Monday, October 11, 2010

Caddo Bend Trail

My view for most of the hike.
We have been dying to get out and go hiking for a while now - first it was too hot, then we were too busy, then I had a cold... but this past Saturday we were finally able to make it to the woods. At last! The weather wasn't as cool as it was the previous weekend (when it was absolutely gorgeous) and there was an ozone alert for the Little Rock area, but we were outside (and the ozone alert didn't reach down to the Hot Springs area, where we were).

Lake  Ouachita State Park is about an hour and a half drive from Maumelle, most of that on smaller highways.  It is just outside Hot Springs Village, and not far from Hot Springs proper. There are camping areas and the lake, but we were there for the Caddo Bend Trail.

The 4-mile trail circles a spit of land that juts out into Lake Ouachita, sometimes close to the lake, and sometimes up higher along the bluff.  We were able to go out on the rocky beach a couple of times, to get some good views of the lake, and to let Miikka test the water.

Still not interested in swimming.
 As he showed at the puppy pool party, he is not a water dog. He didn't get in any deeper than his toes, but he did enjoy the beach a bit.

A little too rocky for comfortable sunbathing...
The water level in the lake appeared to be down from normal, but that is to be expected, since we are at least 10 inches short for the year so far. The views were lovely though, and the water was clean and clear. I must really be a grownup though, because I didn't even consider going for a dip.

Our lunchtime view from the top of the bluff.
This was the most populated trail we have been on in a while (not counting Pinnacle Mountain, which is always swarmed). Even then, we were alone for most of the hike.  Miikka was a great hiker again, as usual. He kept wanting to be in the lead, but would immediately stop to sniff once he had attained his goal, so he had to be talked out of setting the pace.  He has four-paw drive and a low center of gravity, which made him much faster than I am at the hills - I think he would really have liked to take them at a gallop. But he got enough of his energy out to make him sleepy and well-behaved for the rest of the day.

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