Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas

Snow is somewhat rare in Arkansas, especially around Little Rock. I used to get so annoyed when I was younger and snow storms would blow across the state, giving other kids a few days off from school. I don't know what it is about Little Rock, be it the lower elevation or the trapped residual heat stored up in concrete, but it seemed like most snow storms would drift around the city. It was a pain to sit and watch the news in the morning while seemingly every school district in the state was closed, but us poor city kids would have to go in.

But snow on Christmas is even rarer than that. I can think of only a few times that we've had a white Christmas. The most notable was 2000, the year a massive ice storm hit the state on Christmas Day. I was visiting relatives in Charleston that day, and my parents and brother decided to leave early in the hopes of beating the storm back to Little Rock. It didn't quite work out, as inches of freezing rain piled on the cars and made the interstate a complete mess. Accidents on all the freeways in Little Rock closed access to the city, all the bridges over the river were closed due to wrecks. It usually takes two and a half hours to make that drive. In 2000, it took us 13 hours to get home.

But this year, another winter storm hit the state. And per tradition, it didn't do anything in Little Rock besides just rain a lot. But the western and northern parts of the state saw some accumulation. Luckily, I was again in Charleston where about two inches of snow fell. I woke up on Christmas Day and went out in the below-freezing weather to get this shot of the new car in its first snow.

It was sunny, so most of the snow started to melt. Which is good since it didn't make traveling too difficult for people. The only delay in my drive home would be from stopping to take pictures along the way. I wanted to get some good pictures of the snow, and decided to make a quick stop at Longpool, which isn't too far from the freeway at Russellville. But I had left Charleston a bit too late on Saturday, and was quickly running out of time and daylight. I got into Longpool at 4:30, which meant that I would have just about 30-45 minutes of light to get any sort of pictures.

The waterfall at Longpool is just a short hike away. I knew I wouldn't have enough light to see the waterfall, but if I hurried I might be able to get a picture of the small waterfall that sits along the way to the falls. I parked the car, grabbed the camera gear and tripod and began to run along the snowy trail. I am very out-of-shape now (need to do more hiking), so my poor heart was thundering as I made it to the falls. I was thrilled to see plenty of water in the falls, and a nice covering of snow that lingered on the hills. But I realized that I managed to forget the mount that connects the camera to the tripod - it was sitting innocently back in the car. So I had to make do without, trying to balance the camera precariously on the top of the tripod...

I don't think I've seen these falls with this much water flowing through. Which was awesome, except that I only had about 15 minutes of light left. I wish I had time to have gone up to see the main waterfall, which would have been surrounded by icicles. Oh well...

I got back to the car before it got too dark, and continued on towards home. I even made it back in time to unwrap a few more Christmas presents.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hot Springs

I spent a few hours last Saturday working to get stuff ready for the upcoming gallery show, which meant a few hours spent cutting mat and foam boards (with a quick lunch trip to Whole Hog, of course). But I was able to get out and make a trip down to one of my favorite cities in the state - Hot Springs.

I managed to get there with some light left in the day, so I walked around the bathhouses in the National Park as the setting sun cast a warm glow on everything.

Hot Springs is a great city to visit for photography. Some of the best old buildings in the state sit within the city and the National Park. I'm amazed at the history of this city, which went from being a sleepy small town next to a few open springs to one of the premier tourist attractions in the country. In its heyday, Hot Spring was the Las Vegas of its era. Illegal casinos operated across the street from Bathhouse Row, with gangsters joining the crowds there looking to take the baths. I'd love to be able to travel back in time to Hot Springs back in the 1920's or 30's, perhaps rubbing shoulders with Al Capone at the old Southern Club. Sadly, the new car has no flux capacitor included.
The Ozark

As it began to get dark, I headed up to a parking deck just off of Central Avenue. I had an idea for a shot, with a view looking down onto Central Avenue, Bathhouse Row and the old Army and Navy Hospital. I was happy to see that the city was kind enough to put up some Christmas lights along a fountain that leads to Central Avenue, and I stood out there in the cold next to the camera waiting for it to get dark.
Central Avenue
Luckily this is a public parking deck, so no security came out to see what I was doing.

