October 31, 1999
When I woke up Sunday morning, I found that the rain that had begun Saturday afternoon remained. Well, rain or shine, I'm going to do Arkansas' highpoint regardless. Through the rain I drove, until I reached Paris, where I turned south on highway 309. Had the weather been something other than heavy fog and rain, I'm sure this road would have been very scenic. At times I could only see a few car lengths ahead and had to drive very slow.
Around the 17 mile mark from leaving Paris, I began to get concerned. I passed a small gravel road and was hoping that that wasn't the road I was supposed to take. With the heavy rains, I was certain that I would get stuck if I had to drive on any gravel road. It would be a shame to drive so close and not be able to visit Arkansas' highpoint. I decided to turn around at the next opportunity and drive back to that gravel road and look for a forest service marker saying it is Road 1606. A little while down the road, I came upon a newly paved side road with a large sign pointing to turn here for both Signal Hill and the campground. Turning here, it was only a short 2 mile drive to the campground where the trail to Signal Hill begins. After parking, it was only a short 10-minute hike to Arkansas' Highpoint, marked with a nice sign that is right next to the benchmark. I took some pictures and returned to my car in the rain. Highpoint number 10 achieved.
It is amusing that the rain stopped just for the 25 minutes it took to visit Signal Hill, because as soon as I got back to the car, it began to rain heavily again. I was able to make the short hike through the colored leaves of the trees and remain dry. I would have loved to have stopped at many of the scenic overlooks, but because of the fog, there was nothing that I could have seen. Of the 9 highpoints I've done so far in 1999, 4 (Michigan, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Arkansas) have been done in the rain and fog. I guess I just attract the nasty weather.
I then drove back to Little Rock to fly home.