Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Southaven, MS (suburb of Memphis, TN)

You may remember that I stopped in Southaven 2 or 3 years ago.  When working on my route from Colorado to Georgia, I decided to stop in Memphis and visit the zoo again.  I stayed at the same RV Park in Southaven, MS that I did last time.  (Next time I think I will try Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis)  For you fellow Lazy Dazers out there, the website for the RV Park, has a picture of a Lazy Daze on it,  (EZ DAZE with Lazy Daze)

I like old cemeteries and while walking around found this --

It looks like somebody was digging up old graves.

Just kidding, this was part of the Halloween decorations at the Memphis zoo.  Below are other pictures that I took while there.

Wolf --

Micronesian Kingfisher – There are less than 100 of these in existence with none in the wild.  This zoo along with others are trying to keep this bird from going extinct.

Grizzlies -

Sea lion -

Ostrich -

Panda -

I spent 15 – 20 minutes watching the panda.  The last picture reminds me of the pose that many kids are posed in when they get their picture taken professionally!!!  This was the Panda’s resting spot after eating a good bit of bamboo. 

From here I headed to Chattanooga for a week before making my way back to Georgia. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Morrilton, Arkansas–Petit Jean State Park

In early October, I went to Petit Jean State Park  in Arkansas for several days.   The park is on top of a mountain about 60 miles west of Little Rock.  I had a great time at this park.  My campsite was a full hookup site, with a pretty good view of the lake. 

On my first day at the park after setting up, I drove around the park just checking things out and stopping at a couple of overlooks. 

Both of the pictures above were taken at the Stouts Overlook.

One of the trails I hiked was the Seven Hollows Trail.  It only goes through 4 hollows, the other 3 are on private property.  This trail has a great mixture of things to see – an arch, box canyon, rock shelters, great rock formations…

The arch was hidden behind some trees, but it was fun scrambling around the area. 




Above was taken in the Grotto, a side trip off of the 7 Hollows Trail.  During spring and early summer, there is a waterfall at the end of the Box Canyon, but it was dry when I visited.  It was still worth the extra walking and scrambling over some rocks.

The trail is rated moderate and I would have to say I agree.  It has some hills, but that was not the bad part.  In many parts of the trail it was very rocky, which made it difficult to walk – but it was well worth it!

This area is known for the rock layering and something called Carpet Rocks.  These formations are a result of fractures in sandstone that were filled with quartz.  The sandstone weathered away, but the quartz was left, leaving very interesting patterns in the stone.    I found a few small examples of Carpet Rocks on this trail, but knew I would search for better examples on another day. 

Below is some interesting rock layering that may eventually be more like a Carpet Rock.

It looked like the tree below was kissing the rock --

You may have to click on the picture below to see this one, but I found the rock that the tree is growing on very interesting.

The next day, I went on a couple of shorter trails looking for some better examples of Carpet Rocks and also Turtle Rocks.

From the Cedar Creek Trail, I found the following examples of Carpet Rock.  The first boulder I found was probably about 10 – 12 feet long and was covered with these great patterns.   Some people thought that these were carvings like petroglyphs, while others have said that aliens did them.  But geologist say they are natural and that’s the group I believe!!  It was impossible to get a good shot of the entire boulder, below are a couple of close up shots. 

In the above example you can see my 1/2 of my shoe at the bottom center of the photo, just to give a size perspective of the rock.  This was taken just past the Cedar Falls Overlook. 

There is also some rock formations that they call Turtle Rocks.  There are a few on the Seven Hollows Trail, but the best ones are found on the Rockhouse Trail. 

My pictures don’t really do them justice, they did look like turtle shells.  

Another day, I went to the Bear Cave Trail which was an easy trail with lots of places to walk around and thru rock formations.  Below are pictures taken from that area -- 

In addition to the hiking trails, the park has a paved walking/biking trail that I walked for a few miles one morning.  I would strongly recommend visiting this park!!

(By the way, I am currently back in Georgia.  From Petit Jean, I headed to Memphis, then Chattanooga, TN before getting back to Georgia. I‘ll try to do those blogs in the next week or so!)