Training Injury

bones in the foot

This may come as a shock to a few of you (I know it did for me!), but there are a lot of bones in the human foot… And it doesn’t take much to break them.

On the return trip from Thanksgiving I suffered an injury which led to the fracture of a few of my toes on my right foot — arguably my favorite foot. I think that anyone who hasn’t had broken toes would be surprised how frequently you use your toes and how painful they can be once they are broken.

Here’s a couple of photos of the damage, and my foot has been swelling and changing color every day to where a full 1/2 of my foot is some shade of bruised.

Warning, almost graphic: Top, Bottom

It puts a bit of a damper on training since, for most exercises, you must be able to stand to perform. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to handle that one.

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Dover, Arkansas

We got another late start today as we spent the afternoon watching the Arkansas Razorback’s football game.

We decided to keep it close to home and go for a walk near our house which is outside of Dover, Arkansas.

This is our first fall on our land that we bought earlier this year and so all the plants and colors as they change with the season are all new to us.

In total, we walked 1.09 miles.

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Merritt Park, Dardanelle

This afternoon we went to Merritt Park in Dardanelle for our 30 Days/30 Miles walk.

We had never been to Merritt park before and it actually turned out to be a pretty nice place to walk.

There were baseball fields, tennis courts, a skate park, and we discovered that there was a very neat walking trail that surrounded a couple of ponds away from the ‘main’ park area which we weren’t expecting.

The walking trail was probably a little more than a half mile long.

In total, we managed to walk 1.06 miles around the park.

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Washburn Park

We had a very long afternoon and got off to a very late start for our walk today, but still managed to get in over a mile at Washburn park after dark.

The park was lit up, but none of the pictures really came out.

We ended up walking 1.05 miles.


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Dardanelle State Park

For today’s 30 Days/30 Miles walk, we went to “Lake Dardanelle State Park” outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas.

welcome to

This is a completely separate park about 15 or so miles from the other Lake Dardanelle State Park we walked at.

Don’t ask me why they have the same name. I don’t know other than that they both border different sides of Lake Dardanelle — they’re even in separate counties.

fishing dock lake dardanell

I’m not sure a lot of people around know this park exists. It was entirely empty save for us and a few campers who look like they had been there for an extended period of time.

lake dardanelle

It was very pleasant and relaxing. The leaves were just starting to change colors.

lake dardanelle, arkansas

While the other Lake Dardanelle State Park borders the main body of the lake and has more open water scenery, this park is located in the middle of the woods and is nestled against a calm backwater channel.

map of park

In total, we walked 1.18 miles today.

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Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge

For today’s walk, we took a drive a little way past Dardanelle, Arkansas to visit the Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge.

holla bend national wildlife refuge

The Holla Bend Refuge is over 7,000 acres and home to a wide range of wildlife including endangered species such as the bald eagle and American alligator.

The Refuge was created in 1957 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ‘straightened’ the Arkansas river to make shipping easier and safer via boat. The refuge is now bordered by the new Arkansas River channel on one side and an oxbow lake (the former river) on the other.

lake in holla bend

Hunting is possible in season and there are 3 land-locked lakes and the old Arkansas River channel on which you can launch boats and fish.

There are two designated hiking trails. Technically, you could walk/hike wherever you want on the refuge, but judging by the number of hunters out this afternoon, I would be pretty worried about being mistaken for a buck or turkey.

We took up the Lodge Lake Nature trail, which is only about a half mile, but is very scenic.

lodge lake nature trail hike

In total we walked 0.99 miles, which was an incredibly small portion of the refuge:

map of holla bend

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Russellville Competition Ski & Disc Golf Course

Tonight we had our Krav Maga self defense class, so we didn’t have a lot of time and took it as an opportunity to do our walk at a park closer to our house.

road in arkansas fall

The park’s official name, I believe is the “Russellville Competition Ski Area and Disc Golf Course” according to this sign:

sign russellville arkansas ski area golf course

There’s also a boat launch, plenty of places to fish from the shore, and picnic tables set up on large grassy areas. Seemed like as good of place as any to go for a walk.

If we walked the Disc Golf course, we’d end up walking a number of miles I’m sure. It’s huge.

disc golf course arkansas

Crossing over to the disc golf area from the parking lot, you have to cross this delightful bridge.

russellville arkansas bridge

There’s a weight limit on the bridge of 3000lbs -or- 20 people. It sounded to me like they need to decrease the number of people. How many people do you know weigh under 150lbs?  I wouldn’t guess very many.

map of illinois bayou

Our total for the day was 1.12 miles.

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Arkansas Tech University

We were in town today and near the Arkansas Tech University campus and thought it would make a great place for us to walk.

arkansas tech buildings

ATU was established in Russellville in 1909 and is a very beautiful and historic campus. It is home of the Wonder Boys, an NCAA Division II team.

