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Feb. 26, 2006
We didn't get to Flatside Pinnacle early enough for a walk before sunrise, but we took a nice little stroll along the Ouachita Trail afterward, down a gentle slope along a ridge, until at a low point we crossed over and dropped down the other side, where one long switchback brought us to a creek that we followed downstream for awhile. Then at a spot where sunlight was just spilling over the hilltop to the left I lay down and used the base of a tree for a pillow and closed my eyes for 15 minutes or so before we strolled back out again and jumped in the car for the long drive home.

It was a lucky break I guess that instead of continuing west along the Winona Scenic Drive and then heading home along Highway 7 through Russellville, which is how we usually go, I decided to go back the way we came in, east to Highway 9 and north to Morrilton. We hadn't gone more than a few miles along the forest road when a dog came running out of the woods and rendevouzed with our car.

I surely do appreciate each and every dog owner out there who puts a collar and an i.d. tag on her dog. I do love you for it, I do, because a tag tells me that the dog was not abandoned and gives me a fighting chance to get a lost dog home. I'm full up with dogs now with nine, and I'm afraid of that time that's almost sure to come when I'll find a dog with no collar and no tag that I'll have to take to a shelter, and I'll hate myself for doing it.

Our little stranger who came bounding out of the woods today was about the biggest pup I have ever seen, easily the size of a St. Bernard, but with the face of a huskie, and since I didn't see a tag on her at first, I was afraid for awhile that this was going to be the time when I would have to face up to having to take a dog to a shelter. But as I was sharing a peace offering of a can of Junie's vienna sausages with her I spotted her tag, which was riveted into her collar in the manner that you mainly see with hunting dogs.

Getting her into the car turned out to be the biggest obstacle to getting her home, and after about 15 minutes of trying to coax her in, I gave up and lifted her, front end first and then rear end, and I could feel my back crunching under the weight. But by and by and after more misadventures we were able to phone and meet her owner, who, by the way, had to lift her into his car as well, as she wasn't going to get into it willingly either.

The drive home was a happy one.

If I could only take one creek to a desert island, I guess I'd have to choose Richland Creek, because it is one stream I could picture spending the rest of my life exploring. This Back Light photo, taken in 2001, shows ripples formed as water flowed slowly past and interacted with rocks on the bank of a calm pool.