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Graves Canyon
October 29, 2006
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I’d seen so much amazing scenery in the last two weeks that I felt fulfilled, while poor Joey had been stuck at work most of the time and had to endure my story telling or look at all the pictures I emailed. So I agreed to push my weary body for one more adventure, and I’m sure glad I did.
We headed out on a clear Sunday morning to Big Piney country, thinking perhaps the smaller waterfall below Longpool Falls would be running. There wasn’t even a trickle, but the sun had started to light up the treetops so I spent a lot of time lying down with my camera pointing to the sky, while Joey chased after insects with a new flash he’d gotten for his camera.
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We were done with Longpool so quickly that I had to pull out my Plan B, which was a drive, hike and bushwhack to nearby Graves Canyon.  I stopped several times on the jeep road along the first leg of the hike and made feeble attempts to capture on camera some of the brilliance in the trees overhead.
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The section of Graves Creek we were headed for runs through what I call a true canyon - the banks on both sides are vertical and there are few places where one can get down to the creek. Fortunately on my last visit I had found an access spot and marked it on my GPS receiver. We were there in no time. There was a beautiful waterfall right on the creek. I didn’t have the patience to wait for the sunlight to move off of it, so I went downstream to Tim Ernst’s Forever Falls, but Joey got a great shot of it.
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Photo © by Joey Bentley
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That afternoon in Graves Canyon was as great an outdoor experience as any. Though my buddy was somewhere a couple of hundred yards upstream, I enjoyed the beautiful Ozark stream in relaxed solitude. The air was still, the temperature mild. The canyon was hushed except for the splashing of Forever Falls upstream and the musical splashing of a small cascade on the creek. I wasn’t in any hurry to leave, nor did I ever want to.
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