Herrods Creek Headwaters
April 29, 2006
I didn’t know it was possible to see so many waterfalls in one hike. When the Boston Mountains finally got a big springtime rain, I headed to the northeast corner of Franklin County to visit “my” canyon in the headwaters of Herrods Creek. There is a neat water slide at the head of the canyon, only I’d never seen it with much water.
I parked the truck uphill of a small draw, N 35 46.065, W 93 44.438 (WGS 84, Degrees and Decimal Minutes)  and bushwhacked downhill while following the water. I had only gone 50 feet when I came to the first small waterfall. Normally when I have the goal of reaching a specific destination, I try not to stop and take pictures on the way. “I’ll get it on the way out,” I’ll say to myself. That day I had plenty of time and, admitting that I don’t always have that second chance to get the picture, decided I would stop for pictures if I saw something worth shooting.
To make a long story short I passed ten (count ‘em, TEN!) waterfalls in my three-quarter mile hike.
My trip almost ended early, because it started raining heavily as I was putting the camera away after shooting waterfall number 3. Luckily I had an umbrella - brought not for the rain but to shield the camera in case I found myself under one of those drippy ledges. You know the ones I’m talking about.
Between waterfalls 5 and 6 another rain storm let loose, and I stood there for 15 minutes waiting for it to stop.
When I closed the umbrella and took a good look around it struck me that I was in an extraordinary place. Facing back up the mountain, the lush woods closed in on me from three sides, since the tiny stream was in the middle of a steep valley. The vegetation was plump and green and bursting with life... I know this sounds crazy but I swear I could almost feel it growing around me.
It took a couple of hours but I finally made it to the top of the water slide at the beginning of the canyon. I got a few shots with the camera but then the sky grew dark, thunder rumbled, and a heavy rain poured for half an hour. I gave up and decided to start the steep hike back to the truck, but not before finding a spot at the rim of the canyon to take a picture looking back upstream at the water slide.
The polarizing filter on my camera had fallen victim to the rain, and fogged up on the inside. I went ahead and took some pictures, and I kinda like how one of them turned out.