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5/2/15
  Enough of all this hiking in the Ozarks...let's go to the Ouachitas for a change! After breakfast with the party crowd in Hot Springs at 3:00 a.m. at Waffle House, my drive continued to the west. A little before 5:00 the eastern Caney Creek access was before me. Within minutes I was gaining elevation to the north and then moving west up the Buckeye Trail. The temp in the valley was 51° but quickly rose to 55° on the ridges. The sun showed a sparse amount of color prior to sunrise. My experience with this trail was limited to hiking to Buckeye Mountain once before so most of this section was new to me. As I progressed I was very impressed with the terrain and the scenery. The trail was decent as well. The moderate breeze was quite pleasing as my way winded up and down and to and fro.
  By 9:00 the valley floor was arrived at and Katy Falls was viewed with much delight. Then Caney Creek was found and followed upstream for a ways off of the trail. A lone backpacker was passed lounging at a camp site, reading a book by the remnants of his fire. I tossed him a skunk and he responded with "much obliged" in usual woodland etiquette. After lunch the trail was returned to and by 1:20 I was back to the vehicle that brung me here. The high temp was 75° and the total mileage was around ten. This was an excellent hike and a perfect day for it.

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