Arkansas and Oklahoma

Rather than head straight to Colorado, we planned our trip to first drive south through Arkansas then head west across Oklahoma. We drove south on Highway 65 then southwest on Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway through the beautiful hills of north and central Arkansas. We drove through sections of the Ouachita National Forest.

Hollis CCC CampHollis CCC Camp

Having recently talked with Larry's dad about his brief experiences in the Civilian Conservation Corps, we decided it would be fun to visit one of the camp locations in Arkansas.

Although little is left of the Hollis CCC camp from the mid 1930s, it was interesting to explore the area and read the interpretive signs.



ccc camp

The Hollis camp stayed open until 1941. Most of the participants were sharecroppers from this rural area. The Jessieville camp down the road housed and supported many people from Missouri who arrived on open flatcar supply trains. CCC workers put out forest fires, built roads and recreational facilities, planted trees, and performed many other tasks.

fire placeccc camp

Talimena Scenic Highway

We pulled into our space at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park early in the evening.The park is on top of a mountain, so the drive up was steep. After a long day of driving, we decided to eat at the lodge.

The next morning the area was blanketed with fog. It was so thick that the satellite dish wouldn't work. Hoping the fog would burn off as the day progressed, we decided to take a drive. Part of the way down the mountain, the fog began to clear and we enjoyed a great day in the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area, Mountain Pass Scenic Drive, and the Talimena Scenic Drive.

Winding Stair Mountain

Winding Stair Mountain

We were glad we brought the Jeep rather than the motorhome because we encountered a couple of 13% grades.

Talimena Scenic Drive

rock wall

Interpretive signs could be found along the scenic highway detailing the rich history of the area. For example the rock wall on the left was created by CCC workers.

We enjoyed a quick stop at the Choctaw Visitor Information Center. The ranger at the station was very informative.

On the way back to the campground, we had fun exploring a few back country mountain roads. We decided we need to come back in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. We also want to come back and hike in the Robert S. Kerr Arboretum & Botanical Area.

red flowers

Created by Annette Lamb, 5/05.