Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring in the Ozarks: Farewell

On the final full day of my trip, I slowed things down a bit. I spent a leisurely morning at the cabin, ate an early lunch, and then drove through Ponca and up the mountain behind it. The activity of the day was a Zip Line Canopy Tour. Jumping off of the platform for the first time didn't turn out to be scary, but my stomach did a flip the first time I reached maximum speed, hit the low point on the cable, and started back up. It was all down hill from there (sorry, couldn't resist). The only major down side to the whole experience was that when we were finished, they informed us that they had another zip line course with runs that are faster. It's not fair to tell me that on my last day!

The canopy tour was the last major event on the agenda for the trip. I headed back to Foggy Hollow, cleaned up a bit, and visited the cafe for a last delicious dinner. After that, it was time to start packing my things for an early departure the next day.

When Sunday morning came, I was up before the birds and had one last breakfast on the back porch. As I dressed and loaded the car, the mist was slowly lifting from the valley. Too soon I was saying farewell to my home away from home and heading up the driveway for the last time, at least for this trip.

I turned toward Jasper and then south on Arkansas Highway 7. Like the highway I arrived on, "Scenic 7" is winding and steep and gave me a good chance to say farewell to the Ozarks before depositing me back on I-40 near Russellville. The remainder of the trip home was uneventful. By the time I'd covered around 500 miles I was running out of patience with Sunday drivers, but by around mile 580 I was pulling into my own driveway and found my comfortable house waiting for me.

I was happy to be off the road and in some ways I was glad to be home. But I carried good memories of the Ozarks back with me, and perhaps left a bit of myself behind in those valleys.

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