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A short visit to White Oak Lake was included in activities on the first day of my “Travels With Maggie.” — Photo by Pat Bean

 “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J R R Tolkien

The Gurdon Lights

On the first day of my six-month, 7,000-mile, 23-state plus Canada journey, which is what the travel book I’m hoping to complete rewriting by the end of August is about, I passed through Gurdon, Arkansas.

The small town’s claim to fame is the Gurdon Light, which supposedly haunts the railroad tracks a few miles out of town. The mysterious light, which many have claimed to have seen, was featured on the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries” in 1994, and is described in the “Encyclopedia of Arkansas.”

As was a hike with Maggie on a nature trail at Poison Springs State Park. Sorry, I didn’t manage to snag a photo of the Gurdon Lights. — Photo by Pat Bean

Some believers claim the light is the lantern of a railroad worker who stumbled in front of a train and was killed. Others believe it is the lantern of William McClain, a railroad worker who was murdered in 1931 at about the same time the floating light was first seen. Skeptics look for a more natural phenomenon, such as quartz crystal in the area exuding electricity.

All I saw when I crossed the railroad track as it passed through Gurdon were rock pigeons perched on overhead utility wires. I suspected the small town’s pigeon population was larger than its human one. I wondered if these city dwelling birds had ever seen the lights, and asked my canine traveling companion, Maggie, what she thought.

She didn’t answer. She was asleep – and snoring.

Book Report: This is a tidbit from the first day of my travels. The book, in its third and final rewrite, is now 23, 511 words on its way to completion.

Bean’s Pat: Write to Done http://tinyurl.com/d73y49c 50 quotes to inspire writers. The wondering wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

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