Welcome to the ESOA blog!

Here you can check out the latest happenings of the ESOA, share pictures and stories from your own trips and see what's next for the ESOA. Members can post messages about upcoming trips and service projects and hopefully find new people and activities to engage in.

You can e-mail Nick Cross at nickcross2000@yahoo.com
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ESOA to hold Annual Meeting

Happy Holidays Outdoor Enthusiasts-
The Eureka Springs Outdoor Alliance is holding it's Annual Meeting thisSunday, December 13th. This is an exciting time as we will select officers and board members for the upcoming year. We will also review our activiities for the past year and look forward to what lies ahead. Please join us at Lorri Carter's home, off of Hwy 23 N, just beyond Sunfest Market at Holiday Island. This is a great place for the potluck dinner and bonfire which will follow the meeting. Lorri will provide hot dogs and condiments, just bring a side to share and come out and help build the outdoor community in our area!
Nick and Heather

*See details in sidebar - Next ESOA Meeting

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Minutes from the September Meeting

ESOA Meeting Minutes – September 8, 2009

The meeting opened with some introductions and background information on the ESOA and our mission.

The group discussed the direction of the ESOA for the upcoming season/year. A consensus was reached that we should identify 2 or 3 projects and focus our efforts on seeing these projects through to completion.

Marcia Yearsley shared her ideas regarding developing the waterfall/grotto area across the street from the library. She talked about a Preservation Society meeting where she presented this idea – it was well received. She also talked about the effort to contact the other adjacent property owner, without any luck.

The group then focused on brainstorming projects and assessing their feasibility.
Projects included:
- Library Waterfall

- Water Street Park

- Cold Spring

- Leatherwood Kiosk Follow-up
- developing content for the kiosk
- fixing the broken plexi-glass in one of the panels
- adding gravel and boulders to give the kiosk a finished look

- Lake Leatherwood Trail Maintenance Plan
- assessing trail condition and identifying areas of need
- facilitate the adoption of trail sections by local residents,
businesses and organizations

- Black Bass Lake Park
- brush clean-up
- boat launch ramp work
- trail grooming

- Kansas St./Harding Spring
- brush clean-up
- water bar addition
- dirt pile removal
- address drainage issues

- Hogscald Graffiti Removal (Lover’s Leap)
- coordination with Corps of Engineers
- clean-up day (wire brushes and/or power washer)

The group decided to attend the next Parks and Rec. Commission meeting in an effort to coordinate our project list with projects that they would like to prioritize. We would like to have a large ESOA member turnout at the meeting to show the community interest in our public lands.

The group also talked about taking video in addition to photos at our service projects and social activities as our Blog, FB group page and the Lovely County Citizen all support video uploads. Jack Cross shared the idea of his friend Gary Crabtree coming and creating a short feature about the ESOA.

Finally, we scheduled a social activity (day hike) to The Railroad Tunnel just outside of town. The hike is scheduled for Sunday, October, 4th at 1pm. Meeting place to be determined.

Nick Cross is going to draft a letter to the Parks and Rec. Commission, sharing our project list and get the ESOA on the next commission meeting agenda.
Jack Cross is going to follow-up with the Corps of Engineers regarding Hogscald clean-up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ESOA Meeting Again!!!

Hello Outdoor Enthusiasts!

It is time to start thinking about outdoor adventures again in the Ozarks--this unseasonably cool weather makes us want to get outside!

We've scheduled a meeting Tuesday, Sept 8, 6:30 at the Library Annex in Eureka Springs.

Please come with any ideas for potential service projects and social activities, as well as tales of adventures since we last met.

See you Tuesday-

Video Test

Although this does not have anything to do with the Outdoor Alliance, I thought it would be cool to post some video on our blog. Maybe we can start collecting video when we have service projects and social activities!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Land Trust Scouting Hike

We had a small group just Christie, Dorothy and myself. I picked up Mary Jane and we were met at the trailhead by Francine - the owner of the spring - she was invaluable because she has a such a great knowledge of the hollow. I brought my GPS and a camera that geotags photos as well as some survey tape to mark out the trail as we got lower into the hollow.

