Issue #179
Updated May 20, 2010

Welcome to my on-line newsletter about the Buffalo National River, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Harrison, Arkansas, my home town.

The Barefoot Traveler was started in 1997 as a way for me to share my love of the Ozark Mountains with the internet community. As I am no longer hiking as much as I used to I have decided to semi-retire. All of my original work that was presented on www.ozarkconnections.com will eventually be archived here for your enjoyment. I have begun by editing all of my Lodging Reviews. I have also started to put my hiking articles here, but have just begun, so there are only a few of them at the moment. I hope that you have enjoyed The Barefoot Traveler over the years, and I hope to keep them coming, but on an infrequent basis.

Picture of the Week



After A Spring Rain


He's Alive!

Hello again! After suffering from the dreaded AGS (short for advanced girth syndrome) I have again taken up my text editor and camera for a visit to Azalea Falls Lodge, where my good friends Alf and Kathy have been constructing a new lodge.



Azalea Fall's New Lodge

I drove on over to Azalea Falls on Friday afternoon. The weather man had said we were in for possible severe storms so I wanted to get there before it all started. Azalea Falls is located just off Hwy. 21 above Boxley Valley. The property has 136 acres with three, beautifully construced lodging facilities and a really nifty hiking trail. I had talked with Alf and we were planning on hiking Sweden Creek if the weather cooperated. I drove up to the new lodge and noticed that they were working on landscaping the front area.



My Bedroom For The Weekend


More Of My Bedroom

The lodge had one bedroom on the main floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor, seperated by a very nice sitting area. Each bedroom had a queen sized bed, large closets and plenty of space to sit and enjoy. In addition, in each bedroom closet was a small fridge, coffee pot and microwave. Also, there is a HD satellite tv in each bedroom. I decided to use the bedroom located on the main floor, and brought my stuff in.


Upstairs Bedroom


The Other Upstairs Bedroom


The Upstairs Living Area


A Different View

After moving into my room, putting my food and drinks in the small fridge in the closet, I sat on the wrap around porch for awhile, swiging on my Mt. Dew and just enjoying the afternoon. In the distance I could see the sky was slowly getting darker. Suddenly I heard a noise and up pranced Stonewall, Alf's golden retriever. I knew Alf was not far behind. He arrived in a few minutes in his pickup and came to sit on the porch with me. As we watched the sky get progressively darker we got caught up on what was happening in each other's lives. A loud boom came across the valley, followed by lightening. We calculated it was still quite far away. It began to drizzle and as the afternoon turned into early evening, the rain became more serious. The booms and flashes became more frequent and the rain began to really come down. Suddenly a extremely loud kaboom rang out, followed immediately by a big flash. The storm was right on top of us, and then just as suddenly, it moved on and was over for the time being. Alf decided to head down to the office and I went inside for supper.



The Main Living Area


Antiques And Fine Art Decorate The Living Area

In order not to make a big mess in the kitchen and dining room, I decided to try being a single quest and used the microwave in my room to make myself a nice supper. I put some coffee grounds in the coffee maker and filled it up in anticipation of tomorrow. I turned on the HD tv and put on the weather channel and watched the front moving through the area. After supper I went outside onto the covered porch and had an evening drink and cigarette in the rocking chair, listening to the rain that was falling. Late in the evening I went to bed and slept soundly until sunrise.



The Dining Room


Large Modern Kitchen


Double Ovens And Fridge/Freezer

I was up at sunrise and on the porch with a cup of coffee in an Azalea Falls mug. Alf came up around 8 a.m. and we sat with Stonewall and our coffee trying to decide whether or not to attempt a long dayhike to Sweden Creek. We could see from watching the weather channel that there was more rain on the way, and opted instead for a nice, leisurely stroll along the Azalea Falls Loop Trail. While it is not a long hike, I was looking forward to seeing the waterfall running.



Morning Coffee On The Wrap Around Deck


Starting The Loop Trail Hike

The loop trail starts at the office and makes its way through a nice formal garden and then along the top of a bluff before dropping down a wooden stairway that leads along the bottom of the same bluff and towards the waterfall.



Bluff Shelter

I am always amazed when we come across a bluff shelter. Alf said that some indian arrowheads were found years ago underneath them so we know that indians were in this area in ancient times. One can see why they used them, the proximity of water and abundance of game in the area made areas like this prime habitat for early native americans.



Along The Base Of The Rock Bluffs

As we meandered along the trail the guests from the cabin overtook us and we stopped to chat with them for a bit and then let them go on ahead of us. Once we came to the waterfall we took a break and let Stonewall sit in the water while we sipped on our gatorade. It was a beautiful morning with the sun sprinkling off the running water. Very beautiful and restful. After a while we continued our hike around the other side, then up and around back to the office. Alf had afternoon chores to attend to but invited me down to their place for supper. I accepted immediately. The afternoon brought more rain but it did let up towards sunset. I went over to the office and we had a delightful meal and a spirited discussion about the nature of the universe and the destiny of mankind. Late in the evening we all retired. I woke up on Sunday, packed up my stuff and then stopped down at the office to thank Alf and Kathy for their kind generosity in letting me stay at their new lodge.



Azalea Falls

Azalea Falls Lodge And Cabin is one of the Ozark's premier vacation rental establishments. Each of their units is a complete 3 bedroom, 3 bath home. All have been furnished with every possible modern convience that you could require or ask for, and are deluxe in every way. The property has it's own large pond and of course the loop hiking trail. I really like the new lodge. The layout is such that it can be used by three seperate guests in a bed and breakfast configuration, or it could also be rented by a group of three seperate couples, wanting to share some time together and yet have the space to be seperate when they choose to be. If your looking for a place to spend your vacation in affordable luxury, give Alf or Kathy a call and make a reservation. The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas are a beautiful place to visit, and I can heartily recommend Azalea Falls Lodge as the place to stay!



Azalea Falls Lodge
Alf Carter & Kathy Trimble, Owners & Managers
H.C. 30, Box 140
Kingston, AR 72742
Phone: (870) 420-3941
Email Azalea Falls Lodge



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