One of the roads less traveled and a bit more

On the advice of my iPhone GPS, I decided to drive the “walking” route it recommended for one to make the distance between Pine Bluff, and Arkadelphia, Arkansas for a college reunion event. Some of the route was old hat, but the western end of the trip was new to me. For a bit of fun, I made one shallow ford and had a couple of 4-wheel drive engagements.

Arkansas Hwy 46 dips into the Saline River bottoms
On the way you go south of Sheridan, Arkansas to Leola on Arkansas Highway 46. On that route, you learn the true definition of the term “river-bottoms.” A few miles north of Leola highway 46 takes about a 30 foot-or-so-drop into the Saline River bottoms. The road remains more or less level until it makes a about a 30 foot climb out of the bottoms.

There are several east and west access roads leaving Highway 46 along the way. They are all either timber access roads or access roads to deer camps – or both and are secured by “pole-gates.” When the river is up, they are under water. Since most of our non-LA readers have never seen a pole gate under water, it is incumbent upon us to make that revelation.

Flooded access road

This old access road shows some lingering signs of pavement. The water at the gate is at least two feet deep by my best guess

Flooded road

This well-constructed road leads to another semi-submerged pole gate. The gentle sloping crown of this road tells us that for whom-so-ever built it – it was not his first rodeo.

Flooded pole gate

This nearly submerged pole gate made for an artsy-craftsy scene. A Freudian leaning psychologist might see it as something else.

Fillin' station dog

I made a pit stop in Leola, Arkanss and found a friendly fillin’ station dog who appeared to be a Bassett-Redbone or Redbone-Basset mix. He was curious and friendly. Here he came by to bid me farewell as I departed the premises.

Old house and abandoned pickup

I found another dog several miles down the gravel road section of the trip. He was hanging around this abandoned house accompanied by and abandoned Ford F150 of several years back. You can see more of this old house and the nearby barn on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com along with other pictures from this trip.

Dog in gravel road

Not quite as friendly but with a good streak of curious, this pooch who was babysitting the old house and truck came out to see me off.  He appears to have a .22 head mounted on a .357 magnum frame. Mayhaps his name is bullet?

As a parting shot, I’m showing you a couple of signs that gave me a grin. Hopefully you will react in the same way. Lord knows we need all the grins we can get.

Sign-eating tree

And if you do happen to dump, this tree will eat you. Don’t say we did not warn you.

Road closed sign

Noooooo problemo!

I have high hopes that this diversion into attempted levity has lighted your day.

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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