Before we begin, meet Bob the lizard who accompanied us for a day’s worth of adventuring:
Isn’t he cute?
Recently my friends and I decided to travel to as many of Arkansas’s natural beauties as we could before moving out of state. We have already camped at a lesser-known gem called Charlton, which I have blogged about before. (If you haven’t seen the blogs for Camp Charlton, here’s the most recent one: https://bitchpolarbymanx.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/camping-with-my-wolfy-and-friends/). After spending a good portion of the Summer visiting Charlton with friends, we recently hiked to the awe-inspiring Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park (there are pictures for this plus a blog coming soon to a Bitchpolar near you… Just as soon as one of my friends posts the pictures).
Our latest trip involved two nights spent in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas to hike to such magical places as Mirror Lake, the famous Blanchard Springs Caverns, and Eden Falls near Buffalo River. Mirror Lake was indeed fantastic, a wonderful first stop on our trip, and with some further searching we discovered an eloquent little waterfall pouring from a cave entrance. Subsequently, upon a rough climb up a water-carved, but long-since dried up rocky incline, we found what we believe was once an old mill.
(Below, in order, Mirror Lake shot from above, Mirror Lake dam waterfall and natural pool, ruins of old waterwheel house/mill, yours truly with Ghost the wolfy babe in front of Mirror Lake’s falls, up close shot of cave waterfall, cave waterfall again, the steep rocky incline, and the second old mill house):
Afterwards we lunched outdoors while waiting for a tour of the Blanchard Springs Caverns. They were famous indeed, involving many eager participants from all over the country. It was truly like an underground mansion, or castle even. I felt ashamed when I realized I could never fully comprehend, and in turn never fully respect or appreciate the caverns for their unbearable size and unknowable, yet tremendously and positively old age. There is no way I could ever understand what I walked through, what I saw. I wanted to reach out and touch the walls as though I could see what occurred within them, having created all that they are now. Alas, we were told upfront to never touch the caverns since our oils could disrupt further growth developments of the water trails. The water’s drips and trails are what carved and sculpted the cave into the caverns we see now. They continue to morph it into something that may be entirely unrecognizable thousands of years from now. Still, being there was like being situated in the stomach of all the Ozarks’ natural power. As though God had allowed me to catch the tiniest glimpse of just how wonderfully out of control the natural world is, and to never underestimate what it can truly accomplish.
(Below are the formations and sights we encountered within the caverns. The last one is of a salamander; many kinds inhabit the caverns, which pleased me to no end since I used to keep one as a beloved pet for years):
Finally, we ventured two and half hours west, climbing further into the Ozarks and nearer the Buffalo River to finally hike our way to Eden Falls and a handful of spectacular little caves. It was the most intense hikes compared with the others, but surely worth it. There are plenty of humorous stories to share with you all, but for now let the images of this last hike speak for themselves.
It leaves my mind cleared with only the words “mystifying,” “engrossing,” and “entranced.”
Where have you explored lately?