After leaving Kings River Falls, we drove off towards Boxley Valley. We had just been here a few weeks before, so neither Zack or I were really planning to stop (especially since we were looking forward to lunch at the Ozark Cafe). But we ended up stopping by this old barn, which just happened to have some of Boxley Valley's resident trumpeter swans strolling past.
Zack pulled over to the side of the road, and I went to get my camera out from the backseat of his car. I thought to myself, "I wonder how long it'll be until someone else stops here to take pictures?" I was about to make that comment to Zack, until I turned around and saw that there was already someone else there taking pictures.
We drove a bit further down the road, before stopping yet again. This time it was to get some shots of the elk that call Boxley home.
The road here was lined with cars that had pulled over to see the elk - which were just off in the field eating grass. One of the elk here seems a bit weary of the paparazzi hanging out, photographing her every move...
We quickly drove through the rest of Boxley, and headed towards Jasper. Once there we joined about thirty bikers for a nice lunch at the Ozark Cafe. The potato salad I had with my lunch was delicious, by the way.
After a satisfying meal, we drove to the east along Hwy. 123. Our destination was Sam's Throne. Located in the Ozark National Forest, Sam's Throne provides some dramatic views of the Ozark Mountains. It is also a hugely popular spot for mountain climbers as well. I think Zack's car was one of only two cars there with Arkansas plates, the rest were from out-of-towners. There are several climbing areas at Sam's Throne, all with names like "The Outback," "Northern Exposure," "Hero Maker," "Valley of the Blind" and "Deliverance." I know any attempt of rock climbing would result in a certain long and tragic fall, so I'll leave all that stuff to the pros.
There are a few miles of trails at Sam's Throne, but we were short on time and only walked the short and level trail to the main overlook there. This shot was taken along the way there.
Sam's Throne is actually named after someone named Sam. Back in the 1820s, there was a local man named Sam Davis. He claimed that his sister had been kidnapped by Indians, which made him a bit angry. He would then climb out onto the rocky outcrop and give fiery sermons to all of his neighbors within earshot (much to their displeasure, I'm sure). Legend also has it that Sam buried some gold on Sam's Throne. But people have been searching for it in the 160 years since then and not found anything (that we know of!).
The view from the main overlook:
And the view looking towards Sam's Throne.
And one last shot of the nice view from up there:
I managed to lose the lens cap to my camera up there. So if you're ever at Sam's Throne and notice an Olympus lens cap lying on the ground, please let me know!