Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow in the Ouachitas

I'm not traditionally a fan of mornings, so I wasn't too happy to meet up with Matt and Zack. It was well before sunrise, long before any sane person should be awake on a weekend. But we were heading out into the Ouachita Mountains, which still had a few inches of snow from the recent storm. It was painfully early, but I was happy to get a few pictures of the snow before it melted. Especially since this will probably be our last bout of winter weather for awhile.

So we drove west from Little Rock, and eventually hit the Ouachita National Forest. The roads were mostly clear of ice and snow in the city, but here there were still a few slick patches. When we turned onto the Winona Scenic Drive, the road was a solid sheet of ice. I was glad I wasn't driving, since my car struggled to get up a small incline in the snow a few days before.


There were several downed trees along the road that we had to drive around, the pines and oaks bent under the weight of the ice and snow. There were a few tire tracks on the road, so someone else was crazy enough to drive out there.


After a few miles, we were blocked by a large tree that had toppled across the road. It was too big to move, so we had to turn back. The other tire tracks, we noticed, reached this same point and also turned around. It was still amazingly beautiful out there, the woods were coated with snow and shrouded by a thick fog.




One last shot from along the Winona Scenic Drive...


We got back onto paved roads and went to visit a nearby lake. It had gotten above freezing, and the snow was melting. Huge chunks were sliding off the trees and crashing onto the frozen lake.

No swimming that day...

This is along the fence by the lake...


We drove further on, and I was surprised to see a few other people out driving around too.


We did a lot of driving, so there are a lot of snowy road shots from this trip...


We decided to visit a nearby waterfall. There aren't many waterfalls in the Ouachitas, and this one is really more of a small cascade. It is not considered to be a very beautiful or noteworthy waterfall, in fact the Tim Ernst waterfall guidebook says it "will be a big disappointment to most waterfall chasers." But since we were nearby we drove to the falls. After dodging more fallen trees on the road, we made the short hike to the falls. It definitely isn't the most exciting waterfall, but the snow did add a nice touch. This is Brown Creek Cascade:


After we headed back to Little Rock. I wanted to stop along the way to get a shot of a small covered bridge that I found while looking around on Google Maps. It's right outside of the city, actually only about ten minutes from where I work.


And one more waterfall shot. This was taken near the covered bridge, and we couldn't resist stopping for a few more shots.


After that it was time to head home. I was looking forward to taking a nice nap after dragging myself out of bed so early.

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