Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Road Less Traveled.....

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by.”
~ Robert Frost~
Last Thursday Handy Hubby announced that we needed to take a day trip to destress. He was making arrangements to take the day off on Friday. We plucked out the state travel guide and picked a spot we had never been to, planned a picnic and we were set. Darling Daughter had the day off so she decided to accompany us. We decided to venture further into the Ozark National Forrest and check out a place called Richland Falls. We planned to hike the 2 1/2 miles to the falls and back and then find a nice stopping place for a picnic lunch. With map in hand and somewhat sketchy directions off we went up scenic byway 7.Now, you have to realize that in my home state we have a lot of places that end with Hollow, Creek, and Gap. I happen to live in a gap, Pickles Gap to be exact. Yes, it is a real place, a small community in a larger town. And yes, if you know the area we do lie just east of Toad Suck. I am not making this up!

Where my people come from, up in the hills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, almost everyone is from some Hollow only it is pronounced Holler. As we traveled further northward we passed through Chigger Hollow, where there is nothing but a trading post.
Hubby asks if I want to stop. I reply, "Uh no! If this place is crawlin' with the critters it's named after I'll pass!" If you have ever been bit by chiggers you know that they are invisible, leave nasty red whelps that itch unceasingly for days on end!

After that we passed through Booger Hollow.
Named for being scary at night like the Boogerman, not anything created by post nasal drip. The small population must not have been able to support their trading post.It is out of business.But they did have some quaint restroom facilities.Note the sign on this double decker:Translation: Upstairs closed til we figur out the plummin'!, meaning, don't use the down stairs facilities!

Then we passed through Piney Creek, of which there are two, Big Piney Creek and Little Piney Creek. We passed through Big Piney Creek and an assortment of other quaint places like Moccisan Gap, where they have a trail ride that takes you through the beautiful forest, across creeks, and to over looks where you will see some stunning water falls.

We stopped off at Pedestal Rocks and Kings Bluff where there are two hiking trails, Pedestal Rocks is 2.2 miles and Kings Bluff is 1.7 miles long. In this scenic area you can view picturesque rock bluffs, swim in crystal clear streams, and hike wooded hillsides. Kings Bluff features a large flat bluff top with a beautiful waterfall that flows over the ledge.Pedestal Rocks is a lesson in the geology of the area. While hiking the trail, you will see layer upon layer of sediment that was deposited when the area was under water. After the water receded, the land raised to form a dome called the Ozark Plateau. Since then, natural erosion has been occurring to form the Ozarks. On the trail, you will see unique formations called pedestals that were formed by weathering, and are the featured destination of this area.After viewing the lush woodlands and enjoying a break, we went on to the town of Ben Hur to seek out Richland Falls. I, being the navigator, pulled out my trusty map and and read off the exact directions in the travel guide. We went around a big curve with a grouping of four or five houses in which several old timers were working in their yards and gardens. They looked up and waived, we waived back. We zipped up the byway quite a ways but never saw any sign of a turn off. We passed a big green bus parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. The driver was resting at the wheel, he waved so we waived.After thinking we had missed the turn, we turned around and went back, waving at the bus driver and the old timers as we went by. We went back to our starting point and tried again, passing and waiving at old timers and bus driver again, repeating the process as we zipped back by. On our third trip by an old gentleman pulled off his hat, scratched and shook his head as he leaned on his garden hoe. No telling what he was thinking. Every time we passed the bus driver I begged to stop and ask him directions. Finally Handy Hubby relented.

Fat lot of good that did, he wasn't from the area. I told hubby to be sure and ask him why he was sitting in a big green bus in the middle of nowhere. Turns out he was with the forestry service. He dropped a bus load of forest rangers off to do fire training exercises. After several twists and turns of the map, he declared that he was lost too! I was ready to give up as I was very familiar with the big curve, the scenery, and my waiving arm was getting tired!We decided to backtrack one more time and instead of zipping we moved at a snails pace. I was insistent that we try turning off at the horse trails, surely they would pass the falls. Turns out that I was right! We were to turn off on a county access road, the teeny tiny numbers were prominently posted in that little indented section of the stop sign pole. Now why didn't we see that?

I warned my husband before we left that the guide book said the road that led to Richland Falls was rough and perhaps we should leave my darling car at home and take the truck or the four wheel drive
tracker. Nope, he thought we would enjoy the day much more in my airy vehicle. Turns out I was right again. While my ride is rather enjoyable bouncing up and down the wobbly washed out road was not!Along side the road there were some charming rustic cabins. We figured out where Hilary Clinton vacations, see, her name is on the mailbox!The bump and grind was worth every teeth jarring moment when we caught a glimpse of Falling Water Creek and realized that the road was traveling beside it going down stream.This meant we might come across the falls without the uphill hike! We did! We pulled right up alongside of Twin Falls and it was magical!We went further up the road to check out more breath taking scenery until we came to a part of the road that impassable for my car.We stopped at one spot and went down to waters edge where we came upon an large group of butterflies. They were all out on a little island in the middle of the creek, it was a sight to behold. Several of them fluttered to shore and landed, one on me! Darling daughter caught a shot of a few of them.We practiced our rock skipping skills a bit, unable to access the Richland Falls area, we backtracked to the smaller Twin Falls where we had our picnic atop them with our feet dangling over the edge while dipping our toes in the icy water.The water flowed crystal clear down the creek and poured into a deep green pool below. It must be a popular swimming hole as there were two trees rigged with makeshift rungs that led up to ropes used to swing out over the water where one could plunge into the pool below.The tree formations below the falls area were very unique, this looks as if it were poured in place over the rocks.Two trees formed a large round hollow with windows where you could get inside and peek out or peek through and see the rushing water on the other side.This side pool area looked like a perfect mermaid pool to me.I was totally enchanted by the breath taking beauty, the power and noise of the falls, the colors of the water, and company of the day. We had the whole place to ourselves.We waded in the frigid waters, climbed up, over, and around the rocks and tree roots, whose design I was fascinated with.We took another route home, we decided to let TomTom tell us the shortest route home. He said to turn right at the next road, it was supposed to be the old highway ~ it was a fork in the road. We had to choose from the smooth paved path we were on or the dirt road that was less traveled. We chose the latter up for a bit more adventure. At the same time my daughter and I burst into a recitation of The Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference


