Friday, May 3, 2024

Fuzzybutt Falls

There is a song from the band Garbage called "I'm Only Happy When it Rains," which I should have played on my drive up to the Ozarks last weekend. It had indeed started raining as I got closer to the mountains, which made for perfect conditions for visiting and photographing waterfalls.

I met up with my good friend Zack at Falling Water Falls, a scenic little spot along Falling Water Creek. It's probably one of the most popular waterfalls in the state, and I was kinda shocked to see that there wasn't anyone else there. It's rare to drive by here and not see any cars parked along the road. I hurried to get a few pictures while the rain continued to fall.


We then made the drive down the road to the trailhead to Fuzzybutt Falls. Which is a memorable waterfall, not just for its name but for its location. It was still raining as we started the hike, and the woods around us were already saturated. There was standing water on most of the trail, making a sort of creek through the forest. It was quiet out there, except for the raindrops hitting the leaves and the squishy sound of our hiking boots in the mud. The forest was so green and vibrant, like it was a rain forest. New Spring growth encroached on the narrow trail (including lots of poison ivy, always good to watch your step!).


The trail runs by Falling Water Creek, and then turns and enters a box canyon. The canyon isn't that long, but the rock walls seem to tower above you. And at the end of the canyon is Fuzzybutt Falls.


The falls are 16 feet, and empty into a shallow pool of turquoise water.


A strong storm passed over us and heavy rain began to fall. But the high walls of the box canyon provided some great shelter from the rain. We took pictures from every conceivable angle, reluctant to leave. The light and the amount of rain was constantly changing. At one point it got really bright, like the sun was about to break through the clouds. Then it turned dark, almost like the eclipse a few weeks ago. Eventually we just stopped and watched the raindrops hit the water. It was a serene and magical time spent in the woods.



Fuzzybutt Falls gets its wacky name thanks to Tim Ernst, who wrote the Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook and is the best photographer in the state. In nearly all the photos in his waterfall guidebook, he includes a picture of himself standing by the waterfall to help give a sense of scale. But for Fuzzybutt Falls, the picture shows him standing by the falls without clothing. There is a blurry (or fuzzy) bit over his backside, which turned into the name for the waterfall. I refrained from recreating the shot while we were there, but did take out the infrared camera for this view of the box canyon.


And then we headed back to the car. This was the view of the trail with the infrared camera:


It continued to rain as we made it back to the car. It was time for dinner so we drove over to the small town of Witts Spring and got dinner at a place called Hillbilly Slims, which was pretty good. As we were about to leave, I hurried over to get a picture of this neat old tractor.



The rain continued to fall overnight, making perfect conditions for more waterfalls in the Ozarks the next day...

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