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ALONG THE LOOP TRAIL
                               

The Loop Trail
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Fixing breakfast outdoors when the temperature is in the upper 30s
and the wind is bone-chilling requires commitment.  Sure I had a brand new
Coleman stove that I purchased about three years earlier but I didn't expect
the whole thing would catch on fire and threaten to spread to the picnic table. 


S.jpg (7677 bytes)eems I managed to pump fuel all around the insides of the stove and when it lit up images of myself on CNN flashed across my panicked geezer brain trying to explain to the whole wide world how I managed to render into charcoal a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places.  I had to do something quick.  Still half asleep with no coffee to jump-start real brainwork I dumped a gallon of water on the whole affair.  That worked.  Then all I had to do was figure out what to do with a stove turned water bucket.
       About thirty or so paper towels later I was ready to give it another go. Cautious as a cat I carefully read the instructions and was soon snuggling up to my first cup of coffee.
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       "What's up?" Kevin inquired crawling out of the tent.
       "Well, you missed the adrenaline rush and the near explosion. So all that's left is coffee, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs."
       "Toast?"
       "I came as close to toast as a care to in one day."
       With breakfast out of the way we struck for the Loop Trail loaded down with camera equipment (mine) and video equipment (Kevin's).
       Be advised, you shouldn't go to Enchanted Rock without a camera.  That'd be like fishing without a pole, a movie without popcorn or a wedding without a groom. (Okay, scratch that last one.)
       Kevin, part poet artist writer musician actor and now2Kev.jpg (22718 bytes) filmmaker, was off in his world and I in mine.  Every now and again we'd discuss technical issues -- like who forgot the snacks -- or the best way, while carrying camera equipment, to navigate the shortcut we'd taken back across Little Rock toward camp.
       The day had turned fowl, low gray clouds and a fine mist which dissipated on our way to the park headquarters to buy some high dollar firewood.  After throwing $10 at the process we vowed to find a better way which meant scavenging wood from vacated campsites -- that became a daily exercise and when we left there was a sizable pile of wood for the next folks.  I don't know how other folks feel about camping without a campfire, but for my part there's not much to be said for camping without that piece of ancient magic. 

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       With advance warning, Kevin had turned vegetarian on me so I came well prepared and served up egg-plant parmigana two nights in a row, then spaghetti, then vegatable soup.  (If crackers are all crushed up when you open the package are they crackeders?)  I think it was Joseph Campbell who said vegetarians were folks who never heard a carrot scream.  Anyway, Kevin has since turned away from his veggie diet once he recognized the source of his compulsion to stare at the sun.
       Our first night together turned close to freezing and all the extra blankets I had on hand just wasn't enough.  I began pondering a way to keep from getting frost bit orTurnA.jpg (4971 bytes) worse.   

      

PAGE 1: ARRIVAL  /  PAGE 2: LOOP TRAIL 
PAGE 3: AROUND EROCK PAGE 4: LITTLE ROCK 

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