After it got dark, I walked back over to Bathhouse Row and then over to the Arlington Hotel.
The Arlington Hotel has been operating in Hot Springs since 1875. The current hotel was built in 1924, and has been host to people ranging from Franklin Roosevelt to Babe Ruth to Yoko Ono. Al Capone would always stay in room 442, but would always rent out the entire floor for his buddies and bodyguards.

From here you can head up the hill to enjoy a nice view of the Arlington and the city. This was taken just above the display spring, one of the 47 hot springs in the National Park. It was cold out that night - about 39 degrees - and there was a lot of steam rising up in front of the camera when I was trying to take pictures.

I went back down the hill and walked Bathhouse Row again. I stopped at one of the two fountains near the Fordyce Bathhouse. Large amounts of steam were billowing out from the fountain, drifting over me and the camera before drifting off into the night sky.

A bit further down sits the Quapaw Bathhouse, which might be the most recognizable bathhouse because of its distinctive dome. This streetlight here was hitting the leaves on one of the many magnolia trees along Central Avenue.

I took a few more pictures along Bathhouse Row, then went back to the car to warm up. I wanted to hit a few more spots in Hot Springs, one of them being the county courthouse. I drove by and it was decked out in lights. But as I got out of the car, I was saddened to see the camera showing that the battery was low. I got a few shots there that didn't really turn out at all.

From there I went over to the neat old church just a few blocks away, the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. This is a great old church, built in 1908. I went up there to quickly take some pictures before the battery died, standing in the parking lot and getting in the way of annoyed church visitors. I forgot that it was Saturday night and people were probably going there for Mass. Whoops, sorry!

On the way back home I made a quick stop in Benton to see the Saline County Courthouse decked out in its holiday lights. There wasn't much life left in the battery, so I didn't stay out there too long.

But I hope everyone who reads this (all 4 of you!) has a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or a festive whatever!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Foggy Downtown

On Saturday I just happened to be downtown reviewing prints for the upcoming gallery show (January 8th - April 4th at the Historic Arkansas Museum!), when it began to get dark. It was cloudy and a bit rainy, and a thick fog began to descend over the city. Luckily I had the camera with me, so I headed out into the night for a few pictures.

The first stop was on the north side of the river, where I tried to get a shot of the Junction Bridge and the skyline dissolving into the fog. I like this spot to get pictures from, but I'm always annoyed by the giant light on the Little Rock side. What's the use of this bright light that seems to just shine right into the river?
A wee bit foggy

I went back over into Little Rock and drove around a bit, trying to find something else to get a picture of. Every year, the Bank of America building puts up a large Christmas tree light display on three sides of the building. Here is the view, by the intersection of Capitol and Louisiana streets.
Capitol & Louisiana

One other downtown skyscraper with an interesting lighting display is the Metropolitan National Bank Building. It has lights that shine down, which in the fog makes it look like a space ship getting ready for take off. I drove to a parking lot across from the building and got this shot looking up at it. From here, it looks more like the space ship from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" making a landing.
Close Encounters

I drove up to the top of nearby parking deck at the foot of the Regions Building, where I got this shot. I liked the reflection in the side of the Regions Building, and the distant Metropolitan Bank building in the fog...
Space Oddity

I went to another parking deck nearby to get a shot of the Bank of America building again. There was a heavy mist in the air now, which would try very hard to get as much moisture on the front of the lens as possible.

I did spent too long up there and wore out my welcome. A few minutes later the parking deck security guard would drive up and politely ask me to leave.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Capitol Fireworks

One of the best holiday traditions in Little Rock is the annual fireworks show at the state capitol. More than 300,000 lights adorn the walls of the capitol, and they are turned on for the first time as fireworks pop above the building.

I headed out there Saturday night for the show, along with my Aunt and parents. We sat up next to one of the memorials on the edge of the grounds. The spot we chose seemed to be a popular spot, with a few other photographers setting up tripods nearby (including Mike and Karla Hall).
Capitol Fireworks

It was a bit chilly out there, the thermometer in the car said it was about 40 degrees. But after having stood in the cold the night before (when in was in the mid-20s), that seemed downright tropical.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Playoffs: Charleston vs. Fountain Lake

On Friday I took off early from work to make a trip down to Hot Springs for a high school football game. This wasn't just any high school football game - it was the playoffs!

