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Exploring Arkansas February 2007

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Bayou DeView Big Woods Tour, Womble Trail, Lake Chicot
Canoeing down Bayou DeView near Brinkley provides a wonderful adventure viewing cypress trees estimated to be 450 to 1200 years old. The Womble Trail near Mt. Ida in the Ouachita National Forest offers some of the best mountain biking opportunities in the entire mid South.  Lake Chicot in the southeast corner of the state is the perfect place to experience the Mississippi Delta region-especially with a sunset swamp tour.

TRANSCRIPT

THE CASH RIVER WILDLIFE REFUGE NEAR BRINKLEY IS ALL PART OF A HUGE AREA, KNOWN AS THE BIG WOODS. AND IT'S IN THIS GENERAL AREA WHERE THE IVORY BILL WOOD PECKER WAS SPOTTED. IF WE SEE HIM TODAY, THAT'S GREAT. BUT OUR INTEREST ON THIS FIRST SEGMENT IS WHAT I CALL ONE OF THE WONDERS OF ARKANSAS, THE 1,000 PLUS OLD SIP US TREES HERE. AND THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU MOUNTAIN BIKING TO ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TRAILS, THE WOMBO TRAIL NEAR MOUNT IDA, AND THEN WE'LL WIND IT UP WITH A SUNSET TOUR NEAR LAKE VILLAGE. SO FOR NOW LET'S HIT THE BAYOU TO THE BIG WOODS. WE TEAMED UP WITH JAY WITH THE NATURE CONSERVANCY. IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE BUT AT ONE TIME MOST OF THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION IN ARKANSAS LOOKED LIKE THIS. TODAY LESS THAN 10 PERCENT OF THE STATE'S ORIGINAL 8 MILLION ACRES OF FORESTED WETLANDS REMAIN. DURING THE LAST 200 YEARS OR SO, THE FERTILE LAND, LITTLE BY LITTLE, WAS TRANSFORMED INTO AGRICULTURE, CASH-PRODUCING FIELDS. THE 55,000 ACRES THAT REMAINED, CALLED THE BIG WOODS OF ARKANSAS, HAVE BECOME A NATIONAL TREASURE. THIS AREA IS AMONG THE LARGEST BLOCKS OF REMAINING BOTTOM WOOD HARDWOOD FOREST IN THE NATION AND IT'S WHERE YOU CAN FIND THOSE GRAND DADDY 130-FOOT TALL CYPRUS TREES.

SIZE IS NOT ALWAYS A GOOD WAY TO TELL HOW OLD A TREE IS BECAUSE THERE'S DIFFERENT GROWING CONDITIONS. THAT'S A REALLY NICE BIG CYPRUS. I CAN'T TELL YOU IT'S 800 YEARS OLD BUT IT'S PROBABLY AT LEAST 400 YEARS OLD. THAT TREE WAS PROBABLY GROWING WHEN COLUMBUS WAS CROSSING THE OCEAN.

ISN'T THAT SOMETHING?

THAT'S SOMETHING.

EVEN THOUGH THIS AREA WAS LOGGED IN PREVIOUS YEARS, ALLEN MILLER EXPLAINED TO US HOW THE GIANT CYPRUS TREES MANAGED NOT TO GET THE AXE.

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

WHEN YOU SAID PROBABLY THEY HAVE BEEN STRUCK MORE THAN ONCE BY LIGHTENING.

YEAH. IF THEY ONLY GET STRUCK BY LIGHTENING ONCE EVERY 50 YEARS, AND YOU'RE 400 OR 600 YEARS OLD, YOU'VE BEEN HIT WITH LIGHTENING A FEW TIMES. ONCE EVERY 50 YEARS IS NOT VERY OFTEN. YOU CAN SEE FIRE SCARS ON ALMOST ALL THESE BIG CYPRUS TREES. THAT HELPS DRESS THE TREES AND KNOCK -- KILL SOME LIMBS ON THE TREE ALSO WHICH MAKES IT GOOD FOR WOOD PECKERS AGAIN. SO EVERYTHING FITS TOGETHER. IT IS, IN FACT, A SYSTEM THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT PROTECTING.

