Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area
Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area, cold overnight backpack
  Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area is. It is good. It is great. It is real nice. Many times I have wandered the hills, hollows, creeks and valleys within the confines of its 15,000 plus acres. Return visits are joyful occasions that fill me with great joy and enjoyment. It ranks right in there in my top three Arkansas wilderness areas. These include Richland, Upper Buffalo and Hurricane Creek. Let's focus today on the Hurricane one. This one is not the best...but it is close to that. The Ozark Highlands Trail allows trail access from two ends. For me, this is a negative. I prefer difficult access to wilderness areas. It keeps the human to tree ratio low. Trails can be very handy, though and are utilized on occasion.
  Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. Dewayne's in Dover beckoned me inside. I entered. Eggs, sausage, biscuits wit gravy and hash browns were ordered. Within five minutes a platter filled with with these very items arrived at my table. Yes...my very own personal table. Prior to this some coffee was had with the morning paper. Stories and news were provided by the local guys sitting in the back. Many a tale of lore and tomfoolery made me chuckle during my breakfast meal. A huge tip was left for Susie the server. I exited using the same door of entry. My vehicle turned back onto Highway Seven with a drive-train powered by symmetrical all-wheel drive. I could barely control the high torque fed to the all season tires that were located at all four corners of my vehicle. Three corners would not suffice...no indeed. The writhing metropolis of Dover was left behind as the sun began its upward track just to my right and slightly behind me.
  By eight o'clock the forest was mine. My meter of therm displayed 17° with calm winds. Skies were bright and clear and the air was crisp as a winter day should be. It was not yet officially winter though. Do not assume that it was...for it was not. Two streams were forded...Buck Branch and Hurricane Creek...before the uphill climb that lay ahead was initiated. A bluff was soon mounted with a view to the east. I savored this and moved along. The south side of the ridge was followed with scattered bluffs and boulders providing a lovely setting...in many cases with a two tiered effect, which is desirable. The sun remained low, as is its custom this time of year. It gifted me with warmth and beauty. Near 11:30 a suitable bluff with a view downstream was secured for lunch action. Many woodland creatures were just about to utilize this bluff but my superior intellect left them to search elsewhere for their picnic location. Once again solar radiation bathed me as I lounged at bluff's edge. 
  The next task was to dismount the bluff and cross a wide hollow. Water was gathered at the creek held within said hollow as I recounted my first bear encounter uncounted years ago along this very creek. A mother bear with two cubs stopped me in my tracks just downstream of my desired direction. They appeared to be oblivious to my presence as I slowly backed up the creak and slipped around them at a higher elevation. Stupid bears. None were seen today, but an occasional pile of bear dooky had been seen on this day's hike. My path took be up the opposite slope until the rock outcropping of my curiosity came into view. I surveyed its many facets and found no simple access to the top. Squeezing through a rocky hole was a way up, but thoughts of getting wedged there held me back. This narrow and tapered ridged continued downward. I traced it until a suitable camp site showed itself. Here arrangements were made for the cold night before me. My guess was a 25° low.
  Dinner was had and the tent was entered fairly early since no fire was created due to a burn ban in effect. Many very close coyotes called throughout the night but none visited my camp. A 69% moon appeared not long before midnight and lit my tent with a soft and pleasing glow. Sleep came and went and by 4:00 a.m. the decision was made to rise and relinquish this ground back the nature. It was 23°. An old road that accesses a private land plot within the wilderness was used to take me back to my origin. By 6:30 with 19° I drove onto the dirt road that brought me here. By 7:45 breakfast was laid before me at Denny's and it gave forth the much needed succor my weary body required. I then continued home...where I arrived within a measure of time. The hike that is contained herein was approximately 7.5 miles in length and occurred in the shape of an elongated loop. It was deemed a successful trip with high entertainment value and excellent mind refreshing properties.

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