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4/2/16
  Kelly arrived at my house almost promptly at 6:05 a.m. He was only five minutes late, which is a new record for him. I was very proud. He loaded his 97 lb High Sierra 5000 pack into my car and we proceeded on our quest for the perfect weekend backpacking endeavor. A short drive up Hwy 65 soon had us seated at the Huddle House in Clinton, Arkansas. The place was filled with local town folk but we managed to find a table with a view of  the parking lot. High quality breakfast foods were ingested as we caught each other up on the latest family bull crap. With full bellies we exited the Huddle and headed north. We arrived on the outskirts of the Leatherwood Wilderness Area at 10:00 and were greeted by many horses and their riders. We thanked them for the many ditches that crisscross the wilderness within. The temp was around 45°.
  Leaving the fire tower off of Hwy 341, we now followed Barkshed Extended, an old road that is well maintained and leads to a private block of land about three miles in. Its reason for being there is unknown. A ridge was followed northwest until Brown Hollow was encountered and here the north rim was traced to a suitable bluff location high above Leatherwood Creek and Brown Hollow. To the west a view of this broad and beautiful valley was beheld. It terminated abruptly at the Buffalo River where a straight ridge blocked its progress westward. Across the river lay the sister wilderness of the Lower Buffalo. The site was not perfect but it would do nicely.
  The usual camp preparations were carried out until the site was felt to be in order. The bluff dropped off just beyond my hammock and I feared for my safety...not! After firewood was gathered and all the local woodland creatures were shoved aside we relaxed in the warm sun with ten to fifteen mile an hour winds. I lounged in my hammock while Kelly struggled with his twelve man tent as the breeze attempted to move it up the hill behind us. He eventually took a nap but I was unable to do the same. We noticed that the sun was lowering towards the horizon and this was the signal to get moving.
  Food was prepared as the light dimmed and the wind waned. My first whippoorwill of the spring was heard in the distance. This is a sound I look forward to every year with great anticipation. We ate our grub and stared across the valley at the glowing sky. When the wind was sufficiently eased a fire was brought forth from the wood stacked neatly to the left. The fire was to the right. No moon meant great star action. After admiring the fire for hours we retired somewhere close to 11:00. I slept better than usual in the outdoors. An owl and a brief group howl from some coyotes were all that were heard through the night.
  We did rise with the sun at 7:00 and packed our crap. The night's low temp was 42°. This day was just as sunny as the previous one. The bluff was behind us by 8:45 and we arrived back at the car a little after 10:00 with a temp already near 60°. We encountered another hiker that had just come out of the woods before us. I think his name was Doug...we stole his gear and tossed his keys into the woods. Our round trip was 7.5 miles. A fantastic burger was had at Carl's in Marshall. Thanks Doug for your wallet. It had just enough cash in it to cover our check.

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