Pack & Paddle

3 06, 2019

Buffalo River Trail Days – October 28th to November 1st

By |2019-07-23T14:16:09-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

Mark your calendar!  The Fall 2019 Buffalo River Trail construction session is October 28th - November 1st. I and perhaps others will be doing some preparatory work the 25th, 26th, and morning of the 27th as well. We'll be camping at Tyler Bend again in the main campground (sites #22-26 at no charge) so join us for a day, the weekend, or the whole 
week. If you can join us for the week, or most of it, there is an option where you can pay $50 into a fund to cover food and camp expenses and then participate in our group meals (Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast).  There is also a 3-day option for $35.  Contact me for more details. Otherwise you will need to supply your own food and cooking and cleaning utensils. Regardless, everyone needs to supply their own sleeping accommodations, water containers, eating utensils, and work gloves.  Safety glasses are very beneficial for some tasks. A day pack for carrying your stuff on the trail is very useful.  The Park Service supplies the tools, though you can bring your own if you'd like.  The campground has potable water, flush toilets, and hot showers. Last October we constructed [...]

3 06, 2019

High Pointing Part Six – The Southern Appalachians

By |2019-07-23T14:15:15-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

Welcome to the sixth in a series of my adventures to visit as many of the fifty US states' highest points as I can. Last time we took a look at a trip of my tour of the Midwest following the Eclipse of August 21, 2017.  This time its the southern Appalachians of the Southeast: North and South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. On the first trip, my wife, Meribeth, and I went up I-40 to Ashville, North Carolina in October of 2010 to see Biltmore and the sights of the Smokies. The second was done in May of 2013 following the graduation of our nephew from Virginia Tech. South Carolina We used the town of Ashville, N.C. as our base to see the area. One day we went south of Ashville to visit the home and farm of Carl Sandburg, near Flat Rock, N.C., a stop we highly recommend. Before that however, we went just across the state line into South Carolina to see Sassafras Mt, 3560 feet, the highest point in the state. At the time we visited in 2010, the access was a rough forest road to the radio towers on its summit. You parked your car about [...]

3 06, 2019

What Will Global Warming Look Like in the Ozarks?

By |2019-07-23T14:16:39-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

Global change will affect the Buffalo River and the surrounding ecosystem along with the rest of the world, but do we have to worry about that in our lifetime? The experts are quoting a temperature increase of a few degrees. How big a deal could that be? After all, we see daily temperature changes of several tens of degrees. Maybe we would hardly notice a degree or two difference. Can we even expect to recognize that difference against the background of daily fluctuations? On the other hand, we know that greenhouse gasses have a major effect on how the planet absorbs heat, and that there has been a 40% increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That sounds like a big change. Are we going to see a real impact on the Buffalo River in the coming decade? Let’s start with a couple of firmly established facts. First, it is obvious that the globe heats mostly at the equator and that the heat then moves down the temperature gradient towards the poles. That heat transfer occurs by turbulent mixing - a fancy way of saying that heat exchange occurs in the form of exchanging parcels of warm and cold air. [...]

3 06, 2019

Ozark Forest Forensics by Frederick Paillet and Steven Stephenson

By |2019-08-12T11:01:07-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

The Ozark Society Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of Ozark Forest Forensics: The Science Behind the Scenery in Our Regional Forests by Fred Paillet and Steven Stephenson. This book interprets our natural surroundings in a way that enhances a simple walk in the scenic deciduous woodlands of the Ozark Mountain region. Explanations go beyond trees and their habitat to include other diverse subjects: the leaf litter beneath a hiker’s feet, strategies used by wildflowers for pollination and seed dispersal, diseases that can ravage our forests, and forces active in the landscape that impact conservation efforts. Simplified line drawings demonstrate specific points of interest in a way that visually cluttered photographs cannot do. Includes: 163 line drawings, a list of species used in the text, a glossary, and a reading list. Paperback; 342 pages; ISBN: 978-0-912456-28-7. $24.95 FRED PAILLET is adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas, where he conducts research and supervises student projects related to geophysics, hydrology and paleoecology. He earned his PhD from the University of Rochester in New York. STEVE STEPHENSON is a research professor at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches courses in plant biology, forest ecology and plant ecology. Stephenson earned his [...]

3 06, 2019

The Ozark Studies Association

By |2019-07-23T14:18:25-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

The nascent Ozark Studies Association held its first conference at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, AR, on May 17, 2019. The theme for the daylong conference was “Histories of the Buffalo National River.” Presenters covered Buffalo River and Ozarks region topics pertaining to geology and early cultures, the Civil War, historic cemeteries, the New Deal and dam-building in the Ozarks, the painter Thomas Hart Benton, small farms in the Buffalo watershed, cultural resource threats in the Buffalo National River, and controlling the fate of rivers in the Ozarks. Ozark Society President David Peterson gave a talk that included an overview of the formation of the Society and a description of several of the major environmental issues that OS has been involved in during its existence, including the current hog farm debate. Other presenters were Dr. Rebecca Howard, Lone Star College; Abby Burnett, independent historian; Dr. Black Perkins, Williams Baptist University; Steve Sitton, Thomas Hart Benton Home State Historic Park; Dr. Jared Phillips, University of Arkansas; Dr. Caven Clark, independent contractor (retired from Buffalo National River, National Park Service); and Dr. Brooks Blevins, Missouri State University. The Ozark Society Highlands Chapter pitched in to provide lunch for the [...]

