Monday, March 17, 2014

First Week at the Ranch

We arrived back at the Hardwood Hills Ranch on Thursday 3/6. We were able to stop by and see the grand kids in Ozark. We really missed them. Jacob, Isabella and William all looked great.

I got up early on Friday and took some sunrise photos:

I then spent the next 5 days working about 10 hours a day walking up and down the valleys of the ranch, stapling arrows to trees. The weather was beautiful. We ended up with an 11.6 mile course. All was looking good until noon on Friday. I got a text from my partner telling me he was considering cancelling the event. The forecast had gone from a little front coming in to a significant wind, rain and then snow event. He decided to postpone the event and that turned out to be a good call. It started with 50 mph winds on Sunday morning and heavy rain and dropping temps. Then the snow started. Here is what it looked like at 3 PM.

 I took these pictures this morning while walking around the property:

This is the lodge and old rock farm house:

Here is the rock farm house that dates back to around 1930.

Here is the shop:

Here is some of my work:

Here is a picture of the cook shack and the pavilion.

It was a beautiful day and by the end of the day there is very little snow left. The temps are expecting to rise into the mid 60's over the next few days and we will get on with spring.

Now it is time to get back to our relaxed life style and enjoy our spring time in the Ozarks. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Back to Hardwood Hills Ranch

We have to start this post with some pictures and a video of Cameron. We finally got him to wake up and open his eyes. They might be blue.

Click on this to see the video that Kim took. It turned out pretty good.

It stayed pretty cold in Arkansas until the day we left. We checked road conditions and all looked clear. So, we made the very twisty and slow drive up Hwy 7. It was beautiful with all of the snow, but sadly no pictures. All of the turn outs were snow covered, so we could not stop until we got to Harrison. (other than the brake check area just south of Jasper) Here are two last shots in Russellville. One of a iced up birdhouse and a slightly better pelican shot. We really enjoyed watching the white pelicans while we were in that park.

We are planning to spend about half of our year living at Hardwood Hills Ranch. We are part owners in the ranch. We have a full hook up site there, but we are always ready to change our view with a very short notice. Here is our web site if you would like to know more about HHR.

We have a Missouri Hare Scrambles Series Race on March 16th. I needed to get back to the ranch to help prepare the trail for that event. I will be spending much of the next week walking through the woods putting arrows on trees. Tough work, but better than sitting in my office responding to 300+ emails.

I don't expect to post as often while at the ranch. I will not bore you with the same stuff over and over. We do have spring coming and that means dogwoods, red buds and my favorite, Morels!

By for now.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Arkansas Ice Storm

We decided to move to a different park in the Russellville, Arkansas area. This is a COE park and is very nice. It is $20 per night and it sits right next to the Arkansas River at the dam and locks. You can see the river right behind us.
 It is cool to sit here watching barges go by. This is the second time on this trip I could sit by a major river and watch shipping go by. It seem like a much more civil way to move freight than by interstate in a truck.

We decided to stay here in Russellville because the weather looked like it was going to get bad up north in Missouri. It looked like the weather was going to get bad here with the wintry mix starting around 11AM. We decided to make a 8:30 mass in Atkins. They have a really cool old church and we wanted to check it out. It was cool and the people were very friendly.

The bad stuff started as predicted and we ended up staying inside all day and read. That was the first time I have done that in a while and it was kind of nice.

I got up this morning and went for a walk to check out the snow and ice. Here are a few shots:

Here is a shot of the rock bluff right across the river:
 You will have to zoom in, but here is a picture of some White Pelicans. There are about 40 of them hanging out around the dam. We are also seeing snow geese, cardinals and many other birds including a possible sighting of a bald eagle, but I am not sure.

We are now planning to stay here until Wednesday or Thursday. When the weather breaks we need to get on back to Mansfield. We have a race to get ready for on the 16th of March. The sun is out and it is a beautiful, but cold day.  SCRATCH THAT. I had to edit this post. Kim and I went out for a walk and it clouded up and started snowing. It has been snowing for about 2 hours now. Not hard, but sunny it is NOT!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cameron Comes Home and Day Trip to Petit Jean

Cameron made it home the day after he was born. Here are a few snaps of the coming home party:

Audrey was surprised and is looking good.
Proud Papa:
The Star of the show:
 Grandma getting in her cuddles:
 The proud family:
 Grandpa gets his time in:

We have been doing the baby thing this past week. Cameron is doing great. Audrey and Michael could use some sleep, but other than that, they are doing well. Kim and I are trying to help as much as possible by taking Connor off on some adventures to give Audrey some time to rest.

Yesterday we went to Petit Jean State Park. It is up on a tall hill. It has the distinction of being the first Arkansas State Park. It was built in the 1930 by the CCC. We love CCC parks because of the very intricate rock work. When we arrived, we went to the visitor center and Connor enjoyed the interpretive exhibits and the "find the animal" case. When we departed the center we were greeted with a sleet storm.
Here is a cabin built by the CCC:

Here is the view from the Cedar Falls overlook:

Very impressive!
Here are some interesting rock formations created  by iron deposits in the rock:
Then we took a walk at the Bear Cave area. There were some very cool rocks all stacked with narrow crevices between them. And a few small caves.

Here is a view back down into the Arkansas river Valley:

It was a fun trip and it was good to spend some time with Connor.

We were planning to go back to Missouri this weekend, but it looks like winter is not done yet. So, we are going to stay in Arkansas for about another week. It is about 15 degrees warmer here and we like warm. We are thinking about moving to another park just for the change of scenery. In my next update you will know if we decided to do that.

Thanks for reading.