Migration Home 1028 – Dam Quarry Arkansas

Dam Quarry Arkansas is a lovely Army Corps of Engineer campsite located below the huge Norfolk Dam. At the foot of the dam is the meeting point of the Dry Run Creek and the dam spillway. The result is a charming small river with white water over shallow rapids and gravel sand bars and islands. It also happens to be perfect trout habitat. The area is full of trout and trout attract trout fishermen. Most of the people in the campground were there to go fly fishing. Every time we looked outside there were fly fishermen in waders trying their luck, sometimes a dozen or more.IMG_2091

The spring migration was also underway and several great blue heron was busy stuffing themselves before heading further north. The heron seemed to be having far more luck than the fly fishers. In addition to the dozen or so herons we were regularly serenaded by red breasted bluebirds. It was so nice to lie in bed in the morning and listen to the sweet song of bluebirds mingled with the trickling of the small river.

The campground was busy but we had the loveliest campsite up on the ridge. We could look over the river and up to the hills or up at this imposing dam. The weather was lovely. We could be outside without jackets so our first night we ate dinner on the picnic table. Everything about the spot was soothing on the nerves and I enjoyed it immensely. We watched the sun go down and as it got dark flying birds were replaced with flying bats. I like bats.

There were no particular trails in the area and everyone else wanted to go fishing so we decided to walk up the highway to the top of the dam and look down on our campsite from way up high. The road up was very steep with multiple loops. We cut across the hillside instead. It was a vigorous climb but we enjoyed it. There were signs around saying the area was restricted but we made sure to stay between the roadside and the restricted signs. Apparently we set off some kind of security alert anyway because at one point a helicopter flew up to where we were and came down really low to look us over. It then turned and went back. Dick had a walking stick and they especially looking him over so I suspect they were worried it was a firearm. Apparently they decided we were harmless because even though we made jokes about a bunch of police coming to arrest us, no one showed up. At the top of the dam we were able to go down to Norfolk lake on a boat ramp.

Misty was tired and thirsty and she really enjoyed it and took advantage of the lake to have a long drink and swim. We stayed right beside the road on the way back to avoid having the helicopter come and check us out again. We were delighted to find a bunch of small caves visible at the edge of the road. Perhaps that was where the bats roosted daytime. After learning all about local poisonous snakes we decided not to try to go into the caves and see how far they went.

One nice feature of the campsite is they had big individual showers so Dick and I went together to shower and we washed each other’s backs. There was abundant hot water and it felt like a real luxury to have a nice long unlimited shower after months of 6 gallons travel trailer tank. The grounds were mowed and we were able to take Misty for some long walks and let her off leash in the mowed area far from the highway and the campground. There were lots of dogs and children and

Misty made friends everywhere except for one couple. They had a small dog and decided Misty was a danger and they made a big deal of protecting their dog and acting like Misty was a ferocious wolf beast. This bothered Misty because after the first time we saw them, whenever we passed them she would bark at them and growl and rise her hackles. It’s hard for us to think of Misty as threatening but she can be. We took a long walk down to the river’s edge and Misty had another swim and a drink. We sat outside and watched another lovely golden sunset on the Arkansas hills.

The next morning our itinerary called for us to leave but the weather was sunny and lovely again after about four hours of rain overnight. We were so much enjoying the location that we went and paid for another day. I’m glad we did because the nearby fish hatchery truck arrived and dumped hundreds of trout into the river. This caused no end of excitement among the fishermen. For the rest of the day we were treated to happy excited fly fishermen pulling one trout after another out. We spent a quiet day relaxing and had a long afternoon nap and went to bed early after watching yet another lovely sunset. We left after the third night feeling sad and not really wanting to move on. But it was time. We were out of water and three days without contact with family and friends on the internet was long enough. We stopped into the Norfolk Lake Fish Hatchery to get a look on our way out.Dam Quarry

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