We got down there well after dark, set up camp and began to relax by the fire. With a homebrew hard cider in hand, I was pretty content.
Maggie, my 8-mo-old border collie mix, got to have her first outdoor adventure. She was unsure at first (especially with coyotes yipping and howling all night), but settled into things well on Saturday.
The dogs provided some in-camp entertainment.
We hiked about 7 miles Saturday. Taking a mix of trails through Pea Ridge National Military Park.
We started out on the horse trails.
The trail weaved through open farmland and down old wooded roads.
Several fields had recently seen some prescribed burning, like this one with the small dust devil swirling across it.
Before the temps got above freezing, frost flowers were fairly prevalent.
Maggie and I
Brian, Darren and I
Deer were everywhere in the park.
Ida and Maggie
Maggie and me
Darren, Ida and Brian
A rebuilt Elkhorn Tavern.
Brian, getting his hat blasted off.
A bald eagle circling overhead. How fitting for an American Civil War Memorial.
In Missouri, as far as trail markers go, you're lucky to find a weather-beaten plastic diamond at the base of the tree it used to be tacked to. In Arkansas, you get these. It goes opposite for roads, though.
Steak and tater dinner, courtesy of Chef Brian.
Sunday, we hiked a little along The White River.
A pileated woodpecker. They are about the size of a crow. A very cool looking bird.
Thanks again to Brian and Darren for another great camp trip. It's really quite hard to have a bad one, if you've got a good tolerance for variable forms of weather and the gear to handle it.
For more information on the park, go to http://www.nps.gov/peri/index.htm