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Falling Water Creek
October 27, 2011
I still can't believe how much great stuff I saw in a day and a half at the end of my Fall vacation. I was blessed with a wealth of beautiful scenery.
I stayed home until around noon Thursday, waiting out a storm system that was moving through the area. I made the long drive through Russellville and up Highway 7 to Lurton, then east along backroads toward the Richland Creek Wilderness. The colorful fall foliage was at its peak brilliance in the misty air. Near the top of the Cave Creek drainage I came upon an S-curve ideal for a photo.
At Dickey Junction I turned south toward Richland Creek campground. The campground was still closed, so I parked at the gate and walked through the picnic area next to the creek and then to Falling Water Creek, which empties in to Richland Creek just past the back of the campground.
I turned south and walked along Falling Water Creek, where the scenery was just... perfect. I gazed upon a small peaceful stream of clear water surrounded by colorful, wet, fall foliage under a misty, overcast sky. Quite a few leaves had fallen and lined the stony bank on my side, and the bottom of the stream was also covered in colorful leaves.
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I slowly walked up the creek, stopping in a few places to take pictures. It started sprinkling a couple of times and I had to put an umbrella over the camera. I actually had a destination in mind, a trio of giant boulders about a third of a mile upstream. I reached them fairly soon, and spent half an hour taking their picture from different angles and distances.
I could sense that daylight was fading, and retreated to the woods to the east, where I found a faint trail leading back to the campground. The damp woods were still and quiet except for the occasional pitter-patter of water droplets hitting a leaf or the ground. I took some stone steps down to the picnic area then walked back to the Tahoe, where I changed in to some dry pants and boots, then started the long drive back to the highway.
I headed north to Jasper, which I didn't reach until almost 8 o'clock. The fog really slowed me down. I got to The Junction quick stop right before they closed, and bought the last pizza at a discount. I headed east on Highway 74, remarking that I'd never driven that stretch of highway so often. At Ponca I turned north to the Compton Trailhead, where I parked the Tahoe and crawled in back for the night.
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