I was there to support Charleston. Now I didn't grow up or attend school in Charleston, but my family is from there and my cousin is on the team. Many Friday nights in the past few years have been spent watching Charleston play. But this game on Friday night would be epic. It seemed much more than a playoff game, it was more like the state finals. Before the game, Charleston was ranked #1 in the conference, while Fountain Lake was ranked #2. It also seemed like the final because the last time these two teams played each was last year, in the state finals.

I drove down to Hot Springs with my Dad and Aunt, and we made a quick stop in town for dinner at King's Chinese Buffet (love that place). The game was to be played at Fountain Lake, which is located just north of Hot Springs along Hwy. 7. We drove past Bathhouse Row and the clouds of steam coming from the springs. It didn't take us long to reach Fountain Lake, and the stadium.

I have to give Fountain Lake credit because they have a neat stadium. The stadium is situated on the top of a hill, and the field is surrounded by trees. While most high school football stadiums seem kinda dull, this one made it seem like you were sitting out in the middle of the woods watching a game. Also, the stadium had good lights, which made taking pictures easier. But I do have to add that the football stadium at my alma mater (North Little Rock High School - go Charging Wildcats!) had an interesting stadium too. There is a Waffle House right next door, so often times the stadium would smell like bacon and waffles.

Before the game, the senior players for Charleston stood on the field to watch the coin-toss. Included in that group is my cousin, #11.

The pre-game spirit line...

It was a bitterly cold night out there. The temperature quickly dropped well below freezing. This was taken in the first quarter, where Charleston would score the first touchdown of the game.

CHS vs. FL



At halftime, Fountain Lake was winning 25-14. And it had gotten even colder. I had long since lost all feeling in my feet, even though I had tried to dress as warm as possible. The players left the field at halftime for either the locker room and/or a makeshift tent on the side of the field, I hurried over to one of the heaters along the sidelines. The heater looked like some sort of jet engine, but it was warm. I stuck a frozen foot there and tried to gain some feeling back in my extremities. That was probably a mistake, since it just made it worse as the cold air came back with a vengeance.

It was so cold out there that I wondered how the game would have been different had it been a bit warmer. I know very little about football, but I think both teams would have scored more had it not been freezing out there. There were no more goals in the second half, and the game ended at 25-14.

CHS vs. FL

It was bad enough standing on the sidelines, I can't imagine what it must have been like for the players. But they tried their best, and neither team gave up until the final whistle.



CHS vs. FL

When the game was over, we drove back into Hot Springs. Along the way, the thermometer in my car showed it to be 24 degrees outside.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

I went into Fort Smith that night with one shot in mind, a view of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at dusk. It is an impressive old church, and it sits in a prominent location that overlooks downtown Fort Smith. It was warm and pleasant that night, and I sat up the camera as church patrons were entering the church for Mass.

I've been inside it just once. Five years ago, I was a groomsman in a wedding there for two of my friends from college. The inside of the church is just as impressive as the outside is. This building was constructed in just 18 months and was dedicated in June of 1899.

I wanted to get a decent shot of the church so that I could give a print of it to my friends as a Christmas present. Now one of my friends is also a photographer, but she is also a fan of good photography, which means she probably doesn't bother looking at this site too much. So I think I'm safe in posting this here and not spoiling the surprise (and if you do see this Will or Jenny, act surprised at least!).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fort Smith

As the day drew to a close last Saturday, I drove into downtown Fort Smith. I wanted to visit the Fort Smith National Historic Site, which I think I've only been to once before. That was probably about 20 years ago, when my Grandpa took me there. We probably made the visit because he was tired of his dumb but adorable grandson calling the city "Fart Smith" all the time.

But the National Historic Site is an interesting place. It is actually the home of two old forts. The first was built in 1817, when this was a lonely outpost on the western border of the US. The fort was built in order to prevent war between the Osage and the Cherokee, who were being forced to move during the Trail of Tears. In 1824, the fort was abandoned and the troops moved deeper into Indian Territory. The first Fort Smith exists now only as a rock wall foundation, the original buildings long ago lost to history.

In 1838, the federal government decided that it wanted another Fort Smith, so construction began on a new fort near the remains of the first fort. Originally planned as a defensive fort, it soon grew into a major supply depot for western exploration. The fort was seized by Confederate troops in 1861, and then by Union troops in 1863. After the war, the government decided that it didn't need the fort anymore, and the buildings became the home of the U.S. District Judge Isaac Parker. The judge was ordered to bring law and order to the unruly frontier, and his justice led to his nickname as the "Hanging Judge." Over 160 outlaws were hung on the gallows (a recreation of which sits next to the parking lot). Inside the building here is the judge's courtroom and the old jail, called "Hell on the Border."

