Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lake Catherine State Park - Arkansas

Here's the second of our "catch-up" blogs:

Roger here...  The trip from Rend Lake, IL to Lake Catherine State Park, which is located just south of Hot Springs, Arkansas, involved two days of driving.  The first day was one of those frustrating days.  We attempted to stop at four different RV parks at the end of the day.  Two were scary looking.  One was OK, but exorbitantly priced (and the guy behind the desk in the office was wearing pajamas at 2:00 p.m.)  The fourth evidently no longer exists (we could not find it).  We eventually settled into a safe spot at the Lonoke, Arkansas Wal-Mart.  The irritating day of driving proved to be worth the aggravation when early the next day we arrived at Lake Catherine.  The opening picture gives you an idea as to why we were so pleased with our four-night stay.

What a beautiful campground.  We were parked in a huge back-in site across from the lake.  We had the most magnificent view from our front windshield every morning.

Dianne here:  The only downside to our beautiful site was that once again, we were nestled in deep woods, with no chance of satellite internet or tv.  We scoped out several other camp sites, including this one (site #45) that we plan to reserve next time:
Here's the view of the lake from site #45:
Back to Roger....

Our full-hookup site (#65) backed up to the woods and it was huge.  The hook-up area was set in concrete, among the best I have ever seen.  There was a large compressed gravel sitting area that included a metal picnic table, a grill stand, and a fire pit.  In addition, a separate tent pad, also compressed gravel was located at the back of the site.  A great spot to sit in lawn chairs to watch deer wander by.  I hear that those fluorescent blue eyes are very rare.

We went hiking every day.  All the trails departed from the campground.  After passing through a covered bridge that included a colored mural of the trail system and a description of the trails, the fun began.

We went up.

We went down.

We rested.  (Well, Dianne and I rested.)

We took in panoramic views and walked through a pristine woods.

And we rested.
(I love this picture of Dianne.)

Bandido waded in the water.

We took time to appreciate the small things - the brilliant green moss and the huge praying mantis.

Every hike ended by crossing a very cool suspension bridge.  The first time that Bandido and I crossed it, a man hollered behind us to be careful because he had built the bridge in 1981 and it might not be stable any more.  Of course he was joking.  We had an interesting talk as we approached the campground.  He told me that he had built all of the stone steps on the trails, as well as the amphitheater and, of course, the bridge.

Bandido took the man's words to heart.  After that first crossing, our brave dog resisted going across the swaying bridge where he was unsure of his footing.  Look at our poor boy as he creeps next to me - his legs as far apart as they can get without straining ligaments.

The end of each day always ended with a nap on the picnic table....

And a campfire by the lake.

The pet pictures of the day are entitled:  A Man and his Dog -- A Dog and his Duck.


Gin and Syl said...

I think doing without TV and internet for a few days was worth it. That looks like a beautiful cg!

Nancy and Bill said...

Wow, you guys sure found a wonderful spot. Loved all the photos and have put this campground on our TODOS list!!

Safe Travels and Happy Trails....