It rained that day, so the cavern and the area outside were very moist. The caverns are millions of years old and are still building ever so slowly. The stalactites and stalagmites formed create a cathedral filled with geological formations. Outside the cavern, the area is well-forested. My family enjoyed seeing the formations, and the creek by the caverns.
This journey allowed me to take a break from my work and better appreciate the beauty of nature created by God. I wish I could go back again soon. I also made a video using my Go-Pro and some other camera to document our trip. I love Arkansas, it has so much natural beauty.
The Nerd of May