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Exploring Arkansas' Lake Ouachita
To see a lake this big and beautiful, the Motion crew teamed up with Wake Zone Luxury Houseboats Rentals at the Crystal Springs Marina. It is one of the top full service outfitters on the lake. And, to prove they are known across the country for unheard of customer service, they set the crew up on their flagship boat -- the 80-foot Shirley Ann. These mega houseboats spare no expense in luxury accommodations.
"This is the Shirley Ann. She is our mother-ship, flag-ship -- 20 by 80 feet with six bedrooms with queen sized beds, two full baths, washer and a dryer," said Wendy, Wake Zone Luxury Houseboat Rentals.
Greg invited someone special on this trip -- his dad, Steve Jones. He wanted to prove to him that shooting Motion takes hard work.
"They always told me they were out working but this makes me think they were lying a bit to me," said Steve.
Wake Zone Luxury Houseboats Rentals can provide a captain to drive the boat so you don't have to feel intimated renting a boat that is the length of two school buses. They will also help you park and move your boat.
As they sailed out of the marina and through a narrow notch in the pine-covered mountains, they began to settle into the beauty of Lake Ouachita and the surrounding national forest.
Captain Chris drove the Shirley Ann to a camp spot Wake Zone owners Wendy and Shane had picked out. They were waiting there for them to secure the boat and then leave them there for three days of filming. They also let them take a smaller ski boat to explore the lake's 200 islands and winding shorelines since the big boat would be fixed at one location.
"Memorial Day to Labor Day and then we go up to probably the middle of September, which I prefer. You can get into the water until about the end of September and after that the water is just too cold," said Chris, the captain.
Once they cleared the narrows, they got their first glimpse at how massive Lake Ouachita is. The middle of the lake is dotted with islands of all sizes.
After chugging along on the Shirley Ann for an hour or so, Captain Chris brought them to campsite in a secluded cove. The Wake Zone team secured the boat for the Motion crew -- another example of customer service you don't usually find.
With a full kitchen and hot tub onboard, it didn't take long for the Motion crew to begin enjoying their comfortable digs on the lake.
Sunrise on day two came with incredibly hot and humid weather, so they decided to start things off with a hike into the Ouachita National Forest that surrounds the lake.
The Ouachita National Forest is the oldest national park in the southern U.S. You can enjoy views of the rugged and scenic Ouachita Mountains from the park.
As the Motion crew descended into the forest, they noticed the clean forest floor and thin underbrush made for a perfect place to explore on foot. But 50 yards into the hike, the crew's opinion of that changed as there were spider webs everywhere. After battling spider webs for a while, the crew opted for a shoreline hike instead.
When they got back to the boat, they were greeted by Shane and Chris from Wake Zone Rentals who thought they would appreciate a few more toys to play with. They brought them wave runners, fishing gear and a guitar.
Lake Ouachita was created after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Blakely Mountain Dam in 1853. The lake was created for hydro-electric power and flood control. The concept to keep the lake surrounded by the national forest is what makes this place so special. It is so rare to have this much shoreline of a lake with this kind of scenic beauty untouched by development.
Greg and the crew always have a great time with guest hikers but this one was extra special because Greg's dad came along for the journey. Sharing the discovery the discovery of a new place as special as this lake and taking time for life's simple pleasures is what's it is all about.
Greg and crew's attempt at rookie jug fishing paid off big. They caught a monster 15 pound catfish by baiting a live fish on a jug and letting it bob in the water for a few hours.
The next day, temperatures were in the 90s so the Motion crew decided to try out another cool feature on the boat -- the water slide. A swim in the lake is the perfect way to refresh and cool off from the heat and humidity.
Arkansas is known as the natural state. The lush pines and untouched shores of the lake make it a great place for a summer or fall escape. If you can do it, a stay on one of Wake Zone's houseboats is a special way to experience Lake Ouachita.
As the sunset on the crew's last day, they headed to Bird Island where Cypress Trees emerge from the water. Each evening, hundreds of birds, including Cattle Egrets, Purple Martins, White Ibis and Herring, flock here for summer nesting.
For more information:
- Segment 1
- Motion Crew Rents Massive Houseboat on Lake Ouachita
- To explore Arkansas' Lake Ouachita, the Motion crew rented a massive houseboat from Wake Zone Luxury Houseboats Rentals, which spares no expense in luxury accommodations.
- Watch Segment
- Segment 2
- Motion Crew Hikes Ouachita National Forest
- The Motion crew traveled to central Arkansas to discover the beauty of Lake Ouachita. After a night of rest on the houseboat, the crew set out for a hike into the Ouachita National Forest.
- Watch Segment