Being old(er) really has it’s advantages. One of them is that I’ve got time off when everybody else is at work. That is a real asset when I feel like getting away by myself in the woods. That lets me take my trips on weekdays.
Here in Arkansas though, it can’t be just any weekday. Timing is critical. The best time for a trip into the woods is in the fall, just after the first frost but just before deer season starts. Go into the woods before the frost and you become a meal for ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and gnats. Go after the deer season starts and you just might get shot.
…and I can never see that rock that is just slightly left of center in the above picture without remembering the first time I did go to Richland. It wasn’t fall. In fact, it was a hot Arkansas summer day. It was in the early 1970’s. A friend of mine made me a hand drawn map so I would know how to find this spot because it wasn’t on any map. I spent three glorious days swimming in that pool and stretched out on that rock. The water was sweet and good to drink. I had fish for supper every night. I didn’t see another soul or hear a single human made sound other than my own for the entire time.
The last time I was there it was on the map. There were “established campsites” with picnic tables, porta-potties, barbeque pits, screaming kids, and heathens riding ATV’s. I didn’t see any fish. I drank my water from a plastic bottle.