Monday, August 5, 2013

Sam's Throne

It has been a strange summer so far here in Arkansas. It's actually been somewhat cool outside (or well, not 100 degrees outside). Which is the opposite of last year, where the temperature pretty much parked itself at 105 for most of the months of June, July, August and September. It has been good camping weather, since it's relatively "cool" outside. Unfortunately I've been a bit busy the past few months and hadn't had time to get out into the woods. But I had a recent Friday night free, and it seemed like a perfect chance to get back up into the Ozarks.

It was going to be a cool and rainy day. The high was only supposed to get into the low 90s. So I left work early and cruised out of Little Rock. It rained on me while I drove on the freeway, but the rain slacked off when I hit Hwy. 7 in Russellville. I drove out to Sam's Throne, a campground in the Ozark National Forest near the town of Mount Judea. It is a great spot, one of my favorite spots in the Ozarks. The view from there is outstanding.

I got to the campground and hurried down the short trail to the bluff that overlooks Sam's Throne. The rains from earlier that day created a lot of fog that drifted and danced through the valley below.


The fog wandered between the hills as if it had a life of its own, growing into clouds that drifted among the trees like a river.


The fog swarmed around and swallowed the bluff I was standing on. For a few minutes the fog had reduced all visibility, the view enveloped by an empty gray. And then just as suddenly and quietly, the fog moved on. The mountains beyond again came back into view, reclaimed from the fog.


I hurried to get as many pictures as I could of the fog, careful to not get too close to the edge of the bluff (it's a long fall if you stumble).


And a shot of the fog drifting around Sam's Throne, which is the name given to this particular mountain. The legend is that the mountain is actually named after someone named Sam. Apparently, back in the 1820's, Sam's sister was kidnapped by Indians. He was not too pleased by this, and went up to the top of the mountain and gave fiery sermons that everyone who lived in the valley below could hear. There's no telling if this story is actually true. Legend also says that Sam buried gold on the throne, but no one has found it (yet).


I was out there while the sun was setting. And while the actual sunset was pretty much hidden behind the clouds, it still managed to light up the fog in the valley below. Suddenly, the fog changed color and became purple.



The sun drifted below the hills, but the fog continued to drift and romp through the hills.



It was incredibly beautiful, watching the fog dart among the hills.



I stayed out there taking pictures until it started to get too dark, and then headed back to the campsite.

I am never a big fan of being awake early on Saturdays. But I woke up before dusk the next morning and dragged myself back down to the overlook. There wasn't as much fog as the night before, just a few wispy clouds drifting across the valley below. This is some fog above a small farm. The overlook is far above the farm, but you could clearly hear the roosters waking up.


And some more of the fog drifting across the valley below Sam's Throne.


And one last shot of the fog drifting through the valley below Sam's Throne...


1 comment:

Zack Andrews said...

Man, I should have driven faster and got to Sam's Throne. Great photos, Brian. Especially the multi-layered fog/cloud shots, those are great.