Cossatot Falls
May 18, 2003

The Ouachitas received a lot of rainfall Friday night, so Saturday around noon I mentioned to Charles that I was thinking of driving down to the Cossatot to see the falls in action. He wanted to go so it was a done deal.
Cliff and I met him early - 6 a.m. - and we headed down south. We first made a slight detour to the top of Cavanal Mountain in Poteau to find a geocache there. This mountain rises 2000 feet above the surrounding landscape, which is quite a lot.
Next we went to the Runestone State Park in Heavener. Do you know the story about the runestone? It is a stone monolith standing 12 feet tall with symbols carved into it. Now completely sealed behind glass, it is located above a scenic little grotto. The theory goes that Vikings traveled up the Mississippi, Arkansas and Poteau Rivers and marked this location with the monolith. I didn't get any pictures of the runestone, but there is a picture of the grotto below.
Finally we made the long drive down to the Cossatot. I stopped at the highway bridge going over the river to let Cliff and Charles see how high the bridge was. It used to be the tallest one in the state. We hung out at the falls for over an hour, Charles concentrating on his photography while Cliff and I both enjoyed scrambling over all the cool rock formations. It's amazing what water and time have done to the rocks. One line of rocks to us almost to the center of the stream. We just sat there amazed at the roar of the water.
On the way home we made one more stop at the Three Sticks Monument on Highway 259 somewhere south of Poteau. It was dedicated to President John F. Kennedy for his dedication of Ouachita National Forest Road on 29 October, 1961 in Big Cedar, Oklahoma.