The flagpole here is a supposed to look like the flagpole that stood back in the 1800s. In forts like this, flagpoles were meant to stand high up in the air, so that they'd be visible from a distance. In order to do this, the flagpoles were built like the masts on a ship. The flag here is flying with 37 stars.

The setting sun was casting a nice warm glow on the old buildings, and sending long shadows across the ground. I didn't go inside the museum here (since it was about to close and it costs $4). But I did have a nice walk along the grounds.

As the light faded in the sky, I randomly drove through downtown Fort Smith. The city does have a nice collection of old buildings. I pulled over at the Sebastian County Courthouse for a few shots. There is a slight rosy glow from the last rays of the setting sun hitting the old building.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Buds For You

Western Arkansas has some important and noteworthy landmarks. There is the Fort Smith National Historic Site, the towering views from Mount Magazine, and of course, the giant beer can silo.
This Buds For You

The silo is on a working ranch, in the small town of Lavaca (east of Ft. Smith on Hwy. 22). The silo was painted in the 1970s, and was used in a Budweiser commercial. Someone actually figured that the silo would hold approximately 8,734,902 fl. oz. of beer. Unfortunately, there really isn't any beer in there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Big Rock and Little Rock

Now is the time of year when most landscape photographers go into a state of hibernation. The fall colors have faded away and are mostly now just laying all along the ground. I haven't managed to make it out into the woods for a few weeks now, and all of my picture taking have been around downtown Little Rock. After work yesterday, I met up again with Windy Richardson for some shots downtown.

We first decided to make a few stops at the Big Rock, which is a low hill along the Arkansas River in North Little Rock. The Big Rock was noticed by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe in 1722, who called the hill “Le Rocher Français” or "French Rock" (or I guess Freedom Rock nowadays). Le Harpe is also the guy who called a nearby smaller outcrop along the Arkansas River "little rock," a name that stuck around. And here's an amusing story (and sorry this is becoming a history lesson), but when the French explorers were sailing up the Arkansas River, Native Americans told them of a massive green rock along the river. The explorers thought that it must be a massive jewel-encrusted rock (which makes them seem a bit gullible). They must have been dissapointed to make it to the Big Rock to find that the large green rock they had been dreaming about was just a bluff with trees on it. But that story is the basis for the name of Emerald Park, atop Big Rock in North Little Rock.

The hill, which has a 200-foot tall bluff along the river, eventually became known as Big Rock. Settlers moved into the area in the early 1800s, but there weren't many since the north side of the river is lower than the Little Rock side and flooded often. A quarry began operation in 1849, which cut out a huge chunk of the Big Rock. The area where the quarry worked is now part of Emerald Park. In 1870, an orchard and vineyard were in operation on Big Rock, and then in 1887 the Mountain Park Hotel opened as a summer resort. All of this land was taken over by the federal government in 1893, and Fort Roots would officially open in 1897.

Many of the century-old buildings still stand at Fort Roots, which is now boringly called the "North Little Rock Regional Office of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System." It's the home of the VA hospital, but it is also home to one of the best views of downtown Little Rock. It can be a bit tricky getting shots, since security guards will quickly kick you out if you're caught. Since it is now a hospital, no photography is allowed out of concern for patient privacy.

So we kinda snuck up there to get some shots, and luckily weren't busted by security. It is a beautiful spot to overlook the city, with dusk quickly and silently settling in.

After that we drove into downtown Little Rock. I had an idea for a shot involving the Robinson Center Music Hall, but it didn't quite work out right. On the way back to the car, we walked by the Pulaski County Courthouse and decided to stop for a few shots. This is a view looking up at the courthouse and the Stephens Building. The streaks in the road are actually from a Little Rock police car, the driver studying us as he drove by to determine if we were up to no good. He must not have been sure or not, since he circled the block and drove by us one more time...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Centre Place

I had a few hours to kill before going to watch the MLS Cup last night, so I drove through downtown Little Rock trying to find something to take pictures of. I stopped and walked around The Old State House, then drove around the state capitol, and then puttered up and down the mostly empty streets. But I stopped at a parking lot in front of one of my favorite buildings in Little Rock, and decided that it was the perfect night to get a shot of it.

