Sections 7 & 8 plus the Buffalo River Trail
Resources – Ozark Highlands Trail Guide by Tim Ernst, Cloudland.net publishers
This is perhaps the best trail guide we have ever used. The maps were so complete that we did not buy a separate map. This is the only trip for which this is true. The map has distances between significant land marks.
Web - http://www.hikearkansas.com/oht_map.html
We flew into
Shuttle was prearranged with
Shuttle And Half Day Hike –
We were walking by . It rained lightly. We found the actual OHT after a few minutes of reviewing the book/map. This is a walk in the woods. We stopped on a fallen log for lunch and found our first ticks. Took a break next to a stream. Found more ticks. We saw a snake, a few squirrels but few birds today. We had done 5.5 miles by . We first stopped next to a small creek but Jerry walked on and found a nicer spot near a larger stream in Greenhaw Hollow.
We heard a 2 cycle motor vehicle, dogs and a shot was fired. Don’t know more than that but that was enough to fuel a few imagined scenarios. We ate a very good teriyaki steak with rice dinner. Jerry made a fire and we solved three 5 Minute Mysteries and answered 50 trivia questions. We wanted to sleep under the stars but we could feel the dew forming. We put our sleeping bags under or in plastic. Condensation formed and we had damp sleeping bags by morning.
To Falling Water Creek –
We ended at a river near a bridge where roads 1219 and 1205 cross Falling Water Creek. We found a nice level rock shelf jutting into the river. We made 9 miles today. Ate stroganoff for dinner but we could have eaten a bit more tonight. It rained twice during the night. Jerry joined Norm in the tent during the first rain. When it stopped he went back out. When it started again, he just put his sleeping bag and himself into a construction sized plastic bag. He had his rain jacket on already. The plastic bag on his pack blew off, so much of his stuff was damp. Having the tent on the rock turned out to be a poor idea since the water pooled around and under the tent.
Richland Creek Campground –
It had tables, a water pump and an outhouse. We planned to use the afternoon to visit the
Beyond Stack Rock Trailhead –
We had been expecting dogwoods in bloom. Saw our first today. Also saw thousands of trillium just about to open up. Saw lots of May Apples. We got confused once in the afternoon. On a jeep road we got to a place where the road goes left and right. Fortunately we guessed which way to go correctly and double luckily the trail crossed our road. I believe we should have left the road onto a trail sooner. Originally we intended to stop at Stack Rock but there is no water, so we went on about a mile and found the best spot of the trip. Water down the hill to the right and the foundation and chimney to an old cabin to the left. We were done for the day at about . We could see smoke rising through the trees in the direction we would be going the next day. Not what we wanted to see. We had beef stew for dinner. It was pretty good. We solved all three of the mysteries we tried. It got down to about 40 degrees. Jerry slept out by the fire.
We reached the last source of water for this stretch of trail much too early to stop so we decided to press on to the
Buffalo River Trail –
We heard thunder soon after we awoke. We hustled to get all our stuff packed so it would stay dry. The rain started before Norm could get his long johns off. Fortunately, at least, he had slept in his rain pants. We put our slickers on and covered our packs with plastic bags and ate breakfast standing in the rain. The rain stopped for about 20 minutes, just long enough to take a nature call and then we headed up the trail. I do mean up. The trail immediately heads up the side of the bluff on some wooden steps and hugs the side of the bluff for miles. It started raining again. We stopped only briefly and we didn’t even snack or take pictures. When it’s raining, the only thing left to do is just walk. There were some nice views back down to the
After dinner we tried the 5 Minute Mysteries again. First one stumped us but we got the second one. Norm got so cold he just wanted to get into his sleeping bag. Strangely, it seemed to get warmed through the night and we both took off layers of clothes. We heard owls and coyotes.
Back to the Car –
Under the category of “nothing is ever easy” we found a sign on the door. “Went to St. Joe” with a phone number. No one was there and our car was locked inside the fence. We had no cell phone so Jerry walked back down the hill a hundred yards to another outfitter/store and called the number from the sign. No answer. The fellow at the store figured out what Jerry was trying to do, knew where our guy was and suggested a different phone number. Jerry got through on this number and our guy was back by the time Jerry walked back. We had lunch at