On a cold Saturday afternoon--the wife was working and Jake and I were bored, so we decided to take a road trip.
We had water and snacks and a half a tank of gas, and hopes of finding somewhere we'd never been.
I actually had a plan--Dripping Springs aka Natural Falls near Siloam Springs Arkansas, but just this side of the Ark/Okla state line.
We paid a day fee, which was cheap, and headed off to see what there was to see. I didn't really know how many miles of trailz there were, but was hoping for 6-8 miles. I had asked the lady in the park toll booth where the trail head was, and got some unclear directions, but headed towards the general direction to which she motioned. We were treated to an early hill. Bueno!
At the top we found a trail sign. This area was where The Red Fern Grows movie was filmed., It was an ok movie and a slightly better book. (I have read and watched as a kid. Sort of a tear jerker story much like Old Yeller.)
Jake had to check out the rest stop at the top of the hill. For the casual Sunday afternoon visitor, these are pretty steep hills.
We had a glimpse of a bridge over a canyon, and I could hear the sound of a waterfall, but I was pretty sure the trail we were on would eventually lead us back to that spot.
We ran around on some windy flat trailz through the woods that were not really all that scenic, and eventually came back down the other side of the hill we had initially climbed.
A beautiful creek (below the falls we had earlier heard) ran through a valley. This dam looked 100 years old and provided a Kodak moment.
Below the dam, we followed a trail that looked like it was seldom used. We eventually turned around when it fizzled out.
Jake had a swim and a soak. That's one happy dog.
This is above the dam. Greened water I have never seen, We crossed a narrow bridge upstream and headed back down another fain trail that led downstream. A man and his son were coming towards us and warned us that there was a snake ahead. I was all about seeing it!
It was a cold day--in the 50s--with near freezing temps overnight, so I was surprised to see a snake at all. This guy was not moving mush and was probably just trying to soak up a little sun.
I moved in a little closer for a better picture. (Well, zoomed in anyway.)
From there, we headed upstream and then uphill. This trail dumped us out in a camping area, and I really did not see another trail--so we followed the campground around and eventually found what looked like a path leading into the woods further west.
Yep--we found another loop. This is a pic of what we had descended. Lots of loose flint rock.
Basically, we followed a dry creek bed alongside some bluffs and overhangs.
I bet this is awesome when there's water flowing. The trail then went up and over the hill above the creek bed, and tied back into a trail we had previously been on.
We headed north and east--and upstream towards the big bridge and waterfalls we had caught a glimpse of at the start of our run.
We approached the bridge--but were about 100 feet below it. A good climb out was in our near future.
The falls were beautiful. Jake wanted to swim, but there were too many people around--and I was not really sure about dog rules here. I had him on the leash to be safe.
I bet after a heavy rain this would be even more amazing.
We began the climb out--up a steep paved trail, with handrails.
One last look back down at Natural Falls.
There was what looked like a wedding rehearsal on the wooden walkways, and I was glad I got the old wet dog out of there before he brushed some creek water against their fancy dresses.
We ended up with a little over 3 miles (and 3 swims.) This is well worth the trip, but not the best place for a long run. I guess you could run loops--a couple clockwise and a couple counter clockwise.