That building is the Centre Place building, which is located along Center Street. It's an interesting building - about twelve stories tall but very narrow. It's an old building, but I wasn't able to find out much about its history online. It isn't listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and none of the websites about history in Little Rock mention the building (at least that I saw).

But the old Centre Place building has somehow managed to still stand against Little Rock's tireless efforts to tear down historic buildings. The building now stands tall among parking lots, which were empty that night. But it was in one of those parking lots where I set up the camera while waiting for dusk to fall.
In the background is the old Federal Courthouse, which was built between 1876 and 1881.

My choice for a shooting location left me a bit exposed - I was just standing in the middle of a parking lot. I just knew some sort of crazy or homeless person would walk by to ask for money. Which, luckily enough, that didn't really happen. A few people did walk by along the sidewalk just a few feet from me, but didn't bother the weirdo next to the camera.

Just as it was nearly dark, I saw two guys riding bikes down Third Street. They were heading west in the eastbound lane of traffic, one of them doing a wheelie as he traveled down Third. They both turned and then went up Center Street (the wrong way down a one-way street), but then eventually came back to where I was standing. They both rolled up to where I was standing, one coming a bit too close to careening into the tripod. He looked at the camera, and asked me the required question for whenever someone is spotted with a camera: "So you taking pictures?"

I said that yup, that was what I was indeed doing. He then asked, "of what?" I told him I was taking pictures of the building across the street, and he looked off with a long gaze towards the Centre Building. He was quiet for a few seconds, and then proceeded to tell me that "I've never been good at taking pictures. I see stuff like this and it looks like sh-t, but when I see pictures of it, it looks great." Which I guess is a compliment. With that, he and his friend stoically looked back towards the Centre Building as if they were gazing at the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore for the first time, and pedalled off.

But just a few seconds later he was back. He asked me if I knew anything about the history of the building. He turned out to be a good tourguide. He said he had done some work on the inside and that there was a sign with a short history. I can't remember the specifics now, but he said that the frame was built sometime before 1910, but money ran out and it sat incomplete for a few years. Finally some money was found and about nine floors were built. A few years later, two more floors were added. And then in the 1960's, the final floor was added on. I thanked him for the history lesson and they rode off into the sunset.

And here is one last shot of the building. On the right is the Pyramid Building - another old building (also built around 1910 or so). The very top of the Stephens Building (built in the 1980s) towers over it.

My good friend John, who works almost in the shadow of the Centre Place building, helped out some with the building's history. When it was built, it was actually called the Union Life Building. It was built in 1917 in the Chicago architectural style. The building was indeed added onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

I should also add that Dave's Place, a restaurant in the small one-story building attached to Centre Place, is awesomely good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little Rock National Cemetery

I went out to take pictures last Saturday, and just randomly drove around Little Rock. In the afternoon, I stopped at the Little Rock National Cemetery to have a look around. Here's a shot from that trip, in honor of Veteran's Day:
Little Rock National Cemetery

I have seen a lot of pictures from here (which are much better than this one), but it is something to see those endless lines of markers, all lined up in such perfect precision. There were several graves of unknown soldiers there, sitting at rest beneath massive oak trees. Although the cemetery is located in the middle of the city, it was quiet there save the muffled rustling of fallen leaves.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Last Thursday it poured down rain. Some parts of Central Arkansas received almost four inches of rain during the course of the day. While I did curse the rain during the longer than usual commute to work (drivers tend to freak out when they have to turn their windshield wipers on), I was eagerly awaiting a weekend spent looking at waterfalls. I tried to think of a few places that would have both some lingering fall color, and waterfalls. But that nasty storm system that dumped so much rain quickly moved on, which meant that it was bright and sunny all weekend. This was good for Trick-or-Treaters, but awful for waterfall photography.

I just gave up and stayed home. It ended up being a productive day. I needed to get a print made, so I met up with my friend John in downtown Little Rock. We ended up visiting a few different places around town, in search of some nice fall color. This was taken along Second Street, looking up at the Stephen's Building.
There were window washers out on the building that afternoon, and they were quickly seen dropping down the side of the skyscraper.

