Archive for April, 2014

Possibly the best Hiking, Backpacking, Camping season in Years !!!

I declare October thru April as my time to enjoy the wilderness experience of Arkansas, The Natural State. There are no ticks, no chiggers, no snakes and few people.  There’s always plenty of firewood, plenty of campfire stories and plenty of scenic views.  Early season we have kaleidoscopic colors, mid season with leaf-off we have views unavailable the rest of the year and late season we have  wildflowers, waterfalls and the fresh new green of Spring. This past weekend I just finished my last outing of the season …  what an exceptional season.

Water was great and waterfalls were spectacular …






Wild flowers were aplenty … 



Dogwoods were the fireworks of the forest …

Never have I experienced anything like it … the new spring green was aglow with sparkles of white, splatterings of bright white, an otherwise beautiful but monochromatic forest was transformed with thousands of what could just as easily be random trees lit with white Christmas lights … unbelievable, unexpected, stunning … what a once in a lifetime experience.


Waxing Philosophical …

If you have read any of the books by authors such as Colin Fletcher, who backpacked the Grand Canyon or Everett Reuss, the young man in his twenties who disappeared while writing, painting and hiking in the Utah Canyonlands, then you understand how the wilderness can refresh your soul. More than likely you know it from personal experience.

If you have climbed a mountain in Colorado … maybe one of the fourteeners … or read books by Bill Bryson describing his hike of the Appalachian Trail or Cheryl Strayed’s book detailing her solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, then you have probably already picked up your pack and trekking poles.   You know what it means to leave behind the noise of the city in exchange for a pack on your back and the mind/body refreshment of hiking to a place most people will never see.

Maybe, you too will share the wonder of a season in the Arkansas wilderness.






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 Harrison, Arkansas … A city that has it together !!!

49 years ago my wife and I spent the first night of our honeymoon in Harrison, Arkansas. Obviously it’s only natural Patti and I still hold a special place in our hearts for Harrison.  Through these five decades we traveled highway 65 more than 100 times in route to visit friends in Missouri.  Harrison was our restaurant, our service station, our grocery store, our rest stop, our meeting place.  Whether floating the Buffalo, enjoying Dogpatch or attempting to ski icy slopes at Marble Falls, the city of Harrison played a role or served as home base. 


Flash forward to 2007 … life after politics.  My brother in law invited me to become part of Flake & Kelley Commercial.  I did and almost immediately hit the road meeting with Mayors promoting Retail Business Development.  The timing was right, I was hired to do some work for Harrison and began introducing prospective retailers to the market.   Of surprise to me I found resistance … not based on market analytics … based on the history of racism and prevailing  tales of the KKK leadership in the area. Your Mayor will well remember a meeting with two restaurant franchise owners expressing concern for the perceived culture of racism in the community. 


During the past seven years I have come to appreciate a new Harrison Culture …  a culture of leadership, a culture of openness, a culture of discussion and learning from the past, a culture of team building and working together, and  a culture of announcing to the world there is a new Harrison, a new attitude, a new vision and the doors of Harrison are wide open for all.


Harrison, Arkansas … I’m proud of you and proud to be your friend.


Jim Dailey

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