September 16, 2012
The summer heat kept me from hiking from June 22 until August 12, other than some early-morning walks along the Pathfinder Parkway trails here in Bartlesville. I finally broke the hiking drought (but not the real drought affecting the region) when some friends decided to take advantage of a break in the summer heat with a hike at the Red Bud Valley Nature Preserve near Catoosa. That was the first of five hikes over the next six weeks, all at locations where I’ve hiked previously on multiple occasions: Roaring River, two visits to Elk City Reservoir, and Turkey Mountain. Friends have joined me on three of those five hiking days, making repeating those trails more interesting since I could play trail guide. Later this week I’ll post about the latest return to Turkey Mountain.
Through my 155 days of hiking over the past three years I have travelled most of the decent trails which are feasible on a day trip. So it is no surprise that I find myself mostly repeating old trails these days, leaving me far less inclined to take and post photographs and blog about them.
Thankfully there are still several targets on my list which I’ve yet to hit:
- J.T. Nickel Nature Preserve near Tahlequah, OK
- Prairie State Park northeast of Pittsburg, KS but across the line in Missouri
- Stockton State Park northwest of Springfield, MO
- Withrow Springs State Park north of Huntsville, AR
- Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park southwest of Fayetteville, AR
- Pea Ridge National Military Park northeast of Bentonville, AR
And when a break from school affords overnight visits, I’ll hike more sections of the Ozarks Highland Trail, such as Hare Mountain in Arkansas, and more of the Ouachita Trail and its cousins in Oklahoma and Arkansas.