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White Rock Mountain,
White Rock Creek Cascade
January 29, 2006

When I finally got a break from a hectic winter work schedule, I headed to the woods with Joey to catch the sunrise from White Rock Mountain and to hike a section of the Shores Lake-White Rock trail. We parked where the White Rock loop trail crosses the road on the north end of the mountain. It was a short walk to a couple of spots with views to the southeast. Without any clouds in the sky we knew there wouldn’t be a colorful sunrise, yet the orange Ozark Glow rose high over the horizon.
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Photo © by Joey Bentley
Next we drove back down off the mountain a couple of miles to where the Shores Lake - White Rock trail crosses a jeep road just off the main road. The mile-and-a-half hike was pretty much downhill all the way, with a few flat spots that allowed us to take well-needed breathers. One bench above White Rock Creek, a sunlit cloud of fog drifted through.
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The trail landed on the east side of the creek. We managed to find a spot to cross without getting our feet wet and walked downstream a short distance to White Rock Creek Cascade. Thanks to a heavy rain the day before, the cascade was running. We hung out in the area for over an hour, shooting pictures of whatever caught our eye that morning, or simply relaxing within view of the falls.
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What impressed me most on this hike was how narrow and tight the White Rock Creek valley was. It was almost a canyon. Hiking back upstream, where the trail turned to leave the flat terrain beside the creek and started going up the steep side of the valley, I had a strong desire to keep going straight and see more of that valley. The trail leveled off briefly beside a group of boulders with a scenic view of the valley.  I’d noticed them on the hike in. There was something about that spot.. I just wanted to stop and sit on those boulders for a spell.
It took us an hour to get back to the truck. Not bad, considering it was all uphill and I hadn’t been on a serious hike in three months. Near the jeep trail crossing was a nice unobstructed view of the big bluffs on the southwest end of White Rock Mountain.  It was a great finale to a great morning in the woods.
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