We encountered some storm damage on the upper trail - a very tall white oak fell across the trail and took a smaller oak with it. Since we did not bring heavy tools - we moved what we could lift and moved on down. Francie had already been to the spring that morning and said there were some similar blockages on the road to the spring.

At the Volvo we took the lower trail and we encountered one very large tangle on the trail. The basic trail looks like an old logging road until you get down to the place where it intersects with the creekbed. At that point it looks like the best course is to stay on the side of the creek and to cut through some buck brush and smaller vines. Up to this point it is only clearing - so this is where we started using the surveyors tape to mark out paths as we turn. Mary Jane sent us ahead to help choose the path down to the deer pond and the horseshoe falls - both of these features should be a short side loop on the trail and are on a limestone bed - lots of very large vines and roc formations - I think this could be a nice picnic spot and we should probably leave it as natural as possible.

We mapped the trails to slowly climb up to the bench level on the other side of the hollow working our ways up and finding areas where you can walk up and not have to scale the bench. Mary Jane told us that it was important to make sure the path lead by good places to sit and take in the sites while you take a break. Near the top we crossed an area where the highline has been cut trough - I have been there once before to spread wildflower seeds and I'm sure Mary Jane would like us to do more of that of if we can. 

Shortly after we crossed the highline we saw the bench line below the pivot rock trail. We worked out way up to the trail and intersected right near the large cedar in the rock formation before you get to the pivot rock. There is some tree damage there so we went over to the pivot rock to check it out. The tall cedar behind it has come down - but appears to still be alive. I think it will have to stay there because of the amount of ground and rock that came up with it.

WIth that we went back to the trail head on the pivot rock trail. There were 2 treefalls to clean up there.

I was not sure where Mary Jane planned to take us but I think it's very neat to have 2 options to get to the pivot rock - one more level and one more challenging. Plus it's a loop - between 2.5 and 3 miles.

I'm looking forward to showing you all the bottom of the hollow - and I hope we can schedule a work day to repair the upper trail.

The photos I took were taken with my phone and were planned just for geotagging - they are not great pics but I had my hands full with survey tape, GPS, and camera phone.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Click Here For a Link to an Article

Click on the title for a link to an article I wrote about a recent caving trip I took to New Mexico. Check it out!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eagle's Nest Hike

On Saturday, April 4, 18 hikers gathered for an
ESOA day-hike to Eagle's Nest in the
Madison County WMA - Age range: 4 to 93

ESOA hikers enjoying a beautiful April day atop the
Kings River Overlook, aka Eagle's Nest

A group of ESOA hikers working on their flower identification skills

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ice Storm Puts A Freeze On Eagle's Nest Hike

The ice storm that rolled through NW Arkansas in late January left so many downed trees, that members of the ESOA who came out for a scheduled hike to Eagle's Nest in the Madison County WMA had to resort to a contingency plan due to impassable roads.
The group shifted gears and moved from social project to service project. Members of the ESOA and some members of the Holiday Island Hikers who also showed-up for the hike spent the afternoon clearing ice storm debris in the city's Harmon Park. Time was spent cutting and clearing limbs that were damaged during the intense storm. Overall 22-hrs were contributed by the group and the ESOA plans on visiting Eagle's Nest later this spring.

Water Street Visit

On Sunday, January 25th, members of the ESOA made a site visit to Water Street Park in downtown Eureka Springs. The long and narrow park is not maintained as a park, the existing trail is rough and some work needs to be done. During the preliminary visit, ESOA members filled nearly 15 trash bags while also identifying tasks needed for future service projects.
Water Street Park is an area that could be part of in-town trail network in Eureka Springs.

Harding/Kansas St. Trail

On Sunday January 11th, eleven members of the ESOA gathered for continued work on the Kansas St./Harding Spring Trail project. Volunteers put nearly 40-hrs. of work into clearing the existing trail, blocking another un-needed trail, building stone stairs and managing erosion above Harding Spring.
This is an on-going joint project with the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Department.