September is here and it's a great time to get out and enjoy the cooler weather, autumn color and the quirky places that are down country roads no matter where you live. "The Pig Trail'... that's what the locals call the road that many use to go to and from Razorback games, is a breathtaking drive. Curvy roads twist and turn, around every bend the historic road passes waterfalls, rock formations and scenic mountain views! The Oark General Store sets off highway 215 in Johnson County waiting for customers to take a step back in time. Listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, the oldest store in Arkansas has been there since 1890. It serves the community with everything they might need as well as being a great place to get a bite to eat.
Sometimes you just have to turn off the main road and see where life takes you. You might just be missing out on a great place to fish or maybe a farmer who sells fresh eggs or extra veges from his garden. In Arkansas they still do that, you'll see a handmade sign nailed to a fence out front!
Daddy, his brother Walton and cousins Luster and Herman
(deer hunting season, 1949)
I inherited the love of backroads from my Dad. He knew every dirt road in Boone County and people all along those roads that he hunted with. It's almost deer season in Arkansas and hunters are getting out in the woods, placing their deer stand and feeders in anticipation of November opening day. It was my Dad's favorite time of the year and he looked forward to being in the "deer woods." There's a sereneness to the woods, just the sound of your footsteps. You are alone with your thoughts, it's a time to reflect on what's really important in your life.
I love to take short cuts, the backroads that cut off miles or time to my trips. No matter where we have lived, I have found an easier path to the places I go most often. My trip to town now is mostly country. It takes 5-10 minutes tops to get into Rogers and then maybe another 5 minutes to the grocery store. If I go 2nd Street to Walnut there are six stoplights. If I go the back way...there is only one. I save time and gas. I like that way best!
When we lived in Springdale, it was twice that many lights if I went the path that all the other "rabbits" followed. But I didn't go that way. If I went down Silent Grove Road, by the old pump station I got to see a pretty little creek and the trees hung over the road like a lane in Merry Old England. I've never been to England, but I have seen pictures and they look just like the back way!
It won't be long and the leaves will begin their big show. The Sumacs first, turning a brilliant red. The Dogwoods follow suit shortly after, they already are covered with the red berries that will provide food for the birds and deer this winter. It's been so hot and dry, we don't really know how much color we'll see out of the oaks, maples and poplars. Normally, you can look across our mountain and see all shades of red, gold and orange. I have my fingers crossed that the recent rains will make a difference!
No matter where you live, get the map out and plan some little day trips to the pretty parts of your state. Go down some country roads that you haven't traveled. The things you see and the people you meet add that something special that makes life interesting!