From the point you reach Oark, the rest of Arkansas starts to get pretty real.
This part of the trail has so far been one of my favorites. Oark is a small town in the middle of the mountains, with one place to eat called the Oark Cafe. People travel to visit this little restaurant in the mountains, we got some amazing food here. The place was bustling when we arrived, this is what those chain restaurants that hang goofy things on the walls wants to be, they will never compare.
After being out of commission a couple of days due to a burned out clutch, we were driven straight back into the thick of it with some pretty intense mountain climbs and switchbacks, and the ozarks version of shelf roads. There was plenty of interesting rock formation in the area and cave systems all about if you know where to find them (we didn’t, but heard tale)
There was a point where you’re going down a bit of a rock scramble on what looks to be the path of a dry creek bed. Going into this road a farmer on a tractor gave us the side eye, and probably thought we were fools. If you take your time, you should be fine though. Larger vehicles may have a little trouble here since the trees and vegetation grow in pretty tight, you’ll have yourself some tiger stripes by the end of it though.
(not the best picture)
We crashed at Devils Den state park and explored the trails a bit and did some runs. This is a beautiful park and they have Wifi at the pavilion. The caves are all off limits due to a disease the bats have. Apparently all caves in the US are supposed to be closed for this reason and have been for five years.
We climbed and climbed, and at long last we can see the plains reaching ahead of us.