Broadwater Hollow
October 16, 2004
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.
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.
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.