Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Backtrack, Forward - Ho!

I know. Terrible, ain't it?

We set up a journal, start publishing descriptions of our adventures, then just quit!

We oughta be ashamed of ourselves!

Well...hopefully we can spend a little time retracing our steps in a general way over the past TWO DAD-GUM YEARS we've failed to update the EIC Journal! Then, perhaps we can start all over again.

The last entry to the journal (apart from the publication of a letter from our friend, Cindy Cooper) was way back in June of 2008. It covered the hazards of getting out among nature in the hot, humid months of summertime in the Ozarks. We've found over the past 3 1/2 years that the hardest time of the year to persuade ourselves to get out and explore is when the tiny flesh-eating monsters lie in wait and will suck you dry if you've not already been drained by the oppressive heat and humidity! It's MUCH easier to get out in the snow, ice, and cold driving rain than it is to wade out into a field or grove of biting insects, by golly!

Despite the complaints, however, we did manage to learn something during the summer of '08 that has been beneficial to our goal of helping preserve the history and culture of the county. To avoid the weeds, woods, and the perils the former, we began visiting cemeteries in the county. This new tactic really opened up a whole new window into understanding the history and culture of this unique and wonderful place. As we visited these places of rest and began to learn about the lives of those buried there, the colorful and interesting history endeared the county to us even further than previously.

What we've learned over the past couple of years is this:

Izard County was the Wild West before there even WAS a Wild West!

We visited 17 separate cemeteries during the summer of '08. Since then, we've visited 19 more. You can find each listed on the sidebar of Exploring Izard County

Mind you, though we're often apprehensive about getting into the woods during the months of monsters, that doesn't mean we were complete wimps! We were able to visit many wonderful places during the summer of '08 including some of our favorite places like the Trimble House, the Jehoiada Jeffery Homeplace, The A.C. Jeffery Homeplace, The Hunt-Copp Mill remains, and Hobo's Den.

During the summer of '09, we continued our tactic of trying to stay out of the weeds by resuming our visits to cemeteries. We were rewarded by finding such historical jewels as Wayland Arbor Cemetery. But, of course, we also visited other very interesting places like the Rector Log Barn, Moser Schoolhouse, Shady Grove Schoolhouse, and the Pleasant Grove Schoolhouse (converted into a store-building along Arkansas 56.