Gustav and Ike are gone, the rains have abated, hunting seasons are underway -- and Arkansas sportsmen are on the move.
Save yourself a possible headache and check road conditions before you leave home, suggests the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Hunters and fishermen often travel across the state or just a few miles from home to participate in their activities. The travel may be on interstates, on two-lane paved highways or on graveled back roads. The torrential rains from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike left roads in the state flooded in many places and washed out in a few spots.
An example is Arkansas Highway 7 between Russellville and Harrison.
This is a major route for hunters and recreationists headed to the Buffalo River country. The highway is closed just south of Pelsor in extreme northern Pope County and major repairs are underway. Detours are lengthy.
If you are traveling, a starting point for road conditions can be the Internet. Go to http://www.arkansashighways.com/Roads/ro.... Click on "road closings." This is a Web site of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, and it gives current closings of federal and state highways in Arkansas.
But it doesn't list county roads or national forest roads or other remote routes that sportsmen may use.
For these, a phone call can help. If you don't know a person living in the area, try the county road department of the county where you're headed. Can't find a phone listing?
Try the county judge's office. You'll get the right number and maybe the information you need there.
Once you are off the main highway and in the back country, slow down and watch for potential problems.
A washed-away culvert could leave an unpaved road impassable.
Remember too that repairs on Arkansas's damaged roads are on a priority system.
The heaviest traveled roads get the first attention from work crews, and it may be a while before that particular back road you are traveling will have its damage taken care of.