I'm been a bit lazy and haven't gotten around to posting pictures on here for a very long time. But I did take out the ol' camera last weekend, so if you'd like, here are some of the shots! Yipee!
Now if you've become as big of a dork as I have for taking pictures, there are certain conditions that get you a bit excited, especially for waterfall pictures. To take good waterfall pictures, you need a few things:
(a) Lots of water (obviously)
(b) cloudy weather.
Last Saturday was a perfect day. It stormed and rained the day before (in fact it stormed so hard it knocked the power off at work, which I thought was amusing). Plus it was overcast the next day...you couldn't ask for anything better than that. So on the spur of the moment I decided to head on up to the hills on Saturday, along with my cousin Patty who was happy to get away from being a Mom for a day. My initial plan was to wake up dreadfully early in the morning (8:00!) which is crazy early to me. I needed to get some stuff done on my car, which would probably be a good thing to do before driving a few hundred miles up into the mountains. It ended up taking longer than I thought, including several hours sitting around in the waiting room watching bad cartoons (something about a dragon, VeggieTales, etc). Finally, after noon everything was done and we were on our way...
The first stop was at Falling Water Falls, a little waterfall north of Russellville along the aptly named Falling Water Creek. The falls are located right off the side of a dirt road, so they are amazingly easy to get too. The only downside was the number of scary-looking rednecks out there.
When the water is high people will go kayaking over these falls. People are crazy.
After Falling Water Falls we drove north up to the Buffalo River. It was a long drive but worth it. One odd thing about the drive was that there were hardly any green leaves on the trees. It was almost like Spring stopped as soon as you got high into the mountains. Apparently, in the cold snap last week it got below freezing and the cold killed off all the leaves. It was like driving around in the middle of January instead of April.
There was a bit of green at Lost Valley though -
Lost Valley is a great little hiking trail. It is short - only about 2.5 miles long. It is relatively easy, the first half is level and the last half has some hills to climb but nothing as bad as Pinnacle Mountain or the Cedar Falls Trail. And the trail goes to tons of neat things - a natural bridge, tall bluffs, huge trees, waterfalls, and a cave that has a 35 foot tall waterfall inside of it. Pretty neat.
The first really neat area is the natural bridge, which really isn't that much of a bridge. It's really just a cave where the creek pours through the hillside into a neat pool:
When the water isn't as high you can actually climb up into the cave and look around. There are some neat formations and stuff growing along the wall in there.
The trail continues on past the natural bridge and soon goes right up under Cobb Cave. The cave is right under this huge bluff:
It was named Cobb Cave because some people found old remnants of corn cobs which are thought to have been left by some Native American tribes. They must have thought it was a neat place, because the cave has a nice view of Eden Falls, probably one of the neater waterfalls in the state:
The falls are awesome, but it is hard to catch it when it was a decent amount of water flowing through.
It's been a few years since I've been to Lost Valley, but last time when I was trying to get a shot of Eden Falls someone walked up and asked me if I happened to have seen anything dark go over the waterfall. Turns out he had dropped his camera up by the cave and it went downstream. He did eventually find it at the pool at the bottom of the falls. Poor guy, don't think the camera was waterproof or falling on rocks-proof either.
Since it was getting dark we skipped the upper falls and cave and headed back to the car. But we did get to stop at one last scenic area, this little area called Moss Falls, which is where some water falls over lots of moss...
Then it was a long drive back home, but not getting to bump into (almost literally) the herd of elk that live in Boxley Valley. They were actually crossing the road next to the Buffalo River, which was kinda neat since I'd never actually been that close to them.
The next day seemed like a good day to go to a baseball game (why not?), so we went to a game at the new baseball stadium in North Little Rock...
As much it hurts to say it since ol' Ray Winder was abandoned so that this park could be built - but the place is awesome. It is actually a big improvement over Ray Winder, mostly for the skyline view. There will have to be some kinks to be worked out, but it was a pretty good game. The Travs even won, 9-3.
These were all taken at the game...
The shot below is a bit funny because the right fielder completely missed the ball, which most of the people in the stands around us let out a sympathetic groan. Not all of them, though. A few people sitting near us, which was along the first base line and within hearing distance of the guy, yelled out "YOU SUCK!" The player didn't say or do anything, of course, but someone in the crowd must have felt sorry for him because she encouragingly yelled out: "Good job!" I'm sure it made him feel better.
Not too long after that, though, there was a foul ball that zoomed by on the ground by the fence. All the people in the section were yelling for the guy, who was told that he sucked just a few minutes earlier, to give them the ball. Surprisingly he did, tossing it into the stands a few rows behind where I was sitting. Of course, there were some younger girls behind us who screamed as the ball came towards them, which gave the people sitting around us something else to laugh at. The view wasn't that awesome of the game from there (the cheap seats), so we got up and moved to a section closer to home base...
This was taken right before this guy hit a home-run, you can see the ball barely, it's on the right side of the brown folding chair that is sitting outside of the fence. The Travs won the game 9-3, which included them scoring 7 runs in one inning...
So at the end of the weekend it was a few hundred miles on the car and one tank of gas gone, but I didn't manage to lose my camera down a waterfall or get hit by a foul ball, so I guess it turned out ok in the end....