As the Creek Flows

_C1_9664I should never have said it was too dry.

You probably remember how prodigiously rainy May and June were, but those days seemed long gone when some friends and I went down Friday evening to Ozarks National Forest for a couple nights of camping. We drove to the other side of Devil’s Den, and Lee Creek was so low that some segments were stagnant, interrupted by islands of rounded stones and trees bent by a past current. But it was a beautiful night starting a great weekend with a fun group of people.

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_C1_9741The water situation began to change the next morning, with a decent but quick thunderstorm, then fog that slowly gave way to warmth and sun. Some morning walks brought a few scenes and details I’d never come across before.

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_C1_9981Even with the storm, much of the stream bed was still exposed when we went hiking around, with worn limestone rocks interspersed with flakes of black shale, as if someone dumped bags of black confetti here and there. I’ve seen this type of rock nowhere else, so fragile it can’t even be held without crumbling in your fingers.

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_C1_0065Saturday evening was cool and clear and perfect; we had no cell service to check the forecast, but I figured everything must have blown out. Instead we woke up this morning to a two-hour storm, as if nature were saying, you want water, here’s your water. I woke up at the beginning of the storm and fell back asleep, realizing an hour and a half later it had been raining the whole time. We scrambled to pack everything away in the sandy mud.

The river was much higher when we left. It was a good adventure.

Thanks for looking!

Dan

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