Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas

We have put fewer miles on Lady Blue this week.  It is a fairly short trip south on Route 65 from Tyler Bend on the Buffalo River to Choctaw Corps of Engineer Park on Greers Ferry Lake.

These pictures are of ,we are told, Osage oranges. A softball sized fruit on many trees in Tyler Bend.
Not edible we are told.

We are still in the Ozark Mountain area.  Some rolling hills with beautiful open country.  Jan is really getting used to using the Canon camera as we travel on the highway.  We note a number of beautiful , newer homes on the tops of hills that were pretty likely former grazing pastures.
At Choctaw COE, we are happy to have one of the best sites for a very quiet few days. The outrageous price--just kidding--is $10 per night.
Choctaw is on Greers Ferry Lake. This is a huge lake in north central Ozark mountains. Extremely well stocked lake with every fish known in Arkansas.  It is 40,500 acres with over 460 miles of shoreline. For reference, Sebago Lake in Maine has a shoreline of 105 miles.
There are a number of corps parks on the lake and many marinas as well.
As you can see, there are some larger boats on the lake.
Choctaw refers to the Choctaw Nation, Native Americans, from Oklahoma. Choctaw Nation
And, if this is not familiar to you , a little reference to a less proud time in our history under the presidency of  Andrew Jackson in 1838 to 1839. It was called the Indian Removal Act and the purpose was to remove Native Americans from "valuable land" in the east.   Trail of Tears The Trail of Tears basically ends up in Oklahoma , but it also included Arkansas. Andrew Jackson had a mixed legacy. "Old Hickory" was a war hero from the War of 1812, defeating the British in New Orleans.
These trees are mixed in with pine trees. the fruit is soft like a tomato.

Also along the shoreline are cypress type trees, not the bald cypress with the strange roots and knees.
These seem strange to us northerners, because they are deciduous, losing their greenery in the fall.
From Choctaw, Jan and I travel south and east around the lake to Heber Springs.  This is a small town with some very nice people.  We stop at the Real Deal BBQ for a wonderful pulled pork sandwich. In talking to the owner, we discover he also owns a few Subways nearby and often travels to Connecticut for meetings.  Loves lobster.  So, of course, we told him all kinds of places to have great lobster. He was well into Memphis barbecue.
The picture above is of Ellen Hobgood's art shop. Her website  Ellen Hobgood Gallery
As you can see from the link, she has become well known for her Santa paintings.
If you visit, you will find that she is happy to chat.
Our campground is nearby, on Greers Ferry Lake, called Dam Site COE.  But this bust above is of John F. Kennedy from the Greers Ferry Dam . President Kennedy dedicated this dam in October of 1963.  It was his last public speaking event before Dallas, Texas. 
This dam, like many in the area, was necessary to stem frequent flooding as well as control water for agriculture.  It stems the Little Red River. It joins the White River--remember Table Rock in Branson-- and flows eventually to the Mississippi.
While here on Greers Ferry Lake, Jan and I have had only PBS stations over air.  But that allowed us to watch a few Explore Arkansas programs.  We learned that The Little Red River and others in the area are prime fly fishing locations.  We are adding this link to the program episode which covered expert fly fishing, small mouth bass fishing, and an expert log craftsman.  Jan and I were impressed by the log cabin technique and especially this beautiful log cabin in the program.  The link Explore Arkansas.
This next link gives you pictures from that program , including pictures of the log cabin and Robert Runyon, the log master craftsman who lives in Winslow, Arkansas   Pictures from the program
Scroll down , once in the link, to see all the pictures.

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