Robert Frost

There was a Biblical lesson hidden in our day. In Jeremiah 6:16 scripture says, "This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."Many times throughout the day we stood at an emotional crossroads faced with fork in road choices where we had to choose what our attitude and response to various situations would be. We forsook frustration and just enjoyed the journey. We chose to laugh and joke rather than grumble and complain. We made a memory instead of being miserable.We chose the road less traveled, the one where we usually detour from into frustration. We picked the good way and walked in it, indeed finding rest and refreshment for our souls. I was extremely glad at days end that our whole journey had been on the road less traveled, it did indeed make all the difference.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

P.S. I hope you all have a good weekend. We are doing some DIY projects and gorgeous grandson is having his 2nd Birthday party on Saturday so the rest of my week is full. I'll be back on Monday to post the Give Away Winner! Click on the blue link to sign up!

There is also a fabulous give away going on over at Faith's Vintage Vanity! To sign up go here. Faith is new to the blogging community, go over and give her a warm welcome and take a peek at her awesome give away goodie. She has some extra surprises up her sleeve too! You will love all the vintage goodness she has going on over there! Faith will pick a winner on May 30th!

17 comments:

bluemuf said...

Miss Sandy, This is one of my favourite poems. Beautiful pictures and prose. Thank you so very much for sharing your lovely day with us all.

Hugs Karen

Catherine Holman said...

Oh Sandy I love all those names and places. I'm always looking for village names or titles for my paintings.

Since we live near Kansas City we may just have to make a trip to hunt for these places. It would make a good weekend get away!
Hugs,
Cathie

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Ohhh, I so enjoyed this post. What a beautiful hidden pond you found! We have one here that looks much like that, but everyone knows about it.

Loved your humor, which comes through so charmingly. I could just see the elderly gent wondering what you were all up to going back and forth. The standard joke in my corner is that if you ask a native for directions, you'll get a "You can't get theyah from heah."

Terri said...

What lovely country!
Thanks for the tour.
God bless.
Terri

Lori said...

a tale of getting lost has never been told so eloquently or sweetly...i love your humor Miss Sandy and your day looks beautiful!!!

Billy & Ann said...

What beautiful places. If I'm ever in Arkansas I would love to take that same drive.

Debbie said...

Hi, Sandy! I loved your story, and totally understand where you are coming from- literally. See, I grew up in Booger County, or also known as Ava, Mo. I have since moved to rhe big city of Springfield. There is just no beauty like that of the Ozarks, but it's not always easy to get there. But the pictures prove it is worth the hunt. So glad you enjoyed the day!
Debbie from homewithhospitality@yahoo.com

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Ms. Sandy,
I love that poem and I once sang with a group that performed it as a song. It is so lovely and a reminder to venture out of your comfort zone at times.

I am thinking that people from WV must have started Arkansas. They had some jacked up names there. My favorites were the towns of Little and the next town was called...wait for it...Next! It always cracked me up.

The Feathered Nest said...

Miss Sandy, you have such a wonderful way of telling about your outings!! What beautiful photographs, too ~ thank you always for your message to the heart and also for welcoming Faith! Hope you have a wonderful day, xxoo, Dawn

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Quaint is the word that comes to mind for many of the photos. It was a beautifully soothing post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy what beautful places you have around you. I just love waterfalls, the ocean for some reason it just renews me. Vicki Page

Judy said...

The road less travelled is my kind of get-away! I love those quaint out-of-the-way places. Thanks for taking us along on your outing.

Pat said...

Miss Sandy,
It has been a while since I visited your BLOG. I had forgotten how beautiful it is. I feel like I have been on vacation. One of my favorite things to do is to drive down little winding roads that only God knows where they lead. It sounds like you had a dream of a drive and it certainly looks like one.
Thank you for sharing it,
blessings,
pat

Mary Isabella said...

I read evey word and enjoyed it so much....Happy weekend...Mary

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Miss Sandy!
Thank you for taking on you journey of the road less traveled! It was so beautiful, your photos perfect, I'm surprised you could hold the camera up after all that waving! LOL
Hugs, Sherry

Cori G. said...

Hello again Miss Sandy,
I sat down yesterday to read this post and was just in awe of the beauty around you. It must be nice to live in an area with wide open spaces.

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

We used to live in Arkansas and I love that area. My kids and I would pack a picnic and take off every shiny summer morning and go explore the woods.

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