The Valley in January

(originally posted Jan 21, 2010)

Made a little trip out to Arkansas this last weekend and spent a pleasant couple of days in Jones Valley. The Valley has a very nice soft look in the winter. Larry and Paula were there as well, and we had a real nice time visiting, getting a few things done, and taking in most of the NFL playoff games.

Arriving on Saturday morning, naturally it started a light rain, but still was not cold and with Jim Bowman’s hospitality I set up home away from home in the Hillbilly. The Cubage Cabin was winterized and best to leave it that way. Caddo greeted me with her pleasant friendly manner. How that dog could survive in the cold of this winter is a mystery. Of course, back to Glenwood for some necessities, like water, dog food and treats, and pizza for the games that evening. Larry and Paula’s cabin has all the essentials, including Direct TV.

Sunday Larry took me on a little tour around including walking down onto a gravel bar below the dam, checking out things around the swimming hole, and the dining hall. Then I got into a couple of little jobs – smoothing out the ground near the Cubage Cabin so that Larry could get access with the lawn tractor, emptying out a a full garbage can near the pool that (due to no lid) was also half full of water, bagging the garbage and putting it on Larry’s trailer, and helping Larry push some large rocks around the Cubage Cabin’s new new septic tank. The weather was great.

Around noon started watching the Cowboys-Vikings game, which soon descended into the Vikings game. That was mercifully interrupted at half-time by Lemoin Jackson, the contractor who primarily does the swimming hole cleanup and bush-hogging in the Valley. Today Lemoin and an assistant were there to scope out getting the city water lines connected to the cabins and dining hall. Larry and Paula worked with them, including identifying current underground pipes to be avoided.

Later Larry and Paula’s son, Ray, granddaughter Gabi, grandson-in-law, Ryan, and his brother, Will, arrived to clean out their cabin’s storage room which is to be torn down and replaced with a bedroom. Ray, Ryan, and Will got after that project and finished it off before night fell. In the middle of that work Larry and I went up the Valley on his ATV and I got the experience of a little target shooting with Larry’s 357 magnum Colt Peacemaker-style revolver. Larry had three different cartridges, from a 38 to a 357 – my ears still have a little ring in them.

The evening finished off with a wonderful meal Paula cooked on the grill – brisket, baked potato, and corn on the cob. This we enjoyed while we all watched the last quarter of the best game of the weekend. Paula was able to turn a meal for three into one for seven – a real-life “fishes and loaves” experience.

Turned the truck towards the east and headed home – thinking I needed to spend more time in the Valley – many things left undone. Larry and Paula went to a new mountain for crystal hunting, and I understand they bagged some exceptional specimens.

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