Hiking, Canoeing, and No Internet – Oh My!

In Travel by EudaimoniaLeave a Comment

Last weekend I took a trip to the Ozark Mountains to gather a bit of my thoughts, have some fun hiking and canoeing, and press the reset button on my soul. I find there is nothing better than a road trip and time in the wilderness to ease the burdens and release the yokes of everyday life.

So we headed south.

While it was only supposed to be a 5-hour drive to reach our destination, we soon found that without the aid of a strong Internet connection and the power of almighty Google maps – it’s really easy to get lost.

Cue the dueling banjos!

And it’s especially easy to get lost when the roads are full of crazy switchbacks and 7% grade accents and descents. I know…if you live in Colorado or some other mountainous place that might not seem like much, but for this flatlander used to the grids of Kansas City…it was a trip!

Throwing my 13 year old Toyota 4 Runner into the curves at 45 MPH, while hollering and singing at the top of my lungs…my better half ‘Ms. Mountain Sprouts’ decided to rescind the long standing statement of “You drive like my Grandpa”.

With a wry smile I took that as a compliment.

After arriving at our glamorous cabin (yes we went glamping) deep within the Ozark National Forest, about 7 miles South of Jasper, AR we quickly set up shop and looked for adventure while barbecuing. Adventures we found.

The following day we found local hikes that led us to beautiful waterfalls rolling into caverns and pools that were carved perfectly for an amazing swim. After hiking for miles with temperatures and humidity both in the 90s, there’s nothing quite like swimming under a waterfall.

ozarkswimming

After our amazing swim we pushed our selves and our luck through another local trail leading to beautiful cliffs. I say pushed our luck, as we quickly found out upon return from our 3-mile hike that hundreds upon hundreds of ticks smaller than a freckle were crawling up our legs.

We frantically picked the ticks off each other like a couple of chimpanzees, but to no avail we were victims of dozens of tick bites. *Shivers in fright*

The following day we woke up to head to our launch destination on the Buffalo River. After getting our gear we hopped in a beat up bus, with nothing but a bungee cord holding the door shut and away we went to the splendor that is the Buffalo River.

The view was amazing and the river was slow allowing us to jump out and swim every 10-15 minutes. 6 miles, 2 tree swings, 1 cliff jump, 24 beers, and 5 hours later we ended our journey and lumbered home.

Ms. Mountain Sprouts leading the way

Ms. Mountain Sprouts leading the way.

The following day we left the beauty of nature and the simple and wonderful people we had met…and returned to reality…job recruiters calling me, endless emails for Ms. Mountain Sprouts, and political bickering on Facebook.

It left me thinking that the whole world should take road trip and kick it in nature for a bit. Sure there’s some minor nuisances, but I’ll take dozens of tick bites over listening to the endless barrage of political insanity that is our civilized daily life.

Perhaps the notion of civilized needs rethinking.