Lightening The Load

Bennie’s beige plastic sandals sat on the back porch through three summers after his death in 2006. They were the shoes he slipped on before watering the lawn, hosing off the patio or doing anything that might get his feet wet. Whenever someone would ask, as they did from time to time, if she wanted…

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Where the Buffalo Roams

In the broadest possible terms, the Buffalo River is the same this year as it was the year before. And the year before that. And before that—going back the countless millennia (the youngest rock dates back some 300 million years) when those bluffs were shifted about and shorn from the whole, and the river was…

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Delivering Style

Let’s face it—for all its convenience, sometimes going to the mall is a chore. Limited parking, scary-bad dressing-room lighting, soft-pretzel cravings. Online shopping can offer an alternative, but what if you need recommendations about a bold color or a new brand of jeans to try and don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your sweatpants-and-couch…

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On the Trail

THERE’S NO TRAILHEAD ANNOUNCING THE PATH. There’s no parking lot, either, and no painted blazes to point me in the right direction. My instructions—by way of Tim Ernst’s dog-eared Buffalo trail guide and a mess of various printouts spring-loaded inside—have compelled me to “walk under the power line” and “head into the woods.” So I…

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On the Town

AIM YOUR CAR TOWARD ANY TOWN ALONG THE BUFFALO, AND IT’S HARD TO MISS THE SIGNS. Some are small, hand-scrawled on cardboard with an arrow pointing the way to a weekend sale. Some are large and painted, but faded and nestled in overgrown trees. You’ll see them. There are signs for cafes that you notice…

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On the Hunt

  JUST SHY OF THREE MILES SOUTH OF MOSSVILLE, DOWN A RED-CLAY ROAD, THERE’S A PLACE CALLED MAGNOLIA FALLS. It’s a place where cottony extrusions of ice leak from the rock in late February, and great columns of ice lie shattered on the ground not far from an active waterfall stirring a pool of water…

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At Home on the Buffalo

Leaving a gate as you found it, whether open or closed, is a common courtesy among country dwellers. So when I see the sign asking visitors to “please close the gate” at the Parker-Hickman farmstead in the Erbie district along the Buffalo River, I close it and shoot the wood-slat bolt without hesitation. Closing the…

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Battle of Hog Run(Off)

Joe Hilliard fell in love with the crystal waters of the Buffalo River in 1967, when his parents took him on his first canoeing trip. These days, Hilliard, who is director of engineering for Cromwell Architects Engineers in Little Rock, floats the river with family and friends every year. So naturally, he’s concerned that hog…

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On the Water

I CAN SEE THE GUST OF WIND BEFORE IT HITS ME. It rushes up the river, painting fractal patterns on the water’s surface. It dances through the bare tree limbs. It is strong, and when it hits me, it turns my kayak sideways, throwing me off balance. I haven’t seen a soul since I slipped…

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Radio Star

Bobby Bones has one of the biggest voices of any Arkansan. Each weekday morning, as the Mountain Pine native steps behind the microphone to host The Bobby Bones Show in a radio studio on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn., nearly 3 million listeners are ready to hear it. Country-music fans from Fort Myers, Fla., to…

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Old Made Good

History buffs, designophiles, wannabe pickers: Be warned. Walking into Little Rock’s Sweet Home/Clement is dangerous territory. I know this from personal experience. For me, it starts out innocently enough: an impromptu tour of the new space Chris Clement shares with co-owner John Bell on Little Rock’s South Main Street. It’s a sunny, springy morning, and…

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