Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tyler Bend, Silverhill, AR May 6-12

This is the river access point at Gilbert, AR. Usually you can drive down where the water is because it is a large sandbar. There you unload the kayaks and prepare to float the river. But not today. The river was about 16 feet above flood stage and at 12 feet above they close the river. They expect the river to crest at about 18-20 feet above flood stage. Hopefully it will go down quickly once the rain stops.

The Buffalo River above flood stage.

The town of Gilbert consists of a restuarant which is only open on weekends, a general store which is also a river outfitter, a post office, several bed and breakfasts and a few private residences. But I loved this sign.

Here we are several days later at Tyler Bend river access point, getting ready to float down the river. Once the rain stopped the river dropped quickly, like 5-6 feet overnight. Today it is still about 8 feet above flood stage and it is recommended that only experienced floaters get on the water. We had no problems and I thought the river was actually easier to navigate than normal because of the high water.

Since south Texas, I have seen more goats than I had previously in my entire life. I started wondering what do people do with all these goats? I've never seen goat meat for sale in the stores (although I do know from personal experience that goat meat is edible and not too bad), most are not angora goats so there is no hair for goat wool, I pondered....

Then while driving around Yellville, AR, I saw this sign. Yes, it looked familiar. I've seen that sign on cans of goat milk sold in the store. So, maybe all these goats are being milked for commercial use. This goat milk processing plant shows it has been there since 1934.

Of course we found someplace to hike. At the campground there is an old homestead. We actually hiked over a mile from the campground just getting to the trailhead here. I believe in all we hiked around 4 miles this day.

As you can see some still had raincoats on. I believe it has rained some every day for the past several weeks. I wish the sun would come out.....

The trail leads along the bluffs above the Buffalo River.

We found this old tree along the bluff. One of the limbs actually sticks out over the bluff, but no one was brave enough to go out on it. But we did perch on it for the picture.

Waiting for the rain to stop and river to go down, one day we headed to Lost Valley about 50 miles west. Lost Valley is located at the west or upper Buffalo River. Along the way we stopped at a place just south of Jasper. I believe every state has some place that they try to claim is the 'grand canyon of......'

It was a beautiful view. We climbed up a tower to overlook the entire area. But 'Grand Canyon of Arkansas'? I think that is stretching it a bit.

Down the road was a restuarant which was recommended for the view, not necessarily the food. No tables on the deck, but we did come out after lunch just to sit a while.

Looking straight down from the deck was this little creature scurrying along the logs. Actually there were several enjoying the sunny weather.

We are at the start of Boxley Valley, where Lost Valley is located. This is the original home of 'Beaver' Jim Villines. His father, William, built this home in 1850. Jim moved across the road and built his own home in 1880 after he married. This home was utilized in some fashion through the 1940s. The last use was as a barn.

We had to hike across the road to see 'Beaver' Jim's farm.

His home was occupied by his family until the 1940s when it was finally abandoned. There was also a barn, a cellar (which was full of water from all the rain), another storage shed and of course, the outhouse.

Finally, our destination. I had visited this place back in the 1970s, while on a vacation. Camped here before it was even a National Scenic River area. All I remembered was it was a pretty place with a cave and a waterfall in the cave.

This is along Clark Creek. Clark creek only runs about 3 miles but has a wide variety of formations along the way. This water fall has eaten its way about 50 feet through the limestone creating a natural bridge.

The water cascades down 170 feet creating Eden Falls.

Above the falls is the entry to Eden Falls Cave.

Here we are entering the cave. Several of us braved the cave by crawling a distance to arrive at the interior cave. Yes we are on our hands and knees.

Here are a few of us inside the interior cave. It is located about 200 feet from the entrance. It has a 35 foot waterfall, hence the spots on the picture. But because of the darkness, the flash just wouldn't illuminate the waterfall. I was initially not going to crawl in because of my fear of small places, but yet, I really wanted to see the waterfall again (I crawled in here over 35 years ago). Nancy, who is next to me, egged me on, and together we crawled back to the cave. Thanks Nancy. I never would have done it without your encouragement.

Here are the 7 of us who crawled inside.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania isn't much either.