I GUESS WITH THIS AREA AND THE DAG MARCH WILDLIFE AREA AND THE WHITE RIVER NATIONAL WIFE LILD, VERY UNIQUE AREAS THAT ARE LEFT IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

YEAH, THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL AREA. 2 OR 300,000 ACRES OF BOTTOM LAND HARDWOODS THAT HAVE BEEN PROTECTED PRIMARILY THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE HUNTERS THAT HAVE BEEN BUYING LICENSES, DUCK STAMPS AND ALL THE OTHER TAXES THAT THEY PAY ON THE HUNTING EQUIPMENT AND THE AMMUNITION, THIS STUFF IS ALL CONTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO PROTECTING THIS MARVELLOUS ECOSYSTEM THAT WE HAVE HERE RIGHT NOW. BOTH THE FEDERAL LAND AND THE STATE LAND HAS BEEN FUNDED PRIMARILY THROUGH THE HUNTERS' CONTRIBUTIONS. AND ALL OF THIS CONSERVATION EFFORT WAS GOING ON WAY BEFORE THE WOOD PECKER CAME IN BECAUSE THIS AREA IS SO IMPORTANT FOR SO MANY THINGS BESIDES JUST ONE BIRD. ALL OF THE OTHER WILDLIFE IN HERE, DEER, OF COURSE, ALL OF THE OTHER BIRDS, SQUIRRELS, EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE'S ALSO ALL THE OTHER VALUES THAT GO ALONG WITH WETLANDS. YOU'RE REALLY HELPING TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AN AREA. THE WATER RUNS THROUGH THIS SYSTEM COMES OUT A LOT CLEANER THAN IT WENT IN. THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT ASPECT ESPECIALLY IN THE DELTA WHERE THERE'S SUCH INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE THAT WE WANT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP IMPROVE WATER QUALITY. ALSO, SYSTEMS LIKE THIS CONTRIBUTE TO GROUND WATER RECHARGE, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT. WE GET THE GROUND WATER CONSTANTLY REPLENISHED BECAUSE IT'S BEING USED FOR ALL KINDS OF PURPOSES. MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY AND AGRICULTURAL IRRIGATION. SO THIS WHOLE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE NOW PROTECTED IS VALUABLE IN MANY, MANY WAYS.

CONSIDERING WHAT THIS AREA HAS TO OFFER, IT'S NO WONDER THAT THE IVORY BILLED WOOD PECKER CHOSE THE BIG WOODS AS HOME.

THIS LITTLE OPENING ON BAYOU DEBUT IS WHERE JAMES GARLAND FIRST SAW THE WOODPECKER IN 2004. WE'RE ONLY LESS THAN HALF A MILE BELOW THE BRIDGE, AND THE IVORY BILL WOODPECKER SHOWED UP. LANDED ON A TREE. TOOK OFF AGAIN. REMARKABLE EVENT BY A GUY WHO IS TOTALLY NOT EXPECTING IT.

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY'S MOTTO HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO SAVE THE LAST GREAT PLACES ON EARTH, AND THAT'S CERTAINLY THE CASE HERE.

THIS FOREST IS GETTING OLDER AND OLDER AND OLDER. WE SORT OF WENT THROUGH A PHASE WHERE ALL OF THE FOREST WAS CUT AND NOTHING LEFT BUT YOUNG FOREST. NOW THE FOREST IS AGING AGAIN AND BECOMING MORE SUITABLE EVERY YEAR FOR THE WOODPECKER SO CONDITIONS ARE REALLY IMPROVING.

MUELLER SAYS THIS ENTIRE AREA ALONG BAYU DEBUT IS IN FACT A HAVEN FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF WOODPECKERS.

