Monday, June 27, 2011

Above the Buffalo


Since the telling of this story has already gone on much longer than the trip itself, I am going to wrap up my review of our camping trip today. After a night in the woods, it was time to head back up to the car. And up, and up. The entire trail back was uphill to some degree or another.

Part-way up the climb we took a short side trip down Goat Trail trail to get a view of the Buffalo from above.  The guide book was full of warnings about how dangerous the trail was, and how any slip would be fatal, and how the author wouldn't and couldn't take any responsibility for any accidents, but how cool the view was and how it was definitely worth the trip.

We decided to take the risk, but to be careful and stay away from any edges (not really much of a problem, since Benjamin gets vertigo in high places, even more so when it is me near the edge). The trail was rather narrow, and there were a couple of places where the going could be considered tricky, but not too dangerous.

And the view was worth the detour. Yes, the river is down there, somewhere. There were hawks gliding around below me, but of course I didn't have my telephoto lens, and they wouldn't hover for me!

There - told you the river was down there. This is upstream from where we camped, and at 10 AM, there were already plenty of floaters visible. Supposedly, from one of the view points, a settler's cabin was visible across the river. I am always amazed at the places people homesteaded in Arkansas - now those places are almost inaccessible, only seen by hikers. Once though, people lived on hillsides, and tried to earn a living and keep themselves fed in places where the soil is thin and rocky, the trees shade out the ground, and neighbors far away.

After a short contemplative interlude, it was back to the main trail and up and out. It was a lovely hike, although my dad would have hated it - he has never liked hiking up, which is why we never went camping in the mountains when I was a kid.

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