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 about 90 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, 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, and I help others do the same.  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.

Never married, no kids, 5 computers, 3 tents, 4 backpacks, 3 sleeping bags, …

Random factoids:

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21 Responses to About Me

  1. Wayne hobbs says:

    Michael,
    Thank you for your hard work in building and maintaining your website. I’ll very likely use some of your information when I thru hike the Ouachita Trail, hopefully this fall or winter. Wanting to do some long hikes in preparation for an AT attempt a couple years out when I retire, and if I don’t get to make an AT attempt, then I’ve lost nothing by hiking in our lovely forests trying to prepare for it! I see that you live in the Russellville area, a place I’ve spent a lot of my free time at hang gliding Mr. Nebo. A nice flying site that I have several hundred hours flying at. Next time your up there, you can see my name on their Flights of the year award.

  2. Justin says:

    Hi Michel
    Great site here, I’m enjoying reading about your hiking experiences. You write well and your passion really shows through!

    Thanks
    Justin

    • Justin says:

      Hi Michael,

      Just a quick email to let you know that I featured you in a recent article named:
      Top 30 Hiking Blogs you Should be Reading!.

      Here’s a link to the article:
      https://www.outdoorveteran.com/top-30-hiking-blogs/

      I’ve also made a special badge for you here:

      Feel free to download and use it anywhere you wish!

      Once again, I hope your inclusion in the list drives some new readers to your blog and I look forward to staying connected!

      Regards, Justin

  3. Jeffrey H says:

    I still use the Eeepc 900 as my print server. Unlike you, I’ve gone more Google with Chromebooks, but I understand your concerns. Road cyclists take chances!

  4. Jeffrey H says:

    Hi Michael. Your blog is terrific and your interests are a lot like mine. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to check out the Western Arkansas Master Naturalists. My wife and I are avid members of the North Central chapter. I also urge you to have a look at the hiking maps for the area that I and some of my friends are now making — a bit different than yours but still perhaps useful to some people. Here is the link: http://lakenorforkadventures.blogspot.com/2016/12/hiking-north-central-arkansas.html

    • Michael R says:

      I am a wanna-be master naturalist. I do things with the remnants of the River Valley chapter but always seem to have too little time to take the classes and become official.

      Good job on the blog – I’m surprised I didn’t run across it while researching Lake Norfork trails in October. I was assessing what parts of the Trans-Ozark Trail are done in Arkansas, and what isn’t. The Ozark Highlands Trail Association is ramping-up its presence in that area in anticipation of connecting the parts.

      I can’t see your maps right now as I block access to everything Google-related but I’ll poke a hole in the wall in the next few days to have a peek.

      Your story about upgrading your EEE PC 900 brought a smile. I have one of the original 701’s, and it is still used all day long almost every day.

  5. Thanks for sharing the trails on your blog. I’m enjoying your photography and trail notes!

    • Michael R says:

      Thanks Jim. Seeing your comment about trail notes reminded me that I hadn’t added a link to your book on my pages so that’s done. In the process I was reminded that I still haven’t got my Missouri trail info online.

  6. Thanks for the time and dedication you placed on your website detailing your hikes around the Natural State and the Arklahoma areas. Furthermore, many thanks for being so zealous about writing and photographing many of the People’s inspiring trials, based on this website, it seems you have a high affinity for spreading the the words and pictures of many of our great trails. Email me and I can show you a place that will leave you in awe. Its not on any maps and I have showed to few people.

    Keep up the good work, would love to do a day hike with you. Thanks again. — Stephen S,

  7. Derek Fox says:

    Hi Michael. I hiked the OHT between Haw Creek and The Hurricane East this weekend. I never did see the sign for the Hi Water by pass…neither on the main trail going east or at the hurricane east river crossing. No signs, no blue trail blazes. Did they Decommission the trail this year?

    Derek

    • Michael R says:

      The trail is still there. I heard the west bypass sign disappeared in the spring – maybe the east sign is gone now too? It’s difficult & expensive to keep ahead of the vandals.

      My recollection: the bypass is after the last? crossing of Hurricane Creek where the trail basically goes through a campsite and turns left along the base of a hill. At that turn the bypass is a sharp right turn, like a switchback, and goes up the slope.

  8. Chris says:

    Hi Michael! I came across your site while doing some googling on the Ouachita Trail. Our family loves the outdoors. I grew up in central Arkansas and we’ve lived in and explored about every corner of this beautiful state. Over the last few years my son and I have gotten into hikes together and we’re planning an overnight backpack trip around section 8 or 9 before Thanksgiving. Love the site. Great posts/information. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ryan McG says:

    Hey Mike, this is Ryan (we met at the shelter this weekend). Just thought I’d let you know Heather is fine — she contacted me when she got to Story. We somehow just missed her at the rendezvous point.

  10. Melody Benard says:

    Hey Michael, this is your cousin Melody. Just wanted to let you know that I read your posts and very much enjoy them and your photography. We hauled our 4 wheelers to the Ouachita Mountains a couple of times. Once in October 2012 and again in October 2013. Stayed in a lovely log cabin we rented for several days. Beautiful and scenic. I envy that you live in the area …so gorgeous. Take care!

  11. Mike Sims says:

    Hi, I enjoy reading your posts. I am a FoOT maintainer and OT hiker. Perhaps I’ll see you out on the trail sometime.

    • Michael R says:

      Thanks, you just might. I will get serious about beginning a section-hike of the Ouachita Trail this fall, and will eventually get more involved with FoOT too.

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