It was a one-way east-to-west trip this time thanks to the shuttle service of Blue Bell Cafe & Country Store, and a one-nighter. I made it from AR7 over Ouachita Pinnacle to the Blue Mountain Shelter on day 1, about 17 miles, leaving just 4.5 miles for the hike out the next morning.
Tim Ernst describes a spring near the Blue Mountain Shelter and I did find it on this trip. There is now a blazed spur trail leading from the shelter so it’s hard to miss now. The spring is more of a weep – there is very little flow – and I couldn’t have gotten more than 1/2 a liter. I would not depend on this source.
With this trip I have completed a fresh GPS track of the entire trail. There are still a few mile markers toward the east end that I need to locate or double-check and I need to reconnoiter the Penney Campsite near mile 208 but then I’ll have the data to make another major update to my Ouachita Trail maps.
The warmer weather and the sight of all the wildflowers has me thinking about the landscaping projects I’ll soon be working on at home.