6 03, 2019

Orphea’s Fence

By |2019-06-03T12:08:36-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

by Ken Smith via Luke Parsch, Ozark Society Vice President In 1959 when driving along the upper Buffalo River at Boxley, I spied an unusual fence—horizontal boards, but also, between its posts, cross-boards making distinctive “Xs”. And with artistic flair, the fence turned a right angle past a big, spreading tree. From roadside, I made a photograph. Years later, I met the person who must have designed that fence--Orphea Duty, the landowner. “Orphey,” as friends called her, knew her place in this world. Her father, Ben McFerrin--teacher, advocate for public schools, state legislator, lieutenant governor--had acquired this land with its two-story house facing Highway 43. And Orphea inherited the property. After her husband, Fred Duty, had died she remained there--Boxley’s postmistress, community leader, pillar of its Baptist church. Orphea had a definite sense of style. Only she could have designed that pretty fence at rural Boxley. Orphey and Fred were married on horseback; a photograph shows her in a nice riding habit. Her dress for social occasions was always tasteful, at times elegant. And anyone visiting her home for a meal, or even for coffee, found her table already set with china, crystal, and silver. Orphea Duty had enjoyed opportunities [...]

6 03, 2019

High-Pointing the States: Part Five – The Midwest Loop

By |2019-06-03T12:08:42-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

Here is the fifth in a series of my adventures to visit as many of the fifty US states' highest points as I can. Last time we took a look at a trip from October of 2014 to the southeast corner of the US: Florida, Alabama and Georgia. This time I will tell you of my tour of the Midwest following the Eclipse of August 21, 2017. My wife, Meribeth, and I went up to my Aunt's home in Sutton, Nebraska for the big eclipse. Her town was dead center on the path of totality. Nice! Following the event, we made our way towards the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul. Along the way, one of our first stops was the highest point in Iowa. After the fair, Meribeth would fly home and I would continue bagging high points in the Midwest. Iowa Iowa's high point, Hawkeye Point, is outside the town of Sibley. This is one of those easy ones: drive up, get out, take the photo. There is a patio and mosaic marker at the high point and it is surrounded by cornfields and a farmstead. Even at 1670 feet, it’s got a great view of the rolling [...]

6 03, 2019

Chert – One of the Most Common Ozark Minerals

By |2019-06-03T12:08:48-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

As an outdoor enthusiast relocated to northwest Arkansas more than a decade ago, the observation of abundant chert was one of my very first Ozark impressions.  And it was not necessarily pleasant.  The chert attracted my attention in the form of baseball-sized angular rocks hidden in the deep leaf litter of Ozark National Forest hiking trails.  These potentially ankle-twisting nuisances came as a real surprise and forced me to pay far too much attention to my footing when I would rather have been enjoying pleasant fall scenery.  Almost at the same time I began to notice sections of trail constructed into the sides of hills that seemed to have been deliberately paved with gray gravel composed of similar angular rock fragments.  By now all of this is a familiar part of my local hiking experiences.  But what exactly is chert, and where did all the chert in the Ozarks come from?Chert is a glass-like form of rock composed of tiny quartz (silicon oxide) crystals verging on a true glass where molten rock cooled so quickly as to be left with no crystal structure at all.  Trace minerals mixed in with the silica give the various forms of chert their color.  Common [...]

6 03, 2019

Dicamba

By |2019-06-03T12:08:56-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

Dicamba has been around for about 50 years, first registered in 1967.  Originally made by Monsanto, (now owned by Bayer), with several formulations: dianat, metambane, banfel, banvel, banvel cst, banfel d, banfel xg, mediben, oracle, vanquish, diablo.   It is intended to control broadleaf weeds, particularly pigweed. An aside…Pigweed, known as Amaranthus, is an ancient grain.  Three species are globally cultivated as an important food.  It is used as a grain; the seeds are a good source of protein; a leafy vegetable and an ornamental plant (Prince’s feather).  There are about 60 species of Amaranthus. Dicamba use is restricted – one must have a license.  Farmers, road-crews, (both commercial and non-commercial), must be educated in its “safe” use.  It is designed to kill broad-leaf plants.  2-4-d, Round-up, Ortho, Bayer are also used on broadleaf plants.  Dicamba is more economic, more effective and takes less of the product.   Some plants are resistant and some not.   It is heavily used for GMO soybeans. Dicamba became a concern due to its tendency to vaporize from treated fields.  As spring/summer temperatures rise, it vaporizes and spreads via “drift” (winds) to neighboring crops not meant to be treated.   It can and has [...]

5 03, 2019

In Memoriam – Randy Ego

By |2019-06-03T12:10:57-05:00March 5th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

A dear friend and Ozark Society member, Randy Ego, 67, quietly passed away on Thursday January 17, 2019. Randy was seriously injured in an accident in October 2016. With the help of his devoted family, friends and his amazing spirit and strength, Randy kept up his fight to heal and remain with his loved ones, eventually returning to his home and community here in the Ozarks in 2018. Randy and his wife Cathy have been friends of mine almost since the very beginning of my own journey here in Buffalo River Country. One of my fondest memories is when Randy, Cathy and their children joined our group on the Ozark Society Colorado trip.  I remember coming back to camp after a strenuous day of hiking or rafting and Randy (God bless him) would have some freshly caught trout cooked up for appetizers and a batch of frozen lime Margaritas. I can’t ever remember anything that tasted so good or was so refreshing-simply wonderful! The family requests that memorials be made to the Chimes Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 40 Dennard, AR 72629