Well, I’ve made it to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, and I am just about a stones throw from the Missouri border. I’m sitting under a huge tree on the banks of the Spring River, and it is absolutely beautiful. As the water slowly ebbs by there is a gentle breeze blowing, and I’m listening to the birds sing and watching as trout jump from the water right in front of me. At the same time I’m reflecting back on my journey through Arkansas, and the many blessings I’ve received along the way. I now have so many new friends, have met so many amazing people, enjoyed so many wonderful conversations, and have been on the receiving end of so many kindnesses.
While Arkansas may be one of the more difficult states I will walk through because of its many mountains, I have a hard time believing I will meet a more caring and giving group of people than I have had the pleasure to meet throughout the State of Arkansas. Not a day went by that not just one but several people stopped me to ask how I was doing, and to ask if they could do anything for me. Cold water to drink was provided on a daily basis, along with numerous meals and snacks. Everyone was more than happy to spend a little of their time talking with me, and to give me advice as to the conditions of the roads that lay ahead of me.
The state itself is absolutely beautiful, and as I passed through its many mountains I often found myself wishing I could stay a little longer. Streams and river were numerous, and the beauty of its mountains early in the morning and late in the evening was stunning. Although it got hot during the middle of the day there always seemed to be a cool breeze blowing just when I needed it most. And words cannot describe the feeling that comes over me at night as I lay in my tent and stare up at a sky blanketed by stars.
My sister asked if my trip is what I thought it would be. My answer would have to be a resounding yes, and then some. How could I have known about all of the wonderful people I would meet, about all of their many kindnesses, and about the stunning beauty that would surround me on a daily basis. Although walking for hours on end over mountain roads is painful and very difficult, it pales in comparison to everything else. How fortunate I am to be able to make a journey like this, to be having an adventure of a lifetime, and to have the support of a loving family at home. I am truly blessed!
Always Onward I Walk,