Today I finally got around to photographing Hawksbill Crag, the most over-photographed geological feature in Arkansas. The hike in was unremarkable at best. Really a lousy trail with lousy views of what I know intellectually to be the Buffalo River Gorge. With hillsides so high and so long on both sides, and with the usual precipitation we experience in Arkansas, it would not be possible to not have a significant stream at the bottom. I could not see said stream, though, because the otherwise featureless landscape was choked with vegetation. I could not see the water. Still, the view was good even if it was nothing but trees. The drive in was cool. All the gradient on Cave Mountain Road came in the first two miles before it leveled out coming from Boxley. I opened the windows and blasted the heater which kept the engine from overheating too severely. Not wanting to warp my cylinder head on the drive in and my brake rotors on the way out, I asked several people at the trail head whether they came from the east like me or the west, offering that my map showed what looked like a sneak line to hwy 16 if you kept west. All of them said they thought the road from the east was the only way in and that the road didn't even show up on their GPS devices. Only one confessed to not having a map, which is fair because I did not confess to not having a GPS. Anyway, I went west hoping that the road indicated on my map was actually a road on the earth. If it was, I could see from my map, which I had, that the gradient would be much more manageable, and so I went west. The road was a road and the gradient was more manageable. If there was any shortcoming to my strategy, it is that I arrived at hwy 16 about six miles east of Boston which is a nothing stretch of road if I've ever seen one. Fitting I guess to follow up a nothing hike with a nothing drive home. It sure was fun, though, and I GOT MY PICTURE!
The dog in the photo is named Jasper. Jasper gave me a little pinch on the leg for no apparent reason about five minutes after snapping this picture. It didn't break the skin and the owner was extremely apologetic, so no hard feelings. No dogs had to have a flying lesson.