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9/25/15
  I had the opportunity to get into the forest early Friday afternoon so by 1:30 there I was. With essentially cloud free skies and a breezy 82° my way was made into the Upper Buffalo Wilderness  Area. The focus for this hike was Boen Gulf with an overnight stay deep within planned. The valley lay before me with easy walking on a trail fairly well laden with spider webs at face level. Why do insects fly at the same height as our faces, therefore prompting the spiders to construct  at this elevation? Who knows, but one can only attempt to sweep them aside before their owners are placed squarely upon the hiker's lips. Thankfully venom is not involved or the woods would be a quite inhospitable place to take comfort.
  A short break was taken at Boen Gulf Branch, which has the main thrust of drainage in the watershed. This drainage is composed of 4-5 major branches that culminate into this one main fork that rushes directly into the upper Buffalo...when there is actual flowing water, that is. An upward direction to the north was taken and an area with a 45° slope composed of loose dirt and small rocks was scrambled up to reach the base of the bluff line. Death was averted numerous times here. The bluff base was followed to the west until a suitable location accessing the uppermost bluff action was encountered. This access point was climbed up with many more near death moments. The summit revealed an excellent view down the valley to the Buffalo River. Buzzards proceeded on their circuitous routes above me with hopes of my demise. One false step would have me hurtling over the edge for hundreds of feet, making for the tasty carrion of these scavenger's dreams.
  The bluff's edge was traced around until a suitable location was secured for overnight habitation. My campsites are always picked with much discrimination, as a night in the woods needs to be experienced in optimal fashion. The spot had a view up the valley and down it as well with suitable viewing angles for both solar and lunar arcs across the sky. The hammock was hung with tight precision and firewood was gathered for an estimated 3.5 hour burn envelope...no more...no less. The sun was observed during its last moments and dinner was then made ready. The sun lazily slid below the horizon and the moon was noted to have already arrived from the east to assume the night shift position. My meal was consumed without fanfare. The moon was about at the apex of its arc as it lit the landscape with its soft glow. A bat kindly removed a few unwanted mosquitos.There was no wind to speak of and a few remnant insects and frogs called out into the void of the valley. An owl occasionally joined in and a coyote well in the distance also was heard. After the allotted 3.5 hours of fire gazing it became evident that the hammock required my presence. Sleep came with hesitance but eventually I drifted off. By sunrise the temp had fallen to a cozy 55°. After some time enjoying the morning, all was packed up and by 8:30 it was off down the top of the bluff towards the east. A break in the rock was found and I skidded down the hill to the valley floor. The climb out was enjoyable. By 10:00 my car was sighted. The temp was 65°. No other humans were seen within the duration of the trip. My total distance was 5.7 miles. This campout was excellent!

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Map on map action