ONE THING THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WERE STUDYING IVORY BILLED WOODPECKERS IN THE 1940S DISCOVERED WAS THAT THE IVORY BILLS OCCUR IN THE PLACE WHERE THERE IS MOST OF OTHER KINDS OF WOODPECKERS. AND RIGHT HERE IS AN EXCELLENT LOCATION FOR MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF WOODWOODPECKER EAST. THE OTHER LARGE ONE IS EASILY CONFUSED WITH THE IVORY BILL, WE'VE GOT A NUMBER OF OTHER SPECIES IN THERE. RED BELLIED WOODPECKERS. HAIRY WOODPECKERS, DOWNY WOODPECKERS. THEY ALL LOVE THIS AREA BECAUSE THERE'S LARGE TREES AND LOTS OF DECAY. THERE ARE STRESSED TREES WHERE THERE'S LOTS OF FOOD FOR THEM TO EAT ON. IT'S AN EXCELLENT PLACE FOR WOODPECKERS OF ALL KINDS.

SO, WHETHER YOU'RE TRYING TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE IVORY BILLED WOODPECKER OR TO CHECK OUT THE ANCIENT CYPRUS TREES, A SLOW TRIP DOWN BAYOU DEBUT NEAR BRINKLEY IS A WORTHWHILE ADVENTURE ANY TIME. EXPLORE THE BIG WOODS' NATIONAL TREASURE FOR YOURSELF.

NORTH OF MOUNT IDA IN THE WASHTENAW NATIONAL FOREST IS A MOUNTAIN BIKER'S PARADISE. IT EXTENDS 37-1/2 MILES. NOW OF COURSE WE'RE NOT GOING TO TRAVEL THE ENTIRE DISTANCE TODAY BUT ENOUGH TO SHOW YOU WHAT THE TRAIL IS ALL ABOUT, ESPECIALLY WITH THE BLUFFS OVERLOOKING THE WASHTENAW RIVER. UNLIKE THE POPULAR SAL AM OH TRAIL, THE WAMBO TRAIL HAS BEEN AROUND BEFORE MOUNTAIN BIKING FULLY ENTERED THE SCENE.

THE WAMBU TRAIL WAS BUILD IN THE EARLY 1970S AND ACTUALLY CONSTRUCTED BY THE GREEN THUMB PROGRAM.

WHAT IS THAT?

THAT'S A PROGRAM THAT WAS RUN THROUGH THE COUNTY. AND MOST OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT'S WORKED ON THE TRAIL ARE ACTUALLY BETWEEN 50 AND 70 YEARS OLD. THEY WORKED OUT HERE ON TRAIL CREWS. USING HAND TOOLS. DIGGING THE TRAIL. AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST 20, 30 YEARS, IT'S REALLY EVOLVED INTO A REAL POPULAR MOUNTAIN BIKE DESTINATION. IT IS WELL KNOWN FOR THE SINGLE TRACK, WHICH IS THE NARROW TREAD WAY THAT REALLY BRINGS MOUNTAIN BIKERS IN HERE TO THIS LONG 38-MILE TRAIL.

YOU HAVE RACES HERE PERIODICALLY?

WE DO. ANNUALLY THERE ARE ABOUT TWO RACES A YEAR. AND JUST TWO WEEKS AGO WE HAD A RACE THAT HAD 165 PARTICIPANTS. SO I THINK THAT WAS THE HIGHEST NUMBER WE'VE HAD IN A LONG TIME.

AS WE WERE RIDING AROUND, SOME OF THE SECTIONS, SOME OF THE PARTS ARE QUITE HAIRY, ESPECIALLY YOU OUGHT TO BE REALLY CAREFUL ALONG THE BLUFF LINE.

YEAH, THIS PART THAT WE'RE ON RIGHT HERE IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE TRAIL. I'D RATE THIS AT THE EXPERT LEVEL. OTHER PARTS OF THE TRAIL ARE MORE MODERATE TO EASY, SUITABLE FOR FAMILY OUTINGS, GENTLE FLOW. BUT LIKE I SAY, WHEN YOU GET UP HERE, YOU'RE REWARDED WITH THESE BEAUTIFUL VIEWS, BUT YOU GOT TO EARN IT TO GET UP HERE.

IT IS ONE OF THE BEST TRAILS -- IT IS THE BEST TRAIL IN THE STATE. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITIES TO RIDE THE TRAILS OUT WEST IN UTAH AND IT RANKS RIGHT UP THERE AT THE TOP.

THAT MEANS A LOT, THEN.

YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT. IN 2002, IT RECEIVED AN A CLASSIC FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKING ASSOCIATION.

