Monthly Archives: January 2014

Freddy 2002-2014



When we take a dog into our lives, we know full well that in 10 to 15 years we will have to deal with its death. It’s a pact that dog lovers make; a couple weeks of grief in exchange for several years of companionship and unconditional love. Even so, when the day comes it is not easy. Freddy died Monday morning, Jan. 27. He takes his place in my soul alongside Wags, Willie, Pepper, Dogmatix, Jodie, and Rascal.

Freddy was a “miniature” schnauzer. He shared our home for 11 years and 21 days. Sharon and I picked him up from a breeder in Joplin, Missouri, on Jan. 6, 2003, just two days after our wedding. The literature said he would be 18 to 24 pounds when grown. Well, he went right on past 24 pounds in 18 months. Eventually, he topped out at 35 pounds. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him, just pure lean muscle. He was built like a fullback, 35 pounds in a package the size of a basketball. He was fast and quick as a rabbit. He loved to play chase. Try as you might, you never could catch him if he didn’t want to be caught.

Freddy was good-looking and he knew it. He walked with confidence. At the park, he looked everyone directly in the eye. If you listened closely you could hear him say to the passersby, “You love me, don’t you.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

Speaking of walking, hiking in the Ozarks was another of Freddy’s favorite pastimes. Over the last 11 years, he and I hiked roughly 100 miles of the Highland Trail. Freddy wasn’t exactly the standard trail dog being only 15 inches tall, but that didn’t slow him down a bit, although sometimes he seemed to overestimate his size. Once when we were hiking up Jacks Fork Creek, we sat down by a sluice to have lunch. Freddy was about 2 years old at the time. The creek flowed through a slot in the rock roughly 6 feet wide and 2 or 3 feet deep. There was a little waterfall above the sluice and another below. Freddy was poking around on the other side of the sluice sniffing trees and peeing on rocks when he decided to rejoin the pack for lunch. Instead of walking around, he headed full speed straight for the sluice and jumped. He landed about halfway up the side! Immediately, he went into four-paw drive but to no avail. I worked my way down the bank and retrieved him from the pool below.

Freddy must have read John Muir somewhere. I say this because when we went hiking, he sauntered into the woods just as Muir described. He checked out everything. He got to know trees personally. Every few yards he would find something to sniff. When he finally finished sniffing, he circled three or four times, then peed on whatever he was sniffing. Then he moved on with a smug satisfied look on his face. Just like Muir, Freddy always brought some of the woods home with him. Usually a bath would get it off.

Canoeing was a different story. When Freddy was young, I tried to make him a canoe dog. He didn’t care for it at all. Usually, I ended up having to fish him out of the river after he jumped from the canoe when we got close to shore. He was sure to shake water off in my face just to tell me of his dissatisfaction. Freddy always watched hopefully when I started getting my outdoor gear together. But when the paddles came down he headed for the back yard.

Freddy was clearly a pack animal. The more the merrier. Visitors to our house were greeted with a special ear splitting shrill bark. The more he liked the visitor, the more shrill the bark. The most shrill bark was reserved for my sister, Kay. She must have been his favorite. It was an annoying habit, but there was no breaking him of it. I am sure we have friends who don’t go to the Morgan’s house because of the obnoxious dog.

On Monday afternoon, I buried Freddy in a 2’ by 4’ grave down between our Pine Tree and Silver Maple. His body is already starting to decompose. By spring, all that will be left will be some minerals and water. Hair roots from the trees are likely working their way into the grave as I write. When sap starts flowing up the tree this spring, part of it will be Freddy’s atoms. Those atoms will become part of the leaves, needles, pine nuts and maple seeds. The squirrels that Freddy used to chase around the yard will eat the seeds and pine nuts and make nests from the leaves and needles. Some of Freddy will then become squirrel. The squirrels will drop detritus and squirrel waste on the ground where it will nourish the grass in our yard and flowers in our bird garden. So Freddy will slowly be spread around the yard. He will become grass and flowers and even bird. The local rabbits will eat the grass and Freddy will become part rabbit. Maybe our resident Red-shouldered Hawk will catch and eat a rabbit and Freddy will then take flight. Several summers from now, when I have my coffee on the back porch, I will look out and say, “There’s Freddy.”

January 2014 – On Walking

There are 61 miles of hiking trails in the Beaver Lake watershed. And that doesn’t count some short segments of the Ozark Highlands Trail that runs along the divide between the White River and the Mulberry River. Hiking those 61 miles is my resolution for this year. The majority of the miles of trail are within the Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, frequently referred to just as Hobbs.

