..exploring this great big world, one click at a time

Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Over the River…

This wknds blog will be a blast from the past (mainly because it’s too cold to get out with the camera). I’m trying to think *warm* here so my mind wanders back to a Summer a few years back when we took our niece on her first camping trip. Our daughter went away to church camp for the wknd so we went away too..to the Buffalo River in Arkansas.

It was the Summer the southern states saw such a horrible drought. We went, hoping to see a specific waterfall close to the campground but found it almost completely dry. A disappointment yes, but the hiking was great and so was the river. AND we saw our first *Batcave*.

We chose Lost Valley Campground as our destination. The campground wasn’t crowded at all and the sites were spaced well apart. We had to cross a dry creek bed to get to our campsite and goofy me wore leather sandals. I quickly stubbed my toes in the rocks and still have trouble with that toe to this day. grr


Campsite behind the dry creek bed


My niece Shea, son Kris and I posing on the trail to Eden Falls.(dry)


Jamie & Kris at the entrance to the BatCave. We found out about the cave thanks to a local at the swimming hole. The cave has been used for everything from a saltpeter mine during the civil war to a hideout for bandits in the 1920’s. When bats are present, the cave is closed. Luckily the bats had left for the season and we were able to get in.


We just *thought* the cave was empty! We found 1 bat still perched alone the ceiling of the cave. Once the kids noticed him, they took off for the cave opening. lol


The gate surrounding the cave’s entrance.

Buffalo River

The Buffalo River..just a breathtaking piece of God’s handiwork, laid back in the hills of Arkansas.

Buffalo Scenic

The bluffs that make the Buffalo famous. Notice how low this area looks. I can imagine how beautiful it must be when the water level is just right.


A deer running under the bluffs @ the Steel Creek Access Point

Cob Cave

The view looking OUT of Cob Cave, along the Eden Falls Trail

Cob Cave2

And the view looking IN Cob Cave..I think I recognize those rednecks.


The *swimming hole* at the Ponca Access Point of the Buffalo River


All in all, our niece enjoyed her first camping trip despite the dry falls but there was one thing that she reminds us of to this day. NEVER leave the camp food out even if you feel like you’ll be back by dusk. Our batcave adventure kept us longer than expected and we came back after dark to find raccoons enjoying what was left of the makings for our smores!  They even returned during the night for seconds and tried biting through the cooler.

Chasing Waterfalls

A few months ago I got together with a fellow photographer buddy and took a trip to Middle Tn to Burgess Falls and Rock Island State Park. This was her first trip to Burgess (my 2nd) and we were both hoping the water level was good enough for some decent shots. Burgess did not disappoint! In fact we were so enthralled with our surroundings, we had to cut our Rock Island trip short. Rock Island is a favorite of mine and I can never get enough rock-hopping. We’ll have to go back next Spring for sure.


Burgess from our trip, July 2004.

The Falling Water River drops 250 feet, providing numerous spots for scenic views and overlooks of the cascades. The fall above is considered the finale at the end of a 1.5 mile moderately strenuous hike that loops back to the parking lot via a service road.


The water starts off at a tumble then proceeds down further into beautiful cascades.


Lower Falls

The history of Burgess Falls can be traced back over three centuries. Before European settlement, Indians of the Cherokee, Creek and Chickasaw tribes shared this region as a hunting ground. One of the first white settlers, Thomas Burgess, received a land grant here in 1793 as payment for his service in the Revolutionary War. By the late 19th century, a gristmill and sawmill were in operation on the river here. For the growing logging and farming communities, the Falling Water River played a key role by providing energy and recreational opportunities. It has been under protection as a State Natural Area since 1973. (from Tn State Park website)

Up we go!


Middle Falls


Burgess from our trip, June 30th 2010.

After spending 4 hrs on the road and 4 hrs on the trail, we had a nice picnic lunch and headed to Rock Island State Park. I’ll save that part of the trip for later in the week. Winking smile

Smoky Vacation Video

With the new release of Windows Live Essentials, I’ve found myself using Windows Live Writer once again to send blog posts. I have yet to add HD video using this version of WLW so lets see how it looks…Hmm not too shabby.

Highlights from our Fall Camping trip to the Smokies

And with this post, I’m off to bed for the night. You night owls keep it down now!

Sleeping half-moon

A Little Island Life

It’s been over a month since our vacation to Jekyll Island, Ga. but the memories are still lingering in my mind. I could live on that island very easily. It’s laid back, teeming with wildlife and the locals are pleasant, down-to-earth people. Yes one could imagine getting away from it all in a place like that. As the sweltering sun beams down upon us here in the south, my mind takes me back to the shores of Jekyll and if I put my hands over my ears, I can almost hear the ocean bellowing me back.

The little 3 legged deer in the back is a frequent visitor around the golf courses of Jekyll Island. I forget what the locals have named her but her story is a sad one. She was almost lunch for an alligator and left with a back leg that dangled for awhile until it dropped off and left her with nothing below the knee joint. But she’s continued to thrive in her environment and even gave birth after that to a single fawn. She’s a trooper!


Driftwood Beach….one of the many aspects of Jekyll Island that soothes the soul. Even the birds seemed to be in their own little world here as they flew in one by one and lined the beach looking out towards the ocean.

Driftwood Beach


On the river-side of the island sits Glory Beach. It’s not ideal for swimming like most parts of the island but it is a perfect place to “get away” and just BE. It also has a history. The Civil War movie “Glory” was filmed here in the mid 80’s and in order for the movie crew to access the beach with equipment, they needed to build a boardwalk. The boardwalk passed through a variety of vegetation and natural habitats and was the only thing left behind by the crew.

Little Cumberland Island sits off in the distance here. It’s home to only a handful of people and only accessible by boat. It’s also home a quaint little lighthouse built in the 1800’s. See more information here.

Glory Beach

Thank you for letting me share a little piece of paradise with you. :)


Testing testing