LITTLE BIT LONGER FOR US NOVICES.

WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT PARTS OF THE TRAIL. I WOULD SAY YOU NEED A GOOD TECHNICAL BASE BEFORE YOU TRY TO COME TO THE WAMBU. IT'S GOT SECTIONS THAT ARE EASY AND EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

YOU CAN'T JUST BUY A MOUNTAIN BIKE ONE DAY AND THE NEXT COME ON THE TRAIL AND EXPECT TO DO WELL, I GUESS.

NO. I WOULD RECOMMEND RIDING SOMEWHERE A LITTLE BIT SAFER BEFORE YOU TRY TO TACKLE THE WAMBU. BUT IT'S DEFINITELY REWARDING.

WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE RACES THAT ARE HELD HERE?

THE ARKANSAS MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES, AMBCS, PUTS ON RACES THROUGHOUT THE STATE. AND THE WAMBU IS ONE OF THE BEST ATTENDED RACES THEY PUT ON. THERE WAS 165 PARTICIPANTS THIS YEAR, WHICH WAS PROBABLY THE HIGHEST WE'VE HAD SO FAR. AND IT'S GREAT. IT'S A LOT OF FUN. IT'S A GREAT COMMUNITY TO BE INVOLVED WITH. WE'RE ALWAYS WELCOMING NEW RACERS.

HERE I IS.

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAIL, WHICH MOST PEOPLE SAY IS THE SOUTH FORD LAKE THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAIL, IT'S EASY OVER IN THAT SECTION. IT'S NOT AS MOUNTAINOUS. IT'S FLATTER. IT'S MORE BEGINNER-FRIENDLY AND EVERYTHING. AND WHEN LARGE GROUPS COME UP HERE, THE BEGINNERS CAN RIDE THAT PART. NOW WHEN YOU GET OVER INTO THIS PART OVER HERE, YOU'RE GETTING MORE INTO THE EXPERT TYPE. SO SOME OF THEM CAN RIDE THE BEGINNER TYPE. SOME OF THEM CAN RIDE THE EXPERT TYPE. AND THEN THEY END AT THE SAME CAMP GROUND, THEY CAN MEET THERE AT NIGHT AND TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING. GET UP THE NEXT DAY AND RIDE TO THEIR SKILL LEVEL.

YEAH, BECAUSE YOU CAN GO TWO, FOUR DAYS TO COVER, THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES TO COVER THE ENTIRE TRAIL, I GUESS, IF YOU'RE CAMPING OUT.

YEAH, YOU COULD DO IT THAT WAY. NOW THERE'S SOME PEOPLE THAT CAN RIDE IT IN A DAY, BUT THAT'S A PRETTY SOLITUDE PEOPLE. THEY'RE REALLY GOOD RIDERS. BUT IT DOES, THERE'S PARTS OF IT THAT HASN'T BEEN RIDDEN VERY MUCH, EITHER, BECAUSE IT IS DIFFICULT. AND EVEN THAT MUCH HARDER TO RIDE BECAUSE IT'S NOT AS WELL KEPT. BUT THE PARTS THAT REALLY -- I LIVE OVER THREE QUARTERS OF A MILE FROM THE TRAIL ITSELF OVER ON THE OTHER END FROM WHERE WE ARE NOW. OVER ON THE EASIER PART. AND WE KEEP THAT PART UP AS WELL AS WE CAN. BECAUSE IT IS -- IT'S USED QUITE A BIT.

