Between the storms

_C1_8531.JPGThis month has brought a whole lot of rain: more than 7 inches so far this month, with another 8 (!) possible between now and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Yesterday’s storm swept away a homeless camp in Fayetteville, caused other flash flooding and caught houses on fire with its lightning, and that was with only 3 inches of rain. The ground is almost completely saturated, so be careful of all the runoff this weekend, and especially don’t drive through it.

The pauses in the mayhem, on the other hand, have brought great chances to see local waterfalls at their full power. The one above is a cascade at one end of Lake Wedington, which sits in a nearby patch of the Ozark National Forest. I took an early morning hike on the trail along the lake’s edge Sunday, my first time there.

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_C1_8524.JPGThe waterfall drains the lake around the trail’s halfway point and was absolutely gushing, tumbling 50 or so feet and throwing off curtains of mist. The torrent blocked me from going any further — the trail continues somewhere on the other side of this mist. But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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_C1_8642.JPGToday brought another break in the rain, so I hurried down to Devil’s Den State Park this evening. Some of the waterfalls there are going as strong as I’ve seen.

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By this weekend, the falls might look more like this. Stay dry, everyone.

And at the risk of being way too presumptuous or commercial, if you all like any images in this or other posts, you can get prints of some of them (in much higher resolution) here. It might take a few days after a post for the photos to appear, but I keep it pretty up to date. Feel free to tell me which, if any, you’d like to have available.

Thanks for looking,

Dan

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Lost Valley

IMG_4323.JPGThis is a post about big things and how tiny humans are compared to the world around them. The Lost Valley Trail down by the Buffalo River is full of bigness: big trees, big rocks, big caves. There are also plenty of small things. But it’s the behemoths that define this place.

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The trail follows Clark Creek through a forest of tall, narrow trees that are abruptly interrupted by cliffs several hundred feet tall. The bluffs curve toward the pinnacle of the hike, Eden Falls, which are fed by a cave high above the valley floor. I thought our last rain would be recent enough for a healthy waterfall, but the creek was already so low that it seemed to disappear about halfway down the mile-long trail. The valley still has plenty to see.

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IMG_4291.JPGOn the way back I opted for the riverbed instead of the trail. This stream was likely once an underground cave; now the collapsed cave roof and stray pieces of the bluffs have left it choked with chaotic, car-sized boulders that otherwise would have no business being in such a small creek.

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IMG_4371.JPGYosemite — along with its even larger cliffs and trees — comes in less than two weeks. But the big places of Arkansas aren’t too bad in the meantime. Thanks for looking!

Dan