Ascent of Magazine Mountain on 2009-11-14

Climber: Brian Molloy

Date:Saturday, November 14, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Magazine Mountain
    Elevation:2753 ft / 839 m

Ascent Trip Report

After living in Missouri for a few years I finally convinced a group offriends to make the trip to nearby Arkansas to climb the mighty high point of Signal Hill, also known as Magazine Mountain (or Mount Magazine) depending on who you ask. Now I would normally never decideto go on a road trip to the middle of nowhere Arkansas deep in the Ozarks but that is precisely what I love about high pointing. It forces you to get out and see so many different parts of the country.Now, I am writing this post after the fact so memories may be hazy, but the group of us left mid Missouri after work on a Friday and madethe trek to Arkansas. The plan was to drive down to the high point that night stay in a hotel for a night and then complete the Climb and drive back the next day. The drive was interesting to say the least and included among other things getting extremely lost on country back roads, nearly running out of gas, running out of batteries on our gps, and nearly getting shot by a farmer. I will spare you the details but it was a far more interesting ride than we thought it would be.

Despite all of the trials and tribulations of the trip we successfully made it to the motel Friday night and got some rest. Now there is a lodge in Mount Magazine state park (which is actually really nice) but was out of our price range, so we stayed in one of the closest places we could find, which was still a little ways away. The

lodging options other than in the park are pretty limited. This had the nice perk of forcing us to drive through Paris Arkansas, this would otherwise be a pretty nondescript little town that we wouldn't have cared about otherwise except for the fact that as we were driving though town there was a lady dancing like a crazy person on the side of the road, all by herself with her headphones on. We had a little laugh and were on our way (more on this later). You can drive up to within about a half mile or so of the highpoint and walk from there but we were a young group of fit people and decided that if we were going to drive all the way down there we might as well do some hiking in the park. We decided to park by the visitor center and hike to the highpoint from there, this added about two miles to each end of the trip for about 2.5 out and back for a total of just over five miles or so. Still not super strenuous but it makes you feel like you "earned" it a little more. The hike takes you south along an unnamed trail and then links up with theists back trail along the ridge, which actually gives you pretty cool views of the park despite the highpoint being a small one. One of the coolest parts is seeing the hang gliders flying off of the top of the hill by the lodge, that's something I had never seen before and I thought it was incredible. The mossback trail ends near the lodge so we took a detour there and were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. It honestly was one of the nicer park lodges I have ever seen, complete with restaurants and spas. We were so impressed we stopped for lunch and the food was great. Finally we made the quick trek to the summit and although there are no views to speak of from the top the views from the lodge and the hike more than made up for it. We backtracked along the same trails and made it back to the car by early afternoon. All in all a pretty successful day.Now,as we started driving back from the highpoint our route took us once again through Paris, Arkansas and as we were driving through town thecrazy lady with the headphones was still dancing on the side of the road. At this point we had to stop and talk to her, she had literally been out there all day dancing her heart out. It turns out she goes out there and dances to get exercise and make people happy, she said she calls herself The Dancing Queen of Paris and that she has YouTube videos. We looked it up (she does)
she also said she has met people from all over the world who have stopped to talk to her. I of course danced with her for a little bit and then we were back on the road to Missouri.
This what I really love about high pointing, if it wasn't for this hobby I would never have had the chance to have the stories to tell of the crazy road trip from hell or to say that I have danced with The Dancing Queen of Paris Arkansas. this hobby really gets you out there to experience the country.

You can see my full trip report with pictures on my blog here:
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The group of us on the Summit of Mt Magazine (signal hill) (2009-11-14). Photo by Brian Molloy.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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