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près de Ponca, Arkansas (United States)
After a few days in Branson Elesha and I drove down to Ponca, AR. We set up the camper at the Buffalo Outdoor Center RV Park. It had rained for several days and my plans for hiking the “Old River Trail” were underwater. Alternate plans were made. The Centerpoint Trailhead is about a mile east of the RV park so a little extra walking got me started in the right direction. Walked away from camp early. It was still too dark to read the TH signage but that didn’t keep me off the trail. As the sun rose the day turned foggy. The expected vistas, on the “Goat Trail” spur, were nonexistent. Got some really cool pictures of fog shrouded trails. Once I reached the south end of the Centerpoint Trail I took the connector from the ORT (Old River Trail) to HIH (Hemmed-in-Hollow). At one point I realized that I had gotten off the main trail and hemmed myself into a hollow other than the one I was seeking. Saw several small falls and cascades on my 1/3-mile detour but they couldn’t hold a candle to HIH Falls. I had a snack break at the falls just outside of the misty spray area at the base. The muted roar of falling water and the feel of the wind generated by the tumbling water created a distinctive atmosphere. Backtracked from the hollow following the trail upward +/-800 ft. toward the Compton TH. Struck out east on the Bench Trail for some relatively flat hiking. The Bench Trail follows the terrain contours for about four miles and ends at the Compton-Erbie Road. After nearly 14 miles, to my dismay, my Uber driver (Elesha-wife) could only get as close as the Hideout Hollow TH due to a road closure, so this added another half mile of steep road hike to a pretty long day. On our return we side tripped to Lost Valley together, a short two-mile hike, for some rock formation and waterfall viewing. Awesome day all around!