TALK ABOUT THE RACES HERE. YOU SAID THE WAMBU AND THEN --

THERE'S A RACE CALLED THE WASHETAW CHALLENGE IN THE SPRING. IT'S A 60-MILE RACE. THEY HAVE A TOUR WHICH IS JUST A TOUR IS JUST A RIDE TYPE THING. THEY HAVE IT ON SATURDAY. AND THEN SUNDAY THEY HAVE AN ACTUAL RACE WHERE YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE REALLY RACING TO SEE HOW FAST THEY CAN GO ON A TRAIL. AND IT'S 60 MILES. IT'S -- THEY HAVE AID STATIONS ALONG THE WAY TO SUPPORT YOU AND EVERYTHING. BUT THEY HAVE 300 PEOPLE -- 300-PEOPLE LIMIT EACH DAY BECAUSE THE FOREST SERVICE IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE WEAR AND TEAR ON THE TRAIL. SO THEY LIMIT IT TO 300 PEOPLE. AND IT MAXES OUT, BOTH DAYS, EVERY YEAR. AND A LOT OF TIMES THEY'LL HAVE 150 PEOPLE ON THE WAITING LIST WANTING TO COME, IN CASE SOMEONE DECIDES THEY'RE NOT GOING TO. SO IT'S VERY, VERY POPULAR. IT'S IN THE SPRING. PEOPLE ARE JUST BEGINNING TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE AND START WANTING TO RIDE AGAIN. IT'S A WHOLE LOT OF FUN.

SO, FOR A WHOLE LOT OF FUN, GRAB A MOUNTAIN BIKE AND HEAD OUT ON THE TRAIL, THE WAMBU TRAILS NEAR MOUNT IDA. (CAPTIONING BY CAPTION FIRST).

IT'S THE LARGEST OX BOW LAKE IN NORTH AMERICA AND THE LARGEST NATURAL LAKE LAKE CHICOIN THE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF THIS STATE. MISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION AND THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THIS AREA IS BY TAKING A SWAMP TOUR.

LAKE CHICO WASN'T ALWAYS A LAKE BUT WAS ONCE A PART OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

YEAH, ABOUT 500 YEARS AGO WAS ACTUALLY WHEN LAKE CHICO WAS FORMED. IT IS OFF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. HOW OX BOWS FORM IS WHEN THE RIVER JUST DECIDES TO TAKE A SHORTER PATH FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER, THE SEDIMENT BUILDS UP OVER TIME AND IT SEPARATES THE LAKE FROM THE RIVER TMAIN CHANNEL ITSELF.

YEAH, IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THIS LAKE IS ACTUALLY THE LARGEST OX BOW LAKE IN NORTH AMERICA.

IT IS.

ANOTHER INTERESTING PIECE OF HISTORY ABOUT LAKE CHEEK OH HAS TO DO WITH THE FLOOD OF 1927.

WHAT IT WAS IN 1926 IN THE WINTER MONTHS, A LOT OF SNOW AND RAIN MELTED OFF AND CAUSED STAGES IN THE BASE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER JUST TO READ OFF THE CHARTS. IN 1927 FOR THREE MONTHS THE CITY OF LAKE VILLAGE AND THE CITY OF GREENVILLE, MISSISSIPPI WERE FLOODED. AND THAT FLOOD IN 1927 ACTUALLY PUSHED CONGRESS TO MAKE THE FLOOD CONTROL ACT OF 1928. AND WHAT THAT DID IS CONSTRUCTED THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVY. THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVY IS ACTUALLY LONGER THAN THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. IT IS THE LONGEST LEVY IN THE WORLD.

THERE'S ALSO AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT HOW LAKE CHICO SWAMP AREA WAS FORMED.

IT'S AN OLD LOGGING ROAD. BUT A FAMPLER WHO LIVED OVER THERE BUILT HIS OWN PERSONAL LEVY. AND WITH THAT, WHAT HE DID IS WHEN HE WANTED TO, HE WOULD FLOOD HIS ROCK PATTIES AND THEN HE WOULD SHUT IT OFF IF HE WANTED TO. PRETTY SOON THE LAKE JUST TOOK OVER. SO NOW IT'S A NICE LITTLE ROAD FOR BOATS. A LOT OF PEOPLE FISH DOWN THERE.

LAKE CHICO IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FISHING AND RECREATIONAL LAKES IN THE ENTIRE MID SOUTH.

IT IS, DEFINITELY, ESPECIALLY FOR SPORT FISHING. WE HAVE BASS, CRAPPIE, BRIM, BLUEGILL AND OF COURSE CATFISH. I'VE SEEN, WHEN I FIRST GOT HERE, THERE WAS A 33-POUND CATFISH THAT SOMEONE CAUGHT, AMAZING TO ME.

