Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Petit Jean State Park - Part 2

Scene from Cedar Creek Trail

Roger here...  Still enjoying our time at Petit Jean State Park in rural Arkansas.  

The Cedar Falls trail from the last post was awarded National Recreation Trail recognition.  The two hikes featured in this post have also received that same recognition. 

Seven Hollows Trail....

First, a quick update from the last post.  After I returned from my solo hike, I got in the car and drove 13 miles to get gas, arriving in the small town of Opello with only fumes to spare.  I was concerned that we would not have enough gas to get to the Seven Hollows Trailhead and back.  Thanks go to the man at the lodge who encouraged me to take the risk.  Glad I did.

This hike essentially took us through a series of small canyons (hollows), interspersed with interesting open areas.  As we started the trail, gigantic sandstone boulders popped up on both sides.

C'mon Mom.  Dad and Bandido are pulling away from us.
Lots of nice shade along the way.  

As with all the hikes here, giant flat stones have been strategically placed for easy hopping over the stream beds.

Speaking of stream beds, at one point the water was orange due to iron and other minerals leaching from the surrounding bluffs.

The trail kept us on our toes as it gained elevation, and then lost elevation.  Just when we thought things were flattening out,  we would encounter a series of boulders to hop over, as well as tree roots to trip over.  We spent a lot of time looking at where we placed our feet.  I tripped far more times than Dianne.  She chastised me frequently about my careless foot placement.  She enjoys doing this.  (This hike tested my upper limits -- lots of rock scrambling, many changes in elevation, and you had to watch every single footfall because of the rocks and roots.  Hike was listed at 4 1/2 miles, but our GPS phone apps registered 5.2 miles and it felt every bit that long --- D.)

Interesting crack in the rocks behind the tree.  Is that the natural bridge we were trying to find?

After passing the rocks and looking back, it was obviously the natural bridge.

Since Dianne likes the role of photographer, many of our hiking pictures are of me (frequently my butt).  Occasionally, I demand to see the camera so that I can take a picture of Dianne.  I like this one.

This large boulder laying on the ground is a turtle rock.  Turtle rocks are frequently visible in the park.  These unique formations were created by chemicals in rainwater slowly eating away veins in the rock.

Do you like my Lawrence of Arabia hat?  It looks ridiculous, but it does keep the sun off my face and neck.
Overhanging rocks added interest to the trail.  

When Dianne disappears behind me, I assume that Tequila has stopped to roll on the ground or that Dianne is taking pictures of berries, and fungus....

... and flowers.

She notices things that I walk right by.

This is a shot of a section of the trail between two of the hollows.  This park has massive ground-level expanses of rock.

There is a good rock for sitting.  Time to rest.  Time for lunch, and doggie snacks.

Giant boulders everywhere!

Bandido says, "Hey!  I am supposed to be in front!"
Dianne and Tequila take the lead during the final stretch.

Finding a sliver of shade to plop down in next to the car, 
Tequila says, "I'm Done!"
Hike over.  We did the posted 4 hour hike in 3 1/2 hours --- pretty fast for us.  Tequila thought we probably should have gone slower.

Cedar Creek Trail....

Another day, another amazing hike.  Dianne considers the Cedar Creek Trail  one of the prettiest hikes we have ever been on.  It was only a mile (via the bike/hike path) to the trailhead so we left the car behind.  

Follow me.  I know the way.
Bandido lead us down the rocky hewn steps.

Bandido says, "Tequila, you follow dad and keep track of Mom".

Where are Mom and Tequila?  Tequila is obviously not doing her job.  Oh, a pretty plant.  That has to be where Mom is.

This walk was too nice for readers to be distracted by a lot of verbiage   Rather than reading my comments, let's just walk down the path for a while and enjoy the scenery.

Moss-covered carpet rock

Bright green liverworts growing in the fissures of the rock

My normal hiking view -- two red ears with Roger and Bandido in the lead -- D.

Giant "Leaning Rock" that had fallen from above years ago.

Close-up of "Leaning Rock"

Walking under the "Leaning Rock"

Dianne and her Hiking Pal

The Cedar Creek Trail begins and ends at an interesting pioneer cabin from 1845.  Hope you enjoyed the walk.

We will return to Petit Jean State Park in the next post --- two more fascinating hikes and, believe it or not, they are both very different from the preceding hikes. 

The pet picture of the day shows my boy, Bandido, at the end of the Cedar Creek Trail hike.

What a great day!

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