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Just the Two of Us
October 22-24, 2004

For the first time in eight or nine years Stacey and I went on a weekend getaway all by ourselves, and it was as nice as I thought it would be and more. We stayed two nights in a cozy little cottage at the Tall Pines Inn in Eureka Springs. Of course I had to add some outdoor adventures to the plan.
On the drive up Friday afternoon we made a detour over to two areas on the Kings River. First was the crossing at Marshall Ford. This is the “amazing spot” I mention on the message page of this web site. It’s really nothing more than an overhanging bluff next to the river, and the only attention it gets is from floaters who access the river here. But when I first found it one spring a few years ago I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever been. That’s what I get for spending too much time in the same old deer woods year after year! I still plan to come back some day with a canoe and do some fishing.
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Next we drove into the Madison County Wildlife Management Area and went on a hike to what I’m calling Eagle’s Nest Overlook. It i s a bluff high above a sharp bend in the Kings River. There are excellent driving and hiking directions to this spot in Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfalls guidebook, on the Eagle’s Nest Falls page. I brought along our new point-and-shoot digital camera to try out. I’ve been wanting something we can stick in a pocket and use for quick snapshots during the course of a hike. The foliage along the way wasn’t all that colorful, but when we got to the overlook there was a brilliant stand of sweetgum trees down below.
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Saturday morning I got up before sunrise and went out to shoot pictures. I started at Lake Leatherwood, hoping to get a sunrise shot, but nothing there got me inspired. So I drove over to the tailwaters below Beaver Lake dam to see if I could get any shots of trout fishermen. Three ladies across from the boat ramp were putting the guys to shame. They were constantly reeling in fish. As I was about to leave, some bright blue flowers caught my eye along the west bank. At first I just thought how unusual it was to be seeing blue flowers in late October. Then when I looked closer I stated thinking how unusual the flowers themselves were, so I stopped and took some pictures.
I’ve since learned the flowers are called Big Blue Lobelia, which I probably won’t remember next week. But what I will remember is this: These guys are first cousins to the red Cardinal Flowers I found below Dixon Ford this summer. Both flowers are very similar in build and both grow close to streams. So for me it’s the cousins Cardinal Flower and bluebird flower.
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I snapped this picture of Mulberry leaves behind the Eureka Springs post office with the new camera. Looks like it might work out.
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