The Buffalo National River grabbed ‘hold of us the moment we first laid eyes on it. As much as we love this entire region, the Buffalo is what we always talk about when explaining what makes the place so special.
It was Deb’s cousin who introduced us to the river, taking us back there several times. Today we returned the favor by paying forward — we treated our visiting Texas friends to a few choice glimpses of the Buffalo.
We began by fortifying ourselves at Black Sheep BBQ in Yellville, followed by a side-trip to Gray Spring to fill our water bottles. From there we ran Arkansas Route 14 and a couple of Marion County roads to a breathtaking mountaintop overlook 600 feet above the river.
Returning to the Jeep, we backtracked a bit and then turned down-mountain, winding our way to the river itself at Buffalo Point. In May this was the place that Deb first saw a bald eagle in the wild, the spot where the Buffalo River really hooked us.
While we were traveling a few weeks ago, headed back this way, Deb confessed to being concerned that after we’d seen so many wondrous places — Glacier, the Badlands, the Black Hills and more — when we returned to The Ozarks we might not be as impressed as we were before.
Sitting on the gravel shoal at Buffalo Point this afternoon, we gazed at the bluffs rising up from the opposite bank. I asked Deb, simply, “So?”
Her answer — a big smile and a nod — told me what I needed to know. Her concern had evaporated as soon as she saw the river again.
We drove out and turned north on Route 14, making one more detour before leaving the Boston Mountains — a steep county road (-14% grade, according to a mapping utility I use) led us down to the Rush Historic District and the river access just beyond. While Rush may not have the jaw-dropping scenery of Buffalo Point, it serves up its own appeal, its own unique peace.
The rough dirt road that took us the last few miles put a little adventurous icing on our cake.
It was another grand day in The Ozarks. The weather was perfect, as was the company. We ended our weekend back at the campground with another fire.
People, this is why we do what we do.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.