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Archive for the ‘Caves and Waterfalls’ Category

 

Above the clouds and rain

Above the clouds and rain

We have accumulated 6.85 inches of rain here in the mountains during the past 2 and 1/2 days. I left at 9 AM and got a photo from AR 327. This is unusual for October, usually our nicest month temperature and precipitation wise. The Buffalo River at Ponca is 6″ over the bridge and rising fast. On the way back from Ponca, I got into some clear skies and took the 2nd photo but more thundershowers are on the way. The trees in the Bostons are still mostly green so a few weeks are needed yet for full color.

 

Ponca Bridge

Ponca Bridge

Boston Mtn Range looking towards Parthenon on AR 74

Boston Mtn Range looking towards Parthenon on AR 74

 

 

 

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These photos were taken 2 years ago during a late May rise on the upper Buffalo River. They were taken with a Canon S95 Point and Shoot camera, from Hedges Pour-off. I think they show the wilderness character and the high gradient of the river above Boxley, Arkansas. It is a beautiful float trip for only the most experienced boaters due to limited access for about 20+ miles of Class II to
ocassionally Class IV whitewater. It should not be attempted alone by anyone.

With the river coming up now, this coming weekend may create a chance for EXPERIENCED ONLY boaters.

 

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I have included some photos of a pour-off of Roark Bluff (250-300 feet high), the crossing at Ponca, Arkansas, and one of many harems of Elk nervous about the rising water and contemplating jumping a fence on State Highway 43:

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Alum Cove is a Natural Bridge about 2/3 of the way between Parthenon and Deer in Newton County off Highway 327, AR; about 6 miles south of my home. I made a few daytime trips there last October but never really caught the colors changing the way I have seen them there before. The Natural Bridge is on upper Shop Creek about 7 river miles above Parthenon.

It is well worth the time to view this natural wonder. Bears can be an issue, so you need to check the Arkansas Fish and Game and US Forest Service bulletins. It is an easy hike around a picturesque valley with the Natural Bridge and blued with caves across the Shop Creek valley but there are plenty of places to slip, loose your footing and fall – so use caution hiking; all in all it is about 1.5 miles round trip by a well marked loop.

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This has been a most unusual August !  Seven and one half inches of rain since August 1. We really needed the rain to help refill our water table and that rain has dropped us out of the mild drought category to near normal category, for the year. We got 3 inches in one long train fo thunderstorms on saturday morning. No Severe weather, just moderate rain over several hours, maybe heavy at times. The Buffalo River rose to about 3 feet over the Ponca Bridge by sunday morning (reading an astounding 11 feet), but was floatable from previous rains on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This has not happened in August for 40+ years.

Today, the river has 8″ of airspace at the Ponca Bridge and is floatable for Experts after being closed for a couple of days. I expect the upper Buffalo (Ponca to Kyles) to stay foatable for a week or more; because the water table is primed. Im going to try to get out on the water later this week. All the Boston Mountain streams are floatable; the War Eagle, Kings, Mulberry, and the Piney Creek, and the Illinois Bayou and even Richland Creek and may stay that way for a week or so. It is raining again now and we are expecting 1/2 to 1 inch today and tonight, then a stretch of cool dry weather (highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s) for about 5 days.

Got some grass cutting to do !!!!!!!!

Also; I am Posting a Youtube clip taken Sunday morning of the Buffalo River at the Popnca Bridge (property of the Buffalo Outdoor Center):

 

 

 

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I believe southeastern Newton County and Pope County got a bit more rain (3-4″) the we did here near Parthenon. A Flash Flood Warning was issued for the Richland Creek Campground yesterday afternoon, then more rain came in the evening. I felt that early this morning would be the best time to drive over and check it out. Falling Water Creek was only up about 6 inches at 8 AM; which was a disappointment to me. I expected to see it in flood stage. It was pretty anyway and the azaleas are in bloom at this time:

 

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I made a hike, with my sister, to Kings River Falls over in Madison County last Thursday morning very early. I forget how beautiful Kings River Falls is, now I have visited it at every season (we will call this one winter; even thought it was a beautiful early spring day). Taking Highway 16 to the diminished town of Boston, we turmed north for about 5 miles and worked our way downhill to the Kings River near the old Dripping Springs School House (1921) . The schoolhouse is still on the river bank.  There is a new parking area (about 2 years old for the Kings River Nature Area), enough space for maybe 4 cars. Nice ! The hike is easy and short and well worth every step. From the car to the falls is 1.2 miles; so the loop is 2.4 miles round trip. The trail is nice but full of boulders and water pools in spots due to the previous weekends rain. There has been attention paid to trail erosion in 2 areas with large boulders being set in place.

NOTE: Four major Arkansas Rivers have their origin within 10 miles of this spot. The Mulberry (flows SW), the Buffalo (flows E), the Kings (flows N), and the White (flows NW).

This is also a historic site, being the property of the Williams Family and the Ledbetters before them (1850’s to 1900’s). The original reasidence was burned by bushwackers after the Civil War and has gone through various stages recontruction with new barns and out buildings through the years. There is a nicely built “pioneer wall” alomg the trail. There were a few very early wildflowers in bloom along the trail; trout lillys, johnny jumps-ups, bluets, and spring beauties. Not many yet; just a few scattered around.  The old overhand used as a home, barn, etc., is clearly visible on the hillside this time of the year.

The cascading waterfaill next to the major falls, was flowing much better than I had seen before, but the Kings River was maybe a foot or so lower than last April when I visited. It is really a scenic spot and rates very high on my list of “most loved” hikes. The Kings River enters a shut-in that last about 2 miles starting just upstream from the main falls.

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Kings River Falls

Kings River Falls

Trout Lillys

Trout Lillys

Quad - Up is North

Quad – Up is North

 

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