Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area
Shrubbery hike above the Buffalo River and Whitaker Creek
  At 2:45 a.m.Saturday morning, I ate some breakfast at the South Park Restaurant in Clarksville. At 5:45 I entered the forest of spiders. It would seem that the predominate woodland creature inhabiting the Arkansas shrubbery is the spider...or spidra...as I prefer to refer. Without the appropriate web removal tool in hand, a hike into these treacherous environs would be nonsensical. Now, if one was comfortable with a face completely encased in web material, one might forgo the the aforementioned utility. I find that, for me, the preference is to wander the woods unadorned with such garb. Please know...and I would assume that most are aware...that if one forays into the backcountry during the summer months in Arkansas, that one will be overwhelmed by these creatchters. If an aversion to these is inherent to one's psyche...do not hike without a designated probe person to break the barriers that will surely be the downfall of the person afflicted with said phobia.
  The forest was, indeed, dark and webby...I savor this. Well...the darkness, yes...the webbs are just endured. On this morning the temp was 60°. The skies were essentially clear with encroaching clouds. The wind was dead calm. The humidity was fairly high, but no fog was observed. A screech owl was first heard in the distance. Next, a barred owl called to filled the void. After that just insects and the occasional little tiny bird completed the ensemble. It was quite lovey, I must say. My goal was to locate a bluff accommodating to sunrise viewing...but this was not to be. The time required to meet this goal was not properly allocated and therefore, the sun appeared ahead of my arrival. A suitable valley view was eventually secured with a portal in the leafy canopy aimed in an upstream direction. I would once more be inclined to agree, with myself...that it was quite lovely.
  The shelf being hiked along was traced around until the valley of Whitaker Creek entered the Buffalo from the west. This creek was followed westerly and the cliff that is Whitaker Point was seen through the trees, just barely, across the valley. A few hikers posed atop its well worn surface, unaware that the mountain across the way was possibly accessible. For most...forest points-o-interest are only found by following a trail. So much is missed with such a theory. Sad for them...good for me, for I seek the uninhabited locales that only pure shrubbery action provides...dammit! Soon the valley turned sharply to the south. Here, I also turned and came to several bluffs affording views to the west. It was along this bluff line that nature was savored for a time, by me. After a while, maybe two whiles...the savoring came to and end and the ridge traversed on the way in was traversed on the way out. The forest was exited at 12:40 with 75° and partly cloudy skies. The total hike was 7.7 miles. No ticks were noticed. It should be stated that permethrin was applied to my clothing and 100% DEET to my exposed legs and arms and such. Please apply these in a safe manner...lest ye perish.

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