Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Big Creek

Last weekend I met Matt in Conway and we drove up into the Ozarks to explore a scenic area in the Ozark National Forest. The area was around a place called Big Creek. Now the creek there wasn't all that big, but there was some neat places to explore.

After turning off Hwy. 7, we drove down a dirt road and eventually set up camp next to the dirt road that leads into the Big Creek area. This has so far been an unusually warm Spring in Arkansas. But it turned out to be a chilly night. Up in the hills, the temperature dropped down into the low 40s.

And at 6am on Saturday morning, we woke up in the cold and began to make our way toward Big Creek. I'm not usually a fan of being awake at insane times like 6am, but I made a sacrifice that day because it looked like it would be a sunny day. The plan was to hike to the waterfalls there, and have enough time to take pictures of the creek before the sun came out.

After hiking about a mile, we hit the first of many scenic spots. A spring was flowing out through a cave in the bluff, dropping through several cascades that were surrounded by thick moss.
You can actually go into the cave here...

Just around the bend is a 29 foot-tall waterfall that drops out of a small cave. It was a very neat place. Especially since the cave is spring-fed. So even though we haven't had much rain lately, there was a nice amount of water in the falls.

From there we hiked down to the creek. You can definitely tell that it's Spring now. It seemed like the entire floor of the woods was coated in a thick layer of poison ivy. I'm amazed that as I write this a few days after our visit, that I'm not covered in a rash from the poison ivy. I mean we pretty much slogged through a jungle of the stuff. If you could somehow turn poison ivy into gasoline, and therefore make it into a cash crop, then Arkansas would be as rich as Qatar.

The creek also had some nice small waterfalls on it. So we hurried to get a few pictures of it before the sun came up.


The sun was just about to bust onto the shot, so we took a few last pictures of the creek before heading back to camp.

After breaking camp, we drove down the bumpy and dusty dirt road and eventually met back up with Hwy. 7. We drove north to Jasper and had just enough time to get breakfast at the Ozark Cafe. I had the pancakes, and they were delicious.

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