Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Big Bluff on the Buffalo

Just a quick post today as I'm rather under the weather. But given my sour mood over the past week due to the political world, I wanted to give a little ray of sunshine with this post.

Most of my readers know of my love for Arkansas, especially the Buffalo River country, it's bluffs, hiking trails, and the gorgeous, aquamarine-colored river. Today I want to tip you off to one of the best views along the Buffalo—that being "Big Bluff." You can read about it here.

Big Bluff is enormous, stretching 500 feet plus above the Buffalo. Great views. But as you can see from the photo to the right, it's also not a walk for the timid of heart or careless. 500 feet is a long way down if you slip. As well known Arkansas photographer and hiking guide Tim Ernst puts it, "One slip, and you're dead. It's just that simple. And it's a real pain to haul the body out."

I honestly don't know if I'd have the moxie to try hiking Big Bluff, and I've been on some pretty skinny trails with big drop offs. Hawksbill Crag is the most photographed rock/bluff in Arkansas, and they have people slip off of that now and then to their deaths. Short answer: if you're hiking in mountainous or hazardous terrain, watch it. It's not the place for goofing around or carelessness. But if you behave yourself, exercise reasonable caution, and watch it, you'll be in for a very rewarding view.

Speaking of Tim Ernst, please do check out his website here. You can purchase many of his gorgeous photos, plus complete Ozark photo books and trail guides. I haven't had the chance to meet Tim in person yet, and I hope to do so. In many ways, he has been one of the prime movers behind getting the Ozark trails built these days, and his photographs of the God-given region are simply stunning. Check him out if you get a chance, and buy some photos and books.

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