Hurricane Gustav dumped a lot of water on Arkansas this past week, much to the dismay of almost everyone I know. However, I was yelling at Gustav to bring it on! The more rain, the bigger the waterfalls! I got up at 4:30 this morning and drove down to the Jasper/Ponca area to hit up some easy-to-find waterfalls.
First, I went to Triple Falls near Camp Orr, a Boy Scout camp in Mt. Vernon (outside of Jasper). After a very steep drive down into the valley, it's a very easy 200 yard walk upstream. Usually, there's only 1 or two falls here, but with all the rain, all three were flowing nicely. The big fall on the right was running so hard, that it was causing a decent wind and mist at the bottom. I kept having to wipe my lens dry. It was worth it!
On my way up and out of the valley, I came across a nice opening that overlooked the valley I was just in. The best thing about this part of the state is the early morning fog...it's super thick, and creates some really stunning views from above.
I then headed to Hammerschmidt Falls, a few miles west of Triple Falls (just outside of Low Gap). The best part of this one was the Jeep trail you take to get there. I have a Jeep Liberty (the pansy version of a real Jeep), but it's a free company car, so it's even more fun when it's not your own. I got to go into 4x4 Low and tackle some 2-2.5 foot ruts where the road washed out. On my way out, I did get two wheels off the ground and rocked sideways a bit. It was really fun!
Hammerschmidt Falls is another easy falls to get to. You park, then follow the creek downstream for about 200 yards, past all these great cascades. When you get to the falls, you're actually on the TOP, so you have to hike down into the base to get a good look at the waterfall. It wasn't running at full steam, though. During heavy rains, the entire top of the falls is going, not just the little spigot you see here. Regardless, it's a very cool spot, and I spent most of my time photographing the cascades at the top of the falls.
All of that, and I was home at 10:30. We had a great outdoors day celebrating the Fall weather. Allison will post more about that later. If anyone is interested in joining me for a waterfall outing, let me know...I'd love some company!!