THE MISSION ACROSS THE U.S.
Part 11: Blissed Out And Blown Out
July 28, 2013
We were so excited to finally be in a motel room for an additional day. This was our first time to really unpack a few things and relax a bit from the constant loading and unloading of our personal items, as well as dogs. We decided to drive over to the Mountain Lodge overlooking Lake Ouchita for breakfast. The restaurant lived up to its reputation, with a spectacular view overseeing the huge lake and a higher grade establishment than what is typically available in these small types of towns. Afterwards, we chose to drive up to one of the neighboring overlooks off of Blowout Mountain Road for a photo opportunity, which required a long windy trek on a partially gravel road.
But the trip was well worth it, as we were the only ones at the top of this amazing mind-blowing vista! The views were spectacular, the crystals were everywhere, and the dogs enjoyed running and chasing each other around the cobblestoned parking area.
Steve really wanted to scope out some of the properties in Black Springs, as that area had been described as some of the most beautiful landscapes. I kept thinking to myself how much more beautiful could it get than where we already were?
We drove west on the 88 and snapped a few pictures despite the impending downpour that had become so typical the day after our activations. Black Springs was incredible, but the vibe was not the same as Mt Ida and its surrounding areas to the north east and south east. We then drove east on the 88 and spontaneously turned down a logging road only to find one of the most magnificent vistas I have ever seen in my life. What a find!!! I literally thought I was in another dimension and probably was.
One of my dogs Soyala jumped into the lake with gusto, bathing in the clear beautiful water while the rest of the pack happily sniffed and hunted for jumping insects and other tasty morsels. I became mesmerized by the peace of this place and repeated to Steve that this was not of the 3rd dimension. Maybe we had jumped into another reality? Whatever the explanation, I sat at the tip of a small peninsula and watched the water glisten in the sunlight. The dogs were happy and so were we. It truly was one of the closest experiences I have had to an uninterrupted state of bliss.
It was difficult to leave, but we pressed on, driving throughout a cluster of small towns, diverting through many lost and lonely side streets. There were some spacious lots for sale here and there but they seemed to be nestled in with some scary Sanford and Son lots. At one point, a skunk jumped in front of our car onto the gravel road and casually strutted in front of our vehicle for at least a minute or more. We could smell its pungent aroma, wondering what Nature was telling us this day. One local had turned us onto her favorite meditation spot with an unknown waterfall, but warned us it would require driving on dirt roads deep into the forest a ways.
We were up for the task and got lost along the way, but after asking some road repair crews if they knew of a waterfall close by, we were immediately directed right to this secret location... the key was you had to be a local to know of it.
When we got out of the car, we were amazed at how untouched everything was in this state... meandering little creeks lead to a glass like pond posing up against a wall of rock, foliage, and ferns.
Fish skirted here and there, clearly viewed through the pristine transparent water which flowed into another creek below. The sound of trickling water lulled you into harmony with the sounds of the insects and singing birds above. Once again, another surreal moment of total bliss indeed! Due to so much rain, we decided to head back to the hotel for some dinner and a chance to really unplug. I was a bit stressed because I had another Cobra interview the next day and had had very little time to prepare for it. Julie called and decided to rearrange her schedule to accommodate seeing us the next morning. Could we be there at 8:00 a.m?
Well I KNEW there was something we needed to talk about so I agreed. We were already planning to leave the following morning so this would be our only chance to hook back up with her.