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Author Topic: Mount Magazine, AR  (Read 183 times)

ozarkman417

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Mount Magazine, AR
« on: June 28, 2020, 11:01:17 PM »

After grinding out an online class in order to do this, I left Springfield mid-day on 6/23 for a family trip to Mount Magazine, the highest point in the state of Arkansas. There was much discussion weather to take I-49 or the Pig Trail Scenic Byway through the Boston Mountain Range. Fortunately, we chose the latter. I left MO via U.S. 65, then went west for a bit on U.S. 412. Someone in Downtown Alpena typically flies confederate flags, but they have been taken down, probably due to the current situation. On U.S 412, there was construction on a couple bridges. This led to the usage of the signalized one-lane bridge crossing, and for some reason, a traffic light ahead sign was installed upside down.. how do you mess that up? The next route was AR 23, but the Pig Trail Byway doesn't start until south of AR 16. That part of AR 23 consisted of plenty of <25MPH turns, switchbacks, and scenic overviews. Near the old truss across the Mulberry River, there is a barn with several random road signs attached to it, I could only make out a couple of them with the time I had to look at them.. and how could I forget.. "VERY CROOKED AND STEEP".

After leaving the Ozarks, one of the first things I encounter is I-40. Somehow, I did this entire trip without entering an interstate. There is a mixture of the old state-marked shields and the new ones without it. I crossed the Arkansas River at Ozark to immediately turn on to AR 309, the start of the "Mount Magazine Scenic Byway". At the start, Mount Magazine looks like a wall in the sky, it is a wide mountain that's quite flat on top. This is the place where you can see both the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains from the valley floor. After passing through the town of Paris and passing by its replica Eiffel Tower, we climbed about two thousand feet on AR 309 to our cabin, owned by the state park. There, I dined in for the second time since the pandemic started. The lodge requires masks for those >10 years old, and tables were spread out to allow for social distancing.

The next day was mostly spent hiking. It was this day where I climbed to the top of the mountain.. 2753 feet above sea level, highest point in Arkansas. That night was the first clear night, so some star gazing was done, with the milky way being quite clear. Skies are pretty dark there.

The next destination was Petit Jean (petty-jean) State Park. The main attraction, the Cedar Falls Trail was closed due to storm damage, though an outlook was still open. Because of this, we opted to do some shorter, less traveled trails. Now the return trip. The route involved AR 9 and US 65, though taking the "scenic seven" byway would have yielded a similar return time. US-65 is being upgraded to have either a passing/climbing lane or four lanes in many places along the route. US 65 featured a couple scenic vistas, but also a runaway truck ramp in the vicinity of Leslie, a town that used to be on U.S 65 but has been bypassed. The Ozarks aren't the first place you think of when it comes to those, and there is only one other runaway truck ramp in the Ozarks I know of, AR 7 near Jasper. Harrison is the beginning of the homestretch, where I was greeted by a racist billboard divided, four lane highway, all the way back to Springfield.

This write up is 600 words long, why can't I ever get that far when I'm writing anything for school?

 
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Road Hog

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Re: Mount Magazine, AR
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 01:02:33 AM »

Should've hit Mount Nebo too to hit the south-river trifecta.
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