Fall Color on the Buffalo National River
Oct 19-22, 2018
by Kent Walters
As anticipated, this trip was touch-and-go as we watched the gauges and forecasts, but finally formed up very nicely for us. We pegged the on-the-water date at Oct 19-22, with travel on the 18th and 23rd. Water level was perfect throughout the trip. Fall color was in abundance. Generally, temperatures were nippy in the mornings, but felt very nice on the water. The attrition on this trip was pretty severe, so crowd control on the water was not an issue.
Day 1 – Ponca to Kyle’s Landing
It rained for about half of the day. We did the hike to Lost Valley (we found it again) and set out on the water about noon. At Steel Creek the sun came out for a spectacular shot of a pool in the bend. It was raining when we came to the Hemmed-In Hollow trail-head, so we passed on that delight and continued on to our camp.
Steel Creek Bend
We camped at Kyle’s and dried out.
Day 2: Kyle’s Landing to Pruitt
We set out early on a bright morning and paddled to our destination at Pruitt – total sensory saturation with the colors. On a gravel bar we spent some time in our traditional rock-hounding and Duane found a very interesting piece of quartz with some glitter.
Day 3: Pruitt to Woolum
Being invigorated as we were, we decided to paddle the rest of our planned trip today – 26.5 miles. It was a glorious day with lots of variety in the water and on the banks.
Day 4: Woolum to Grinder’s Ferry
We ran a quick shuttle and paddled the 16.7 miles to Grinder’s ferry. Duane found a really cool fossil in the newly eroded bank
This was truly one of the greatest trips that never happened.
The author,Kent Walters