Outdoor Reporting

IMG_4116.JPGI’ve driven hours and hours for some good hiking, and all of this time I’ve neglected a great spot right down the road. A few hundred acres of woods and bluffs and streams cover Fayetteville’s Kessler Mountain, a 500-foot plateau that stands just inside the city’s southwest limits. It’s essentially a piece of Ozark forest about 5 miles from the university campus and downtown district. The city’s considering a plan to double the length of volunteer-built trails there, like the one above, while maintaining the place’s natural beauty and character, as my story today explains. So I went out there last week to get a good look. I won’t say no to hiking for work.




IMG_4172.JPGSome of you were around the first time I went to Kessler and posted some mediocre photos of it — my hiking partner wasn’t feeling good that day, if  I remember rightly, so we turned around early. I’m glad I could give trails with names like “Egg Beater” and “Crazy Mary” another try. Most of the time I was alone and it was quiet, with the late afternoon sun slanting between the trees and their new leaves. For any city residents who like this place or hope to visit at some point, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is holding a public meeting tomorrow to see the trail plan and get comments from the audience. Maybe I’ll see you there.




IMG_4219.JPGThanks for looking,


Packing Snow

_C1_7430I talk about how I want winter to end, and wouldn’t you know it, the next day we get a perfect, beautiful snowfall with temperatures just below freezing and no wind: beautiful conditions for sledding and snowball-making. We’ve got about 3 or 4 inches on the ground now, including this fractal-looking slush that settled on a pond in southeast Fayetteville.



_C1_7423I walked around Huntsville Road for a while before heading to Wilson Park, which has popped up on this blog once or twice. I figured a few people might try the park’s hills for sledding. I underestimated that one.





_C1_7616People are very patient with my floating around with a camera. Laughs sounded out from every direction, and the energy was infectious. One guy even let me try a toboggan for the first time in years. (I’m 24 and sound so old.) It’s obviously below freezing, but the air felt oddly warm, comfortable enough to be outside for hours. If we’re stuck with winter, this is how it should be.







_C1_7645I hope winter’s bringing you some fun.

Thanks for looking,