About Me

Hi, I’m Michael R and I’m a compulsive hiker.  I started hiking in September 2010, did my first backpacking trip in March 2011 and have jumped-in with both feet – completing over 120 multi-day trips since, mostly in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains areas.  Originally from the Kansas City area, I moved to Fort Smith Ark in Aug 2013 to be closer to all the great trails and wilderness in the region before settling in Russellville Ark in July 2014.  Besides hiking/backpacking, I also enjoy making maps, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, astrophysics, dark chocolate, old jazz & blues, all food, and good movies.

I spent too many years in front of a computer monitor thinking about little except the career (software developer), and am now getting back outdoors as much as possible to have an active life while I still can.  I spend time with various organizations that build/maintain hiking trails and remove invasive vegetation from our wild areas.  It’s a great way to do something for the community and get outdoors at the same time.

17 Responses to About Me

  1. Scott says:

    Hey, terrific site and outstanding maps. Thank you!

    New visitor to the north Arkansas area who’s an avid hiker from New England. I’m a semi-retired geologist and wandering the seemingly endless outcroppings and ledges of undeformed rock here is an amazing experience… we don’t have much of that in the northern Appalachians, lol.

    I’ve been spending time going off trail from the OHT bordering and into the Leatherwood area. Spectacular country and deep silence. Fantastic stuff. Yesterday’s brilliant sunshine on the new snowfall made for a dream-like experience that I’ll long remember.

    Kudos again on the maps. They are clear, accurate and beautifully laid out. Very kind of you to share and very much appreciated.

  2. Paul Becker says:

    Love your site. Tons of info. Great maps! Heading out tomorrow to get some OT!

  3. Jack Strom says:

    It was great meeting you on the trail on the 23rd, hope the rain didn’t bother you to bad.

    • Michael R says:

      It was good meeting you too. I think everybody had fun even if we went home with a lot of wet gear. We went to Forsyth for lunch Sunday and were disappointed to find Charlie’s closed, but Fat Daddy’s proved to be a worthy substitute.

  4. Phillip Wilcoxson says:

    Do you publish any of your GPS files? I am planning to head out on the bushwhack east of Hwy 14 soon.

    • Michael R says:

      I don’t, and I still haven’t actually hiked the LBW route so what I have on the maps is a crude approximation.

    • Wayne Hobbs says:

      I got into GPS technology late and used maps most of my hiking career.

      If you haven’t done the Eagle Rock Loop down at Albert Pike State Park yet. It’s a nice weekend hike. It’s a loop trail so you don’t need a drop car. If you start at the NW corner, where the Little Missouri flows into the area, there is a parking area to leave your car. Plenty of camping spots, plan to have to water wade at least once and maybe twice. A very scenic area and a lovely 5 to 6 hour walk, while listening to waterfalls, the whole stretch down to the SE corner of the loop.

  5. Wendy says:

    I am looking to hike OHT near Sylamore for the first time. We are day hiking and wanting about 5-10 miles. Any suggestions?

    • Michael R says:

      My favorite part was between Spring Creek and Moccasin Springs trail heads. I think starting at Matney Knob and going south until you’re ready to turn around would be good too.

  6. Randall says:

    I stumbled across your site while studying some OHT sites. Great information, and great maps! I’m planning on tackling the Lake Fort Smith-Woolum section in late winter/early spring. I’m pretty flexible so it will really depend on a good 10 day stretch of weather. Got the North Sylamore Trail and the BRT (Boxley to Ponca) in this fall so far. I’ve used the Butterfield trail at Devils Den a couple of times as kind of shakedown runs to get ounces down as much as possible and to see how efficient I can be in 18 miles. Looking forward to the OHT!

  7. John Helms says:

    I recently discovered your OT trail maps, and have been using them the past few weekends. I just wanted to THANK YOU for the super nice and detailed maps! They are the best I’ve found as they print very clearly and have accurate info on them. The legend that you’ve added is great! I’m sure you put a ton of effort into those maps, and it shows. I greatly appreciate having these available.
    John H.

  8. Ian Fenimore says:

    Hi Michael, awesome blog!

    I am a climber and have been trolling the internet for a while looking for photos of “The Guardian” in the wind river range. Believe it or not you might be the only person to have a published photo of the peak in its entirety. I was wondering if by chance you have any high resolution photos of the rock face you would be willing to share with me? It seems like the one that you posted got compressed a bit. It’s for personal use only, as climbing the face is a dream of mine that I’m finally starting to put plans together for. Thanks for any help you can give!

  9. Susan. malone says:

    I am getting ready to do the OHT thru-hike beginning November. Trying to find information about the Lower Buffalo Bushwhack. Is there an alternate way around the bushwhack? Would really appreciate any advice you have concerning this section.
    Thanks for your time.

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