Let me begin with a little background. Six years ago a fellow member of RVAMN (Arkansas Master Naturalist) and I, hiked the Seven Hollows Trail. We lopped and de-bermed, did what we could to make the trail a bit nicer. I remember coming to the bridge and saying, something needs to be done soon with that. Well, time passes and just a few weeks ago I hiked the trail with members of Takahik. We got to the bridge and I said, “Oh my!”
I went home that night and began an email campaign between fellow Master Naturalists and Petit Jean State Park. I had to find my way through possible roadblocks, committees needing to be formed, and bridge engineers to consult. I did my best to convince all it would be an easy task as it is the simplest of all bridges to build.
The day came, 18-Nov-17, we met at the trailhead and loaded up the Gator with all our supplies. The Gator could only go so far, then heavy plastic boards (cross pieces) and the two beams, drill motors, heavy batteries and other tools all had to be carried. Whew! That is what I can say about that. In no time at all, we had the new bridge built, the old bridge hidden for now. As our first hiker walked over the bridge we all cheered, whooped and hollered.
Then BT Jones, of the State Park, led us to a very cool cave. Big enough so we could all walk upright into it. It was here while standing outside the cave I sensed the first hint of cooler weather. It was near 70 degrees when I got up there, 54 degrees when I left the mountain. We continued on, at Wild Hog Crossing, BT and Larry spit from us to go to BT’s truck. Back at the trailhead we regrouped and said our goodbyes to some and the rest of us drove to Pavilion A. Two members were waiting for us there.
We ate our lunch as the wind and cooler temps continued. I’m glad I was prepared with extra shirts and coats. The FAMN meeting we had was very short and the 2018 Schedule was discussed.
Rachel Engebrecht, local chapter president of the Audubon Society, gave a talk, showed us her cool bird books. Afterward, she took us on a bird watch. We kept our ears and eyes open for birds, high winds didn’t help. It warmed our heart as a large group of young people were frolicking around. Good to see them put their phones down for a while, although a few did have their noses in the phones.
A very good day it was. I can now check that bridge off my list, a good feeling that is. But, on our, after lunch bird walk, we noticed how low Lake Roosevelt was, in fact, there was a car tire laying exposed out in the muck. I’m thinking someone with muck boots, planks and or a grappling hook need to snag and drag that tire out of there. We need to get that tire out of there, put it on the list…
Link to the rest of the photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmicdude1/albums/72157689786456795