638. Jasper, Newton County (AR57)

The only thing I hate more than driving on winding mountain roads is driving on winding mountain roads in the middle of the night. Therefore, I was incredibly relieved to pull in in front of the courthouse. After a moment, my complete and utter confusion kicked in. This courthouse subverted a couple of my standard rules for courthouses. The big central opening with the county’s name over it was obviously the front. However, the flagpole and gazebo and war memorial were in the back? Of course, decorations demonstrated that Christmas had also arrived here early, too. I only barely managed to get a photo without the garishly light-strung stag while questioning whether or not I had taken any crazy pills before I pulled up here.

The cache was a bit of a pain. The closest one was easy, but within the bounds of a wildlife park and that didn’t seem to be the best place to be at 2:30 in the morning. Most of the caches were somehow related to the nearby canyon and, consequently, had really high terrains. As you can imagine, a T4.0 is not particularly appealing at 2:30 in the morning either. That said, I found one that claimed to be relative simple and available 24 hours. It turned out to be a keybox on a guard rail at a good viewing spot if it’s not at 2:30 in the morning. It didn’t help that it was pretty far off GZ and I had been looking for the regular it said it was, but somehow I managed to find it in spite of the freezing cold. As I left, I questioned whether the drive here was worth it, but my complaints about that soon ended as I went on my way. When the map started directing me down into the canyon, I literally said “Where the BLANK are you taking me?” It put me on this winding series of descending dirt roads and there’s no nice wat to say this, but I expected to see a meth lab on the side of the road around every turn. More than likely the only reason I didn’t because it was in the middle of the night and everyone was asleep. Of course, if there actually was meth involved, that most certainly wouldn’t be the case. Crappy roads continued weaving, bearing signs like “Steep and sharp turns 7 miles” and “Brake check area here” and “11% grades”. That’s what I call caching? Eventually I made it to a reasonable highway that took me to…

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