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Broadwater Hollow
October 16, 2004
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I only explored a couple hundred feet farther downstream. Below the big fall there was a section where the stream bed quickly ran downhill over layers of rough solid rock. Here a small waterfall emerged from a hole in the side of the bank. Just below all that the water rested in a shallow, shady pool.
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So far that afternoon intermittent clouds had shielded the bright sun and given me brief opportunities to take pictures. But about the time I needed to leave anyway, the clouds thinned out to mostly blue skies. I snapped a picture of a golden hickory in front of the truck at the parking area. The afternoon sun lit up some great color in isolated locations along my drive south from Compton towards home. I had to stop in Boxley Valley and take a picture of the mountainside next to the Buffalo near Big Hollow. Cliff and I drove by here exactly a year ago on our drive back from Indian Creek and I remember the best fall colors at that time were also at this spot.
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It’s my understanding that the waterfalls in the Ozarks usually don’t start running in the fall until some time after the leaves have put on their colorful show. So when I heard the upper Buffalo River area had received as much as seven inches of rain a week earlier, and then had another big downpour Friday as I was making my weekend plans, naturally I started looking at locations in that area that I wanted to visit someday. Already near the top of my list was this hollow north of the Buffalo River and east of Compton.
Upon arrival I could tell it was still too early for much fall color, but I didn’t have to walk very far to see waterfalls. Not 20 feet below the road was a beautiful mini-fall, only a couple of feet tall, followed by a mini rock canyon.
I found an unmarked trail on the east side of the stream, and followed it for a few more minutes and came to my favorite spot in the hollow, an 8-foot fall spilling over an undercut ledge into an emerald pool. Above the ledge to the right of the stream was a huge boulder with a tall pine tree either behind it or growing on top of it - I can’t remember exactly and didn’t get a single picture of it for some odd reason - but it made for an awesome sight.
A few more minutes of hiking down the trail took me to an even taller fall spilling over another rocky drop. Just past it a small tree (looked like Smoke Tree) growing in an almost impossible location on the side of a vertical bank was putting on a nice show of orange and red leaves. Twenty to thirty feet to the side of the big fall, another thin waterfall fell from the same ledge.