We got in the car and visited a few other places. The trees at the Clinton Library weren't all that impressive. We moved on to MacArthur Park and the old Arsenal Building. This is one of the oldest buildings in Little Rock, and it has a huge lawn with several towering old trees around it.

I don't think the fall colors around Little Rock were as impressive as the colors up in the Ozarks this year, perhaps because of all the recent rain. Apparently fall colors depends on some top-secret and complicated formula that involves sunny weather and varying amounts of rainfall. Too much or too little, and things turn out to be a bit lackluster. Or something like that - that big storm probably knocked most of the colorful leaves off the trees before they had a chance to shine.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pinnacle Mountain

The office that I work out is located far out on the western fringe of suburban Little Rock. The location isn't great when you are battling rush hour traffic every day (especially if its rainy and people forget how to drive). But the office is awesome because it's just seven miles from the parking lot at work to the parking lot at the base of Pinnacle Mountain. It only takes about ten minutes to drive out there, and it's a nice place to visit on lunch breaks.

So last week, I left for lunch and drove out to Pinnacle. It was pouring down rain, and the low hills around Pinnacle were shrouded in fog. My first stop was to see if the picnic area and trails at the base of the mountain were open. The area is susceptible to flooding, and we had a lot of rain lately. But I was surprised to see the area was open, and I was not surprised to not see another person out there.

I decided to walk the Kingfisher Trail, holding a small umbrella that didn't do much to keep out the rain. Other than that, it was a pleasant hike - not counting the parts of the trail that were under a few inches of water. Quickly the trail curves around and runs alongside the Little Maumelle River. The water was high and muddy, quickly flowing past the tall cypress trees along the bank.

And a view of Pinnacle Mountain itself, by the parking lot for the trail. The fog and rain really did help saturate the fall colors out there.

It was time to head back to the office, unfortunately, so I drove back to the cubicle at work. None of my co-workers seemed to notice my muddy shoes and soaked clothes that afternoon...

Monday, November 2, 2009

White Rock Mountain

It has been an odd autumn in Arkansas this year. We have had record-breaking rain (in fact, October was one of the wettest months ever in Little Rock). The large amount of rain dampened the fall colors a bit, the oak trees here are just turning to a stagnant brown instead of changing into a more pleasant color. But the past few weeks have seen some great fall color up in the Ozarks.

I woke up a few weeks ago in Charleston, after my cousin's high school football game. I was in the western part of the state, and had some great places all around me to go and visit. There were some other photographers meeting up at Petit Jean that weekend. But since I was so close by, I decided to drive up and visit White Rock Mountain, a neat spot in the Ozark National Forest.

White Rock Mountain is located northwest of the city of Ozark. But the best way there, which has the least amount of dirt roads, is to travel up north from Mulberry. So I set out and headed up the road from Mulberry, only to misread the directions and turn around since I thought I had missed the turn (a shame, since I'd been that way a few times before). I drove back to the freeway, then re-read the guidebook in a confused manner, realized my mistake and sheepishly drove back up north.

From the Mulberry exit on I-40, you drive about 12 miles north to a turn-off that leads to Shores Lake. But once you get to Shores Lake, the road turns to dirt and gets much more bumpier. The Forest Service has done some work recently to improve the road, but you still have to drive really slow through parts to avoid some rocks and gullies in the road. My new car was covered in dirt after the trip, a coating that even all of the rain we had last week failed to clean off the car.

This is a view of some of the fall color along the road up to the mountain:

At the top of the mountain, I was surprised that it wasn't all that crowded. Everyone else must have been at the Buffalo River - I heard reports of sixty cars parked along the dirt road at the Hawksbill Crag trailhead that weekend. From the main parking area it's just a short walk to one of the most popular views on the mountain.

There are several miles of trails that go along the top of White Rock Mountain. I followed one for a bit, that goes along the edge of a tall bluff. This is the view looking down into the Ozark Mountains.
And a reminder - if you visit here, be very careful. The trails run right alongside the bluffs, so mind the edge.

I hiked along the bluff for a bit, and decided it was time to head back home. The drive back down the mountain added a new layer of dirt to the car. But it also provided for a few more stops to see more of the fall color. This was a particularly vibrant stretch of trees alongside the road.

A few other people drove by and looked out in appreciation of the fall colors. One person was standing up in the car, her head and shoulders rising up through a car's sunroof. She had a camera pointed out, and she had a big smile on her face.