I was working near Ft Gibson today and had a bit of down time--enough for a quick lunch anyway. As I rounded a sharp turn on HWY 80 and started the decent to the dam, I saw a turn off. I screeched to a halt, threw the Ford in reverse and scooted onto a gravel pull-off.
A path headed right over to a cliff, where you could see for miles in either direction. To the north--Ft Gibson Dam.
To the south--the river below. The Neosho.
Crossing the dam, I was in full blown trail hunting mode. A turn-off to the north looked enticing. I headed right down to the water's edge for a shot of the waves. The water actually seemed much warmer than I expected. It was 34° outside, and I bet the water was 20° warmer.
From there I drove north--there just HAD to be a trail there--but no. Returning to the highway, I crossed and entered a park along the river shores. My friend Jeremy Wiley had posted on Facebook about seeing a bridge that had a trail beyond it. He did not get to explore it, and me being a trail hound, was here to do the job.
Just like the picture he took, this bridge called out--come on over. See and conquer. How could I not go?
This was hiking trail was a little hard to follow being totally covered by newly fallen leaves. I shuffled a little and walked most of the way--taking pictures as I went. (You're saying, "That's what you ALWAYS do.")
If not for the round metal hiking signs, I probably could not have found my way--but they kept my curiosity up. The trail stayed along the bottom land below a huge outcropping of rocks and bluffs.
But soon enough, a switchback sent me right up the hill over craggy rocks. I climbed probably 150 feet in a couple tenths of a mile.
Then the incline lessened and headed to a building of sorts. A house? I lost the trail but kicked through leaves to find a nice restroom at the dam overlook.
The view was great, but another set of trail markers pointed me a different way. I thought there might be more trailz--maybe even miles and miles of them, but it seemed to be a loop that tied back into the trail I came up on. In fact--it was probably NOT a loop but I had just lost the trail near the top. Oh well--it's all good.
I love finding faces in rocks. This was staring back up at me and I did not dare step on it!
This trail was less than a half mile one way. About .9 out and back. I was disappointed that it was not longer. I'd call this more of a nature trail--pretty, but not worth a long drive to run it. It's steep enough and technical enough that those wanting a leisurely stroll would be challenged. Maybe that's why there were a few benches along the way to stop and rest a bit.
I'll call my outing 1 mile. Not long at all, but I'm not doing much running right now anyway. After all--I just had time for a quick lunch. It just turned out to be a short hike.