Jan 21, 2012

Magazine Mountain Adventure

As we anticipated our trip to Arkansas to visit Gordon did some *internet-shopping* to see what attractions were nearby and what activities we might enjoy. One of the first ones he came up with was going on a guided ATV ride at Magazine Mountain in the Ozark National Forest.
The mountain gets its name from when French explorers were travelling through the area and a landslide occurred on the mountain. The noise from the landslide was so great that one explorer described it as the sound of an ammunition magazine exploding. The explorers then named the mountain "Magazine" (inquiring minds want to know!)
OhMyGoodness! Did Grampy hit a grand-slam with this activity! What a fun time! We arranged for a 3-hour afternoon ride and were rewarded with good weather... but remember it is JANUARY... we had clear, sunny skies and acceptable temperature until we either
  • A) Got wet
  • B) the sun went down!
I love this silhouette shot of the machines steaming in the sunset... it's one of my favorites!

Our first of several rest stops (thank goodness) was at this scenic river. I love how the rock is all in layers... I think it is sandstone. The interesting thing is that the rock seems to be like this all over Northwest Arkansas. I breaks in squares and rectangles.

I whipped out my iPhone and Brandon snapped this great shot of Grammie and Grampy. (Erik valiantly gave me the warmest coat and Braden his tiny gloves!)

I turned around and Melissa and Bryan had already scampered off down stream.

Now I got serious with my Rebel and our guide, Kevin, was very accommodatingly played photographer  for us. Here's the group... isn't his a beautiful location?

And a close up of this great looking group!
Back- Bryan, Grammie and Jim
Front- Grampy, Brandon, Melissa and Erik

I love this one of Erik and his three oldest! What a great looking family... (me? Prejudice? Nah!)

Our trail had a plethora of puddles, which Grammie was a little leery of at first... but not the men! We came to one big puddle and Guide-Kevin called back that if we didn't want to get our feet wet we needed to pick them up... Melissa and I dutifully (and wisely) did so... but Erik and Jim, umm, not so much... they gunned it and got a mud bath!

Our second stop was just after said mud-bath at the recently erected beaver dam. They'd done a very tidy job with dam...

and hut and various escape holes in the dirt bank guaranteed to swallow an ATV machine (which it had a few week ago).

But the all time favorite was the crossing at natural bridge. It is like the stair-stepped photo at the beginning of the post only bigger. Guide-Kevin went down stream to capture our action shots crossing...

Grampy... yay, Grampy... look at your wave!

Grammie and Melissa... can you say cautious? (I just can't like being cold and wet!)

Erik and Brandon... you can hardly see Erik!

And terror-Jim with Bryan on the back.  Erik and Jim were fearless... and soaked! Guess that took care of the mud problem!

OK... now I have to laugh just a little at our wonderful guide. He is a native Arkansan so he really doesn't know anything else. Back at the beaver lake he pointed at the mountain range and said, "See that pointy mountain? That's Signal Mountain. It's the highest point in Arkansas at 2753 feet." I slyly told him we lived at 4800 feet. So when we got to this 200 year-old *ginormous* Ponderosa pine I didn't have the heart to tell him that this was just a baby compared to the truly *GINORMOUS* Ponderosa pines I grew up around in the Plumas National Forest. Like I said... it's all he knows... but he was awfully cute anyway!

Said not-so-ginormous-but-still-very-beautiful-Ponderosa-pine! Yep... I love them...

We had such a fun time. By the time we returned to the staging area were were frozen... especially our thumbs which have to run the throttle. I tried in vain to get Jim to take off his soaking wet pants and put on a pair of mine... he finally said, "Would you want to wear your mother-in-law's pants?" I could see he had a point.

I learned some important things from this outing-
  • I love to ATV and will rent again
  • I don't want to own an ATV
  • Wear warm gloves
  • My old thumb is still clicking in that last join from throttle fatigue
  • Don't try to get your 6'2" 200+ pound son-in-law to wear your pants (bwahahahaha)

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