SINCE LAKE CHICO IS LOCATED ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI FLY WAY, VISITORS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE A WIDE VARIETY OF BIRDS. 287 SPECIES, TO BE EXACT.

THEY CAN. ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF NORTH AMERICA'S BIRDS ACTUALLY USE THE MISSISSIPPI FLY WAY. IT IS A MAJOR MIGRATION ROUTE.

YEAR ROUND, TOO.

YEAR ROUND, IT IS. WE DO HAVE A LOT OF RESIDENT BIRDS THAT ARE HERE QUITE A BIT.

ANY EAGLES?

WE DO IN THE WINTER. WE DON'T HAVE ANY WITHIN THE PARK BOUNDARIES, BUT ON FURTHER DOWN SOUTH ON OUR LAKE, THERE IS AN EAGLE'S NEST THAT BALD EAGLELESS CAN BE SEEN IN THE WINTER MONTHS.

I HEARD STORIES ABOUT GATORS. YOU SEEN ONE, YOU WITNESSED ONE.

I DID WITNESS ONE MYSELF. THIS PLACE, ALONG WITH SOUTH ARKANSAS, IS KNOWN TO HAVE ALLIGATORS. AND HERE WHAT WE CALL GRAVEL PITS, IT'S THE PERFECT MARSHY AREAS THAT ALLIGATORS LOVE TO BE IN. WE HEAR REPORTS OF THEM STEALING FISH FROM FISHERMEN ALL THE TIME. BUT UNTIL YOU TRULY SEE ONE OUT IN THE OPEN WATER, YOU DON'T REALLY BELIEVE THERE'S GATORS IN ARKANSAS.

YOU SAW ONE BY YOUR HOUSE?

BY MAO HOUSE. I WOULD SAY 50 FEET. I MAY BE OVEREXAGGERATING AND UNDERCUTTING IT. WE NEVER BOTHERED TO COUNT IT TO SHOW IT. MANY PEOPLE SAID IT WAS ODD TO SEE HIM IN THE OPEN WATERS.

THERE IS ONE MORE STORY ABOUT LAKE CHICO, AND IT HAS TO DO WITH RIVER PIRATES AND WHICH IS KEY SHOOTS. -- WHISKEY SHOOTS.

WELL BACK IN 1835 TO 1855 THERE WAS A BAND OF RIVER PIRATES THAT WENT UP AND DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, PIRATES IN BOATS, ROBBING BANKS AND STEALING SLAVES. IN 1855, THEY PIRATEED A BOAT THAT CONTAINED WHICH IS WHISKEY. THEY WENT TO THEIR HIDEOUT AND GOT DRUNK AND PASSED OUT. A LOCAL CITIZEN OF LAKE VILLAGE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA, THEY WERE TIRED OF GETTING EVERYTHING STOLEN. THEY WERE TIRED OF THE PIRATES TOGETHER. THEY GOT A BUNCH TOGETHER. THEY WENT OUT. THEY SNUCK UP ON THE PIRATES WHEN THEY WERE DRUNK, OF COURSE. AND THEY BURNED THE BOAT AND SUNK IT TO THE GROUND. AND TO THIS DAY, THE AREA NEAR LAKE CHICO IS CALLED WHISKEY SHOOT.

IF YOU DO VISIT LAKE CHICO, BY ALL MEANS TAKE IN A SUNSET.

SO EXPERIENCE FOR YOURSELF THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA AND ALL THE WILDLIFE THAT GOES WITH IT BY TAKING ONE OF THE SUNSET SWAMP TOURS HERE AT LAKE CHICO STATE PARK. OR TRY YOUR LEGS AT MOUNTAIN BIKING ON ONE OF THE SOUTH'S MOST POPULAR TRAILS, THE WAMBO TRAILS AND THE WASHETAWS. AND THEN VENTURE INTO BAYOU DEBUT INTO THE BIG WOODS OF ARKANSAS AND SEE FOR YOURSELF THE 800 TO 1200-YEAR OLD CYPRUS TREES. YOU WILL TRULY BE AMAZED. FOR MORE INFO ON THESE AND OTHER DESTINATIONS, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, AETN.ORG/EXPLORING ARKANSAS AND WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN THE NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON EXPLORING ARKANSAS.

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