A to Z CHALLENGE
Today’s letter is…W
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WASHITA (OUACHITA) NATIONAL FOREST
The word Ouachita is the French spelling of the Indian word Washita. The Ouachita National Forest was designated as such, in 1926. It is the oldest National Forest in the southern United States. It encompasses thirteen counties in western central Arkansas, and two counties in southeastern Oklahoma.
The Talimena Scenic Byway was officially named in 2005, It runs through the Ouachita National Forest, leading to the Winding Stair Mountains. The road has no shoulders, and is very curvy and twisty, some even 180 degrees, hairpin turns.
Those are the facts. That is no comparison to actually driving down that road, in person. It is hard to find enough adjectives to describe the things your eyes feast upon. Majestic, awesome, beautiful, and exciting, are some words you will think of. You catch your breath on the steep grades, and those twisting roads…and there are miles of them.
You are surrounded by the tall trees…just you and the beauty of nature, brings about a hushed feeling, as you take in all the wonders the forest shows you. If you are adventurous, there are hiking trails, mountain biking trails, fishing, camping, and canoeing.
Established in 1978, the Upper Ouachita Wildlife Refuge, is home to many kinds of wildlife. There are black bears, aligators, deer, and many species of birds. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker is one resident, along with the bald eagle, and many other birds.
If you like hunting for rocks, the Quartz Crystal…state mineral of Arkansas, are free to pick up off the ground where you find them.
Bring your binoculars and camera when you go visit the Ouachita National Forest. You will not be disappointed.
Thank you for reading. If you’d like to, visit my other blog for the letter W. http://ghostmmnc.blogspot.com