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Month: March 2010

Out of all of the relaxing things to do in an Arkansas State Park sitting around a campfire at night is my favorite. It is one of the best ways to experience nature in the park. Where else can you sit and experience such a variety of animals, and all you have to do is listen. After your ears get past the sound of a hot dog hissing or the…

Read More Sounds of the Night

Artifacts amaze me. It is a simple statement but every word is true. In certain cases, they are the only link that we have to past cultures. This is true at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park. The American Indians that lived here are called the Plum Bayou Culture and they left clues to their way of life in the form of artifacts. They lived at this site around 1,200 years…

Read More Artifact Tales

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.     -Robert Frost  “The Road Not Taken” I’m lucky enough to have several roads less traveled in Mississippi River State Park.  Two of these roads are pretty well-known:  the Great River Road, running the entire length of the Mississippi River, and Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, that highlights Arkansas’s most unique…

Read More Two Roads…

There is something uplifting about natural waterfalls. They are simply examples of gravity at work. It could be a little ripple and splash over a rocky rivulet.  It could be a brook babbling playfully through the heart of a forest or a trickle tumbling down a series of stair steps of a wet season streambed.  It could be a washboard cascade sliding down a mountainside or rapids of a young…

Read More Capturing the Magic of Waterfalls

Anyone with grade school or college-age kids already knows that Arkansas’s spring break is coming up fast, March 19-28. Arkansas State Parks are open for business and ready for guests who want safe, outdoor, family-friendly places to play and make memories! Today’s blog is from Sarah Keating, one of our park staff who has made a family tradition of going Spring Break camping in the State Parks of Arkansas.  …

Read More School’s Out – State Parks Are In!

Instead of a regular post today we decided to leave you with a lovely visit to The Lodge at Mount Magazine State Park. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sVbyuRflpM] The Lodge at Mount Magazine opened in the Spring of 2006 and is one of the great vacation attractions of Arkansas. All rooms and cabins have a view off the bluff-line overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake. All cabins have a hot…

Read More Because words can’t describe…

If you asked me what I ate for dinner yesterday, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t remember. Yet, I can recall in such detail—and with such clarity—encounters I’ve experienced in Arkansas’s state parks over the past 37 years since that winter day in 1973 when I, like so many of my colleagues here at Arkansas State Parks, choose this park system to be my life’s work, too. Those myriad moments—personal, poignant…

Read More Parks—Places Where “Everlasting Moments” Are Born

This week as I was enjoying the sunshine on a fresh air break, I began hearing one of my favorite sounds: birds singing and chirping.  Not just any birds, but those amazing birds that are beginning to slowly make the journey northward on their spring migration.  However, that sound meant more to me than the opportunity to see some of the birds that I’ve missed over the winter months.  It…

Read More The Other “Spring Migration”

I moved to Arkansas in March last year to take the position of park interpreter at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.  Until that time I had spent most of the previous twenty years living in the Pacific Northwest, in particular Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon.  In my life I have moved around quite a bit, living in 13 states if I include Arkansas.  Moving to different parts of the country…

Read More Musings of a Westerner on the Natural State