Monday, October 31, 2011

Sam's Throne

I asked for a few days off from work last week, in the hopes that my time off would coincide with the fall colors up in the Ozarks. It's always a crap-shoot when asking for time-off during the autumn season. There's no telling when the trees will decide to show off their best color. You just have to hope that luck is on your side and the trees are at their peak.

But Zack Andrews got the same time-off from his work, and we made plans to head up to the mountains. Hopefully, the trees up there would cooperate with our schedules. It has been really dry around here, and people were questioning if we would even have decent fall colors, after the long drought of the summer.

So on Wednesday morning, I met up with Zack in Conway and we headed up to the Ozarks. As we drove up in the mountains, the fall colors got more and more spectacular. This is a view of a hillside near Lurton:

We had planned to camp at Sam's Throne, an awesome overlook in the Ozark National Forest. We got to the campground there and quickly got everything set up. Then we headed down to the overlook and ended up taking a ton of pictures. The view is great, as were the fall colors...


We headed over to the main overlook, which provides views of the "Sam's Throne" mountain. According to local legend, it was actually named after someone named Sam. Sam Davis, to be exact. Back in the 1820's, he apparently went out onto the mountain here and gave some fiery sermons. He also is said to have buried gold out there somewhere, but people haven't been able to find it in the decades since.

But the views looking out towards Sam's Throne were awesome, especially with some nice fall color in the trees...


Sam's Throne has become known as a good spot for rock-climbing. But I think I'm more happy with enjoying the view from the edge of the bluff.

After taking a bunch of pictures of the view at Sam's Throne, we decided to head back to the car. We went and drove around Mount Judea, stopping at a few different places. This was a barn that we drove by...

We headed back to our campsite at Sam's Throne, and enjoyed a nice campfire. I was a bit annoyed that the campsite here had amazing scenery, but no good phone or internet connection. My favorite soccer team, FC Dallas, was set take part in a playoff game that night against New York. But since we were deep in the woods of the Ozarks, there was no way to follow the game. I would later find out that my favorite team lost the game 2-0, so it sounds like I didn't miss much.

But early Thursday morning, we woke up early and headed back out to the overlook to Sam's Throne. Our hope was that there would be some cool fog drifting along the mountains at the overlook. There wasn't - in fact there was a storm cloud moving closer to us. We sat and watched as a huge cloud formed and gathered in the valley below us. It quickly moved up to Sam's Throne, dropping a few bolts of lightning. One of those lightning bolts hit Sam's Throne, which made both of us jump. Zack turned to look at me and ask, "are we still alive?"

The lightning was a little close for comfort, so we both agreed it was probably wise to head back to the car. Along the way, the storm cloud moved over us and it started pouring down rain. The rain would last for nearly the entire day, but we ended up getting some good fall color pictures in the drenching conditions.

Up next, pictures from a few stops along the Buffalo River....


Amy said...

I just stumbled upon your blog when I googled for pecan trees near Keo, and I just wanted to say wow, your pictures are absolutely amazing!

Cormackphotos said...

Thanks Amy!