The school is in session now, but being Sunday it was pretty empty.

bell at arkansas tech u

We could have easily walked 3-4 miles around the campus.

arkansas tech university russellville

We ended up walking 0.99 miles .

atu map

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Lake Atkins

Today we walked at Lake Atkins for our 30 Days/30 Miles.

bass fishing in timber at lake atkins

Lake Atkins is approximately 15 miles away from our house. I had only been there one other time last year, but it’s a pretty scenic lake.

There is some very open water, areas of the lake with a lot of submerged timber, and then some swampy areas of the lake on the western side.

submerged trees in lake atkins


Where we went, there wasn’t much room to walk, as private land borders most of the lake, but it’s a very neat area.

earthen dam and spillway

We walked along the eastern side of the lake, following the earthen dam/spillway.

trees at lake atkins

The trees are starting to turn here in Arkansas and I can’t wait. All these forest trails look amazing in the fall.

map of lake atkins

1.13 miles today.

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Hiking Mt. Nebo’s Bench Trail

Today we took a little trip up Mt. Nebo for Day 20 of our 30 Days/30 Miles walking goal.

arkansas's mt. nebo state park

Let me start off by saying that this post is going to be picture heavy. There were so many cool things to see, we ended up taking 81 pictures. I narrowed it down to some of my favorites. It’s also going to give a bit of history, because I find it fascinating.

Mt. Nebo is located about 20 minutes from our house. The mountain rises 1,350 feet from the River Valley which makes it Arkansas’ second tallest mountain behind Mt. Magazine.

This was our second time to Mt. Nebo since we’ve lived here, but our first time of actually getting out of the car and walking around. I can’t wait to go back.

We started by going up Hwy. 155 to the Benchroad Trail overlook. The overlook has a gazebo and looks down over the River Valley. Supposedly on a clear day you can see both Mt. Magazine (36 miles away) and Mt. Petit Jean (45 miles away) from Nebo.

gazebo at the overlook at benchroad trail

The first home built on Mt. Nebo was owned by Louis C. White and his wife.

The story of how Mt. Nebo was named goes that one morning Mrs. White looked out over the River Valley and proclaimed that it must have looked how it looked to Moses as he looked out over the promised land from Mt. Nebo in Jordan. I’m not sure how factual that is, but I can believe it:

river valley from mt nebo

At the overlook is the entrance to Benchroad Trail and this lovely sign:

benchroad trail sign, mt. nebo, arkansas

Not only is the trail beautiful, but it has some pretty amazing history as well. Sometime we’ll come back and hike the entire trail, but for now we’re going to stick to our mile a day regimen.

The entrance to the Benchroad Trail:

bench trail mt. nebo

You might be wondering how the Benchroad trail got it’s name.

In the 1890s, there was a town on Mt. Nebo. It was described as a “summer resort” and had two hotels.  Most of the town was on the summit but there was a hotel named the Blevins Hotel along with about 30-40 houses on the “bench.” The bench is a giant sandstone shelf on the side of the mountain:

richard bandit sandstone bench trail hike

There was so much of this sandstone — and up close it looked and felt exactly like tree bark.

You can still see the foundations of some of the homes that once existed here but have since been destroyed by fires, weather, time, and the tenacity of nature.

amanda at the bench

Walking further down the trail from the bench we came across another trail that branched off toward the Mt. Nebo Spring.

walking to mt. nebo spring

You can’t really tell from the picture but the trail down to the spring is steep and there is a drop-off less than 10 feet to my right. It’s a long way down.

mt nebo arkansas spring well

Mt. Nebo Spring was constructed in 1894 and separated the town on the summit from the rest of the people living on the bench. This was Mt. Nebo’s sole source of water. It’s still running to this day.

The spring is a section of mountain that has been cut away and reinforced with blocks of stone. There are stone blocks here that must weigh 500lbs. They used Oxen to do a lot of the work on Mt. Nebo moving the stones and lumber in to place. It must have been grueling work, regardless.

history of the mt nebo spring

I love that the picture was dated “94″. The people in the picture never considered it would still be around until 1994 or used as historical piece 117 years after it was taken.

Leaving the Spring trail, we continued down the Bench Trail and we came upon the Upper Spring trail which was incredibly steep. We brought along our dog and I didn’t think he would do very well going up, so we didn’t ascend it. We will eventually, though.

Further down the trail we came across the Steps Trail, which is another trail that I’m not sure where it leads, either. There’s just so much to see on Nebo that it would literally take days of walking to see it all.

steps trail at mt nebo arkansas

To give you an idea; the Upper Spring trail was even more steep than this. We didn’t attempt either. I can’t imagine how people carried water up to the summit back in 1894. It’s 300ft of ascension from the spring.

We walked for a little while past the Steps trail, but were already past a half mile so we decided to turn around and call it a day. On the way out, we saw this tree that I thought was just too neat not to take a picture of. It’s still alive, too. Remember what I said about the tenacity of nature? Perfect example:

tree cut in half

We explored a very small portion of the mountain today. To give you an idea, I zoomed my GPS map out to show the entire mountain versus how little we actually walked. There’s plenty more to see and I’m sure we’ll be making a lot more trips up it.

mt nebo map

Total: 1.56 miles.




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