photo of the week

Horses, Mules, and Raw Sweat

This old barn was near the end of my short trip from Black Creek to Oden in rural Arkansas.  The afternoon sun was on the ragged edge of perfection with a slight angle closer to Old Sol than I wished, but who is to question such a gift?  This was an old horse and/or mule barn with a large hay loft that required mega gallons of raw sweat to fill.

The Road to Oden

Sunday, August 2, 2015
Pine Buff, Arkansas

After a hasty map reconnaissance a few weeks ago during a brief sojourn in Black Creek, Arkansas, just west of Norman, I opined as how a short trip through the boondocks from Black Creek to Oden might possibly be fruitful in producing camera and story fodder.  Since the road runs roughly south to north, suitable targets would likely be on the west side of the road given the afternoon hours of the adventure.  There weren’t as many opportunities as I would have liked, but the few afforded were worth the drive and more.


Wider with Details

Here’s a slightly wider look at the barn with a few more details of the front side.


Wild Poesies

Not far out of Black Creek, I found these purple poesies.  A wide aperture on a long lens messes with the focus, transitioning from sharp to slight blur.  Bright sun and a dark background add to the visual drama.

I was beginning to think I might have erred in estimating the potential of the trip when I happened on an old country place with a still-standing roadside home and an old barn weathered to a perfect gray.


Many Moons without A Family

My first glimpse of the old house and its vine-covered chimney told me that it had been many a moon since the last family called it home.  Typical of older rural homes, it is close to the road and has some fine “home-place trees.”


Plumb and Well-Built

Moving up the road and looking head on, right down the bore, the old home is still plumb, which means the old “roofin’ arn” roof probably does not leak or leaks very little.  The structure appears to have been well-built from the get-go.


Pump House

Moving past the old home, you see what is probably a pump house where an electric well pump replaced the pulley and bucket of a dug well.


Old Barn with Additions

Just past the old home and far off the road is this old barn, which I’m thinking well predates the house, which was probably a replacement for the original domicile.  Typical of most older barns, the right and left additions came well after the original structure was put to work for farm shelter and storage.

Not Exactly on the Road to Oden

In the spirit of full disclosure, the pictures that follow were not taken on the road to Oden.  They are actually on a gravel road off Arkansas Highway 240 southwest of Caddo Gap.  That said, these images seemed to fit the spirit of the Road to Oden, so there you have it.  It’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


A Fruitful Search

I was running out of time on a Saturday afternoon to begin the homeward trek, so I decided to wheel out onto Highway 240 to see what I could see that had decent light.  I went a few miles past Fancy Hill and turned back northeast.  After a few miles my trusty peripheral vision alerted me to the old church, which was more or less in defilade when I was westbound.  There was a newer church adjacent to this structure.  One presumes it replaced this one, but I’m not betting the farm on that.


A Side Structure

Taking a gander at the other side of the old building, we discover a side structure.  The construction looks the same, but it could have been an addition after the initial construction.


Head On.

In changing light, we take a look head on.


A Peek Inside

The doors were slightly ajar so we can get a glimpse inside.

The beauty of a swing through the countryside is the prospect of discovery — keeping in mind that it’s old hat to denizens of the locale, but a cool discovery for us outlanders.


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But wait, there's more!
And it’s in Caddo Gap, Arkansas.
The small town is steeped in history
and has a number of public markers
to substantiate the past.
We look at ‘em all
along with a couple of buildings and the fine Caddo Indian statue.
See it all at Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind. Click, go, and enjoy.

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