Lower Buffalo Wilderness Tick Hike to Woodencock Bluff Above the Buffalo
  I have learned that in Arkansas, hiking off trail in summer can be a very unpleasant experience. This week a trail was followed. The trails within the Lower Buffalo Wilderness follow old road beds and are mostly kept alive by horse people. These tracks do get quite overgrown even so. After a goodly breakfast with party types at one of the Waffle Houses in Conway, I drove north to Yellville and beyond. The forest was entered at 5:00 a.m. with clear skies and 70°. Humidity was surprisingly low. With the light of the dawn the ticks were illuminated. My clothing had been sprayed with permethrin and my exposed skin was lubed with 100% DEET. The ticks totally disregarded this shield and the hike became a bending over routine to remove the constant onslaught that paraded up my legs and shorts. What can you do but carry on. Therefore...onward.
  By 8:15 the clean rock of a bluff was freeing me from the thick foliage encountered on the hike in. The Buffalo's flow was welcoming. Some time was spent here. A couple of kayaks were noted as they passed below on the shimmering water. Well, there was actually no shimmering due to the sun's poor choice of positions at the time, but it was still a sight worth beholding. After the rest period it appeared that most ticks were gone. The same route was used to exit and the same ticks crawled aboard for another try. At 1:00 p.m. the walk came to an end with the temp now at 90°. The round trip was 14 miles. Many deer and squirrels and bunnies were observed.

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