Sometimes spur of the moment adventures mean more to me than ones I’ve carefully planned. I recently read of a park near me that I’d not heard of before, Emerald Park in North Little Rock, AR. I wasn’t sure the hiking trail in the park was doable, since it was listed as moderate to hard. My knees don’t like those words and protest very much when the trail is steep!
I got in touch with my sister, who is always willing to go on adventures with me, and we headed to the park. We knew there were two trails, one up high and one low. We figured if we couldn’t hike to the top, we could just walk along the low, flat path. Thankfully, with the aid of walking sticks and gentle switchbacks it wasn’t too hard. We took our time and made it just fine!! The trail led across the top of an old rock quarry. It’s hard to see depth in pictures, but if you look to the left side of the picture below you can see a very large, blue dump truck. Just so you know, we weren't in any danger of falling off the cliffs, there was a chain-link fence to keep everyone away from the edge.
Along the trail are several signs warning hikers about the high cliffs. Regardless of those signs, there have been people that have gone over the chain-link fence in order to paint graffiti on the rocks. I can’t understand why people believe they have to leave their mark on nature.
We took a break for lunch at a fun little diner. I’d seen this diner many times, but was never there at the right time to eat. Finally, I thought I would have the chance. Knowing the diner was close to the park, I got online to look at their menu and discovered it was closed and was for sale! Disappointed was a mild reaction! As we drove by the diner looking for a place to eat, we noticed an open sign. There was no name on the building, so we weren't sure if it was still a diner or what. It could well have just been some type of office, but it wasn't. The diner had been bought and just that very day reopened for business. We were among the first of their customers for their soft-opening! Yay, for us!! We had good old-fashioned burgers and they were great!
Refreshed, we returned to the park and walked a lower trail right along the Arkansas River. I had to use the zoom on my camera, but the state capitol of Arkansas was barely visible in the distant haze.
Along the trail there were some huge rocks from the quarry with pretty wildflowers growing near them.
We discovered some fun silhouettes of bicyclist, butterflies, birds, dog walkers, joggers, and skate-boarders painted on a long concrete wall. These were not graffiti, they were approved by the city.
I love to return to places I'm familiar with, but sometimes it's nice to explore somewhere new. You never know what you'll find till you get out there!