Hobbs is a 12,000+ acre property owned by the people of Arkansas and managed by Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Hobbs is east of Beaver Lake and lies between War Eagle Creek to the south and the lake to the north. Several miles of Beaver Lake shoreline abut Hobbs. The property sits on the Salem Plateau. But because of its proximity to War Eagle Creek and Beaver Lake, the local streams have cut deeply into the plateau leaving deep hollows and steep hills. The forest is a mixture of hardwood and shortleaf pine.

Little Clifty Creek in Van Hollow, Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area.

Little Clifty Creek in Van Hollow, Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area.

It was likely the shortleaf pine that first attracted Peter Van Winkle to the property in the mid-1800s. Van Winkle was a lumberman. He established a home, mill and an active community along Little Clifty Creek in what is now referred to as Van Hollow. Like most lumbermen of the time, Van Winkle was mostly interested in harvesting the timber. Most of the forest was cleared during his tenure on the property. Later Mr. Roscoe Hobbs acquired the property. Hobbs was a railroad man. His main interest in the Hobbs property was to produce railroad ties. Hobbs also had an interest it the property for its natural value. According to the Park History posted on the Friends of Hobbs website, Hobbs never used herbicides on the property and practiced only selective harvest. He apparently also enjoyed hunting and walking on the property.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, and Sunday, Jan. 12, I ventured out to Hobbs to start hiking and re-hiking the trails. Both hikes started at the Townsend Ridge road. I walked the War Eagle loop on Saturday. Then on Sunday I walked the Little Clifty loop. The two hikes totaled 15 miles. Both trails primarily follow ridges around the deep hollows in the park. As you hike along, you keep thinking, “I have to cross that hollow someplace to get back to my truck.” Eventually, the trail does drop down into the hollow and then back out. But the trails have been worked out to where there isn’t a really steep grade anywhere.

It was the condition of the trails at Hobbs that impressed me the most. They are exquisitely well built and maintained. On Friday before my trip, it rained all day, and really hard in the evening. These trails are built for multiple users including hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Even so, there was very little trail erosion. And there were just a few spots where the trails were even wet. The trails are spread out across the park with plenty of space between. This low density of trails provides plenty of solitude, even on a nice day in January. The parking lot was crowded, but I only met people on the trail occasionally. The staff thought this one through well. Even though this blog is usually about boating on Beaver, for the last 30 or so years, my real passion has been hiking, or walking in general. Last year I walked 1,116 miles. I walked in California, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, New York, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arkansas. It was a good year.

I share my passion for walking with some pretty good company. Famous Americans who were also notable walkers included Abraham Lincoln (who liked to slip out of the White House at night without his bodyguards and walk around Washington), Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman (who could out-walk all of the reporters), Bob Marshall (who has a wilderness named after him), Rachel Carson (author of “Silent Spring”), Robert Frost, Louis L’Amour, James Michener, Henry Thoreau and, of course, John Muir. Other walkers included Mother Teresa, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Carl Jung, and Mohandas Gandhi. William Wordsworth, the poet, is said to have walked over 175,000 miles during his life.

John Muir really didn’t like to hike. He preferred to saunter into the woods. As his story went, the word saunter dated from the Middle Ages when Europeans started making pilgrimages to the holy land. When the pilgrims passed through villages, people would ask them where they were going. The answer was “a la sainte terre” or to the holy land. The villagers referred to the pilgrims as “sainte-terrers,” and the term eventually became saunterers. Muir thought of the mountains as holy land, so he sauntered into the mountains.

Along War Eagle loop trail in Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area

Along War Eagle loop trail in Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area

Thoreau’s version of the etymology of saunter was less flattering of the saunterers. In his version, idlers and vagabonds wandering around Europe would go to houses asking for food. When asked where they were going they answered, “a la sainte terre.” The kids picked up on the term and started calling the idlers “sainte terrers.” So saunterer was a derogatory term referring to hobos.

Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, says walking is the best exercise. People of almost any age can walk, the exercise is mostly injury free, it can be done anywhere and it is inexpensive. The only equipment required is a good pair of shoes. Walking is also a good way to view the scenery. Although it is usually the same scenery that can be seen from a car, boat or bicycle. And walking is a great way to clear your head and allow for creative thought.

None of the reasons stated above are why I walk. I just like the feeling it gives me. During 1876, Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of “Treasure Island,” published an essay titled “Walking Tours” in Cornhill Magazine. Stevenson captured what walking is all about in the opening paragraph:

“He who is indeed of the brotherhood (of walking) does not voyage in quest of the picturesque, but of certain jolly humours – of the hope and spirit with which the march begins at morning, and the peace and spiritual repletion of the evening’s rest. He cannot tell whether he puts his knapsack on, or takes it off with more delight.”

Stevenson goes on to discuss the importance of walking alone, how class disappears on a walking tour, of the joy of not having an agenda, and of the pleasure of coming down the final hill to a village inn. Then he expands upon how the rigor of the day enhances the conversation at the inn, and his enjoyment of his pipe and grog that evening.

