Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stately Sundays

I recently was able to view for the umpteenth time the film The Dark Knight which I think is a spectacular movie, and it saddens me to think that Heath Ledger has died because he brought a lot to this and many other films. But since I was on the bat theme, I thought that today's Stately topic would be Devil's Den State Park which is located in Northwest Arkansas outside of Winslow and the Ozark National Forest off I-540. I remember visiting there a few years ago with my father and siblings to go spelunking in some of the caves. It was a great time, and the bats were sometimes close enough to reach out and grasp (we didn't though thanks to my father's scare stories of rabies, etc.).

In light of some constructive criticism, I realize that my last Sunday post was a bit wordy and lengthy, so I'll try to cut this one back a bit and highlight some of the better points. In that case, first I would like to mention the update on their site detailing that the Farmer's Cave and Big Ear Cave are both off limits due to fungus infestations which are detected by the white noses as shown in the picture below. Yuck, but fungi can be tasty!

Aside from the caves though, there are wonderful cabins, a park cafe, and a swimming pool overlooking a gorgeous lake (who would want a pool when there's a lake though, I don't know). Additionally, they offer bike trails, canoeing and kayaking, and best of all, there is a horse camp for all you equine enthusiasts! This truly is a great park, and if I hope to visit it again soon to explore more of it's secrets which you'll only find by visiting first hand!

Lastly, although most of the park's history is somewhat vague on the various sites I visited, it was formed in the 1930s as part of a CCC (Civilian Construction Corp - part of the New Deal) construction project where they handcrafted much of the rustic wooden structures still in use today. Additionally, the CCC created some stone dams to create the 8-acre Lake Devil on which the park sits, and the dams, while upgraded and maintained for safety, still use many of the same stones that were first placed in the 1930s. A wonderful site to see indeed! So, go...visit...enjoy!!