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6/27/15
  The Buffalo National River never gets old. There are so many far out areas to explore and so many swingin' points of noteworthy grooviness to discover. On this day in this particular land my path did lead me to many wondrous geographical and naturally cool spots. Please be advised that no outing is complete without a healthy breakfast composed of eggs, bacon, hash browns and biscuit with gravy. Unfortunately the gravy was omitted since Waffle House in Clarksville was this day's choice. My alarm was set an hour late, 2:30 instead of 1:30, and this put me in a bit of a rush to beat the crowds. 
  At 6:00 a.m. there was one car in the Compton Trailhead parking area. Of course, the occupant exited his car the same time I did and this hastened my effort to hit the trail in the lead. This hiker or hikers was never seen anywhere on the trail so, I win! My path was the left trail that skirts the western rim of Hemmed in Hollow until the river is reached. A line-o-storms came through the night before and left the forest dripping and humid. The temp was a fine 65°. The first half of this trail is quite steep and the slimy wetness had me nearly hurtling over the edge on many occasions. Luckily my lack of ski poles allowed me to use my inherent balance and remain in an upright position.
  The Buffalo River was reached around 8:15 and was filled just about right for canoeing, it appeared to my eye. I followed the river west for a while and connected to the Sneeds Creek Trail in a northwesterly direction. This link in the maze of trails within the Ponca Wilderness was new to me and it was soon evident that it should have been hiked years ago. Sneeds Creek is a beautiful stream with numerous small falls, gorges and clean gravel bars. The bedrock sections are quite lovely and the Rocky Bottom stretch was as big as a parking lot. I imagine it was driven all over in the days before the Buffalo was protected. I thank all that participated in that battle.
  Around noon the trail completed its parallel course with the creek and headed back skyward towards the ridges. The trudge out was not as difficult going up as the one I came in on, which I have hiked out on before. By 1:30 the once empty lot was in view with way too many cars...the very reason I dislike trails...too many people. Only two other hikers were seen by me all day, so I lucked out. The temp never got above 75° and there were just enough clouds to make the sky interesting. My mileage was around 9 miles, yours may vary. Why?...I can't say. I would like to thank those that crammed their cars right up next to mine even though there were plenty of spots out near the road. I hope the skunks you found in your trunks provide you with a feeling of freshness on your drive home.

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