I totally understand what Stevenson is saying. During the weeks before a big hike, I spend hours poring over maps finding the best routes and most interesting places. I check out my equipment and get everything in order. On the morning of the hike, excitement builds as I gather my trail snacks and lunch. Then the best step of the trip is the step out of the red truck onto the trail. The next best step is the one back to the truck, or better yet into camp. With luck I will spend the evening around a fire. I will have that good tired feeling that comes from being active out of doors all day. The meal will be exquisite, even if it is beanie weenies. Maybe I will enjoy a grog. Sleep will come easily.

Three Beaver Water District Scholarships Awarded to UA Students

2014 Scholarship Winners Jan 16 2014(Front row, from left) Katherine Smith, Julia Allen, and Stephanie Maxwell received Beaver Water District Steele-Croxton Memorial Scholarships. Joining them are (back row, from left) Thomas Carter, UA Assistant Dean, College of Engineering; Alan Fortenberry, CEO of Beaver Water District; and Blake Rickman with the UA Office of Development and External Relations. The University of Arkansas students, from the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, were recognized Jan. 16 during the regular monthly meeting of the District’s Board of Directors. The scholarships are funded through voluntary contributions by BWD Board members and other interested individuals and organizations.

LOWELL, ARK. – During its regularly scheduled board meeting today (Jan. 16), the Beaver Water District Board of Directors recognized the recipients of the District’s Steele-Croxton Memorial Scholarships. These students are Julia Allen of Fayetteville, a student in the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science-College of Agriculture; Stephanie Maxwell of Bentonville, a student of Civil Engineering-College of Engineering; and Katherine Smith of Fayetteville, a student studying Biological Engineering in the College of Engineering. Blake Rickman, with the UA Office of Development and External Relations, as well as Thomas Carter, UA Assistant Dean, Student Services and Student Affairs, also attended the meeting.

The scholarship, funded through voluntary contributions by Beaver Water District Board members and other interested individuals and organizations, is named for the late Joe M. Steele and the late Hardy W. Croxton, leaders and past Board members. The Memorial Scholarship Fund provides support to qualified students within the UA’s College of Engineering and College of Agriculture.

Beaver Water District supplies drinking water from its abundant storage in Beaver Lake to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities then resell the water to nearby towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards.  For more information, visit


Board Meeting — January 16, 2014

Beaver Water District’s Board of Directors will meet at noon on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, at 301 N. Primrose Road, Lowell, AR.


1. Meeting Call to Order 2. Approval of minutes of previous regular meeting 3. Report — FY 2013 Audit 4. Report — Fayetteville Magnetic Flow Meter 5. Report — ADEQ Regulation No. 2 6. Presentation — UA Student Chapter — AWWA — Southwest Section 7. Other Business • Steele Croxton Memorial Scholarship Award Recipients: Julia Allen, UA Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Student Stephanie Maxwell, UA Civil Engineering Student Katherine Smith, UA Biological Engineering Student Blake Rickman, Office of Development & External Relations Thomas Carter, Assistant Dean of Student Services and Student Affairs

NW District Awards for Water/Wastewater Announced

NW District Awards for Water/Wastewater Announced

The mission of the Northwest District of the Arkansas Water Works & Water Environment Association, formed in 1950, is to encourage the education and licensing of its members in the field of water and wastewater systems and to provide a venue by which the members can share information, obtain training, and improve the overall standing of our profession within the communities. Visit for more information. Newly elected officers are James Clark of City of Tontitown, Chair; Jeff Hickle of CH2M Hill/City of Fayetteville, Vice Chair; and Roman Rios, Bentonville Water Department, Secretary/Treasurer. During the monthly meeting held Dec. 18 in Fayetteville, Stacy Cheevers received a plaque recognizing his years of service as outgoing Chair. Additionally, the following awards were presented for 2013: 

Water Operator Less than 5000 Population Joe Clark, Tontitown Water Utilities

Water Operator More than 5000 Population Randy Paris, Beaver Water District

Manager of the Year Water Terry Phillips, Springdale Water Utilities

Small System Award Water Sylvan Shores

Wastewater Operator Less than 5000 Population Joe Hall, City of Prairie Grove Water and Wastewater Utilities

Wastewater Operator Greater than 5000 Population Tim Tinsley, CH2M Hill / City of Fayetteville

Manager of the Year Wastewater Jennifer Enos, Springdale Water Utilities

Small System Award Wastewater Green Forest

Laboratory Professional Wastewater Bruce Richart, CH2M Hill / City of Fayetteville

Pretreatment Professional Wastewater Brad Stewart, Springdale Water Utilities