Here is a rundown of an awesome trip I had exploring the Ouachita National Forest. Click “Read More” for all of the details. Enjoy!
DEBRIEF: OUACHITA EAST
1. Explore the East Forest
This two day trip started off VERY early Sat morning and I hit the trail just after the sun got above the trees. The first thing I came across was an abandoned strip mine that ended up being a huge clearing where I could get some great pictures.
Just past the mine was a trail that took me into the hills and on my way towards the next great view. Throughout the trip I found myself on several trails that led to radio towers which offered a place to stop and look around. Some of the paths to the towers were smooth and quick while others were rocky and technical. Nothing too challenging.
The rest of Day 1 was all about following some more trails that offered great views and finally led me to my camp for the night where I cooked dinner and setup shop for an attempt at sleeping in 80 degree temperatures… that is TOO hot. Just in case you are wondering.
Day 2 started early again so I could get headed towards home and still enjoy the trail along the way. I was on an awesome gravel road that was taking between a few hunting camps and noticed that there was a trail marked on the map that went along the crest of the mountain as opposed to the nice, gravel trail that went through the valley. It looked a little overgrown but fine so I decided to take it while keeping in mind that I needed to just call it quits if it got too bad. (I have a REALLY bad habit of unintentionally pushing the limit and getting in a bad situation) I went through some overgrowth with no problems, hopped over a log crossing the path, made my way around a few fallen trees, pushed through a few puddles, and climbed a few washouts.
Right about the time I was excited about completing this trail that looks like it had not been passed for a good while, I came across this…
A GATE ON ONLY ONE END OF THE TRAIL!?!?!? WHY!?!?!?
Normally I would not agree with going around gates or cutting ways around them but someone had already done it… so I took it… Please don’t judge me. Saved me two hours with no damage to any of the trail.
After the gate issue, I found my way out of the forest and on my way home where I tried to blow away all of the stick bugs and spiders I picked up along the way. Unfortunately, I’m still finding new webs on my jeep everyday and it has almost been a week since the trip. I hope they aren’t making their home in my tent…
2. Trail Pictures
I did take the time to stop and try to get some good pictures. I am not great at it but there is only one way to get better. HELP!
3. Pictures of mods for later posts
I did get some time at the end of Day 1 to get some good pictures of things to review later. Again, this is also to practice and learn photography. I’m trying.
Check out the Gallery and please let me know if you have any useful photography tips and tricks.
4. Scenic Views
The views were great. If only I could capture them for you.
5. Save/Share gpx.
for gpx files with waypoints along the way.
Repaired transmission mount – No noticeable problems. YAY!
New RAM mount arm for iPad – Having some issues with me clamping the arm as far as it can go and still seeing movement over time. Probably need to go to a two-arm system for stability but this on held the iPad more stable and less bouncy but still drooped over the course of a few hours on bumpy roads. Maybe my expectations are too high. Idk. What do you think?
That pretty well covers everything. A few lessons I learned on this trip were:
1. While going off the plan often leads to a great view or a more technical trail, sometimes it is better to just stick to the trail in order to achieve the overall objective of COMPLETING the trip.
2. I thought I did not like mosquitoes flies… spiders are way worse. They get into everything and spin webs all over your things. Everywhere you move there is a web you are getting tangled in and 3. Enjoy the trip. Sometimes it is about camping and sometimes it is about the people you’re with but sometimes, it is about being alone with nature and taking the time to sit down and enjoy it. The only way to do that is to GET OUT AND EXPLORE!