Monday, February 04, 2008

Speaking of Paradise...

Paradise Regained

In three days, we'll be leaving Seoul for Ozark Mountain scenes in Arkansas like this one near Melbourne of Pilot Knob, a tall knob rising steeply above several other knobs in the area.

As a kid living in Salem, Arkansas, I used to hike to the top of the Salem Knob, and from the forestry tower there, I could borrow the ranger's binoculars and clearly see what he informed me was Pilot Knob, some 30 miles away, but I'm not completely sure that the knob in the above photo is the same knob as the one that I saw from Salem, even though it looks similar (and "Pilot Knob" is a rather common name for landmark knobs, with even Salem Knob earlier being called Pilot Knob).

Only when I was a young man, in about 1981 or 1982 on a trip home, did I have the opportunity to hike up what I had been told was Pilot Knob. Near its top was a ten-foot bluff that ran most of the way around, if I recall correctly, and I had to find a place where a break in the rock allowed access to the top, but eventually, I made my way to the top and was rewarded with an impressive panoramic view. Especially scenic was the view toward the West and North, where the land dropped off steeply down toward Piney Creek and the White River, if my memory serves me well.

In the image above, I don't see the small bluff that I recall ringing the knob that I hiked, so I'll need to clarify this point when I get back to the Ozarks.

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At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My my, my friend,

You do seem wistful. Tell you what. If you hire me a porter to carry my oxygen tank and then let me piggyback at least halfway up pictured yonder hill - I'll be able to let you know if it's the real Pilot Knob.

Course you can't leave me and my tank stranded.

Herschel D.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Maybe Daddio will have a pack mule.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:25 PM, Blogger Hathor said...

I wonder if you had a similar thought that I had when I was very small. I use to think the sky ended at the top of the mountains.

I sort of knew that it wasn't true, because I had came to this valley on a train from the north, which was on the other side of the mountain.

Have a safe and pleasant trip.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hathor, I don't recall ever thinking precisely that, but I did notice how the overcast sky sometimes came down and rested its clouds on the top of Ozark knobs, which gave me a comforting feeling, as though the sky were a blanket sheltering us from whatever loomed beyond.

Thank you for the well wishes. My entire family will be on that plane, so I do hope for a safe trip, at least, and a pleasant one if possible, although with kids...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:03 AM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

I'd wager that this is the knob you spied as a kid atop Salem Knob, Jeffery. And...there IS a bluff that rings the's higher than 10' in most areas, though.

A few years ago, I took my kids to the observation tower at Bull Shoals (about 50 miles from Pilot Knob) and we could see this hill on the horizon from there.

On the blog are many shots of the knob from all over the county. It is the most visible landmark in the area and can be seen from Sylamore to Dolph, and From along the Guion Road to Oxford.

At 6:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Daddio, thanks for the confirmation. I never realized that this knob was so close to the Sylamore Road. I reckon I need to get myself a map and figure out where everything is.

Jeffery Hodges

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