From Buffalo Point to Rush Landing
So, luckily the Monday morning rain was really just a few sprinkles which passed pretty quickly. My new sleeping bag was warm in my new tent…both of which had so far served more as a staging ground for my global war on terrorist raccoons than a humble home away from home.
Eventually I decided to begin the process of waking up and rearranging my gear so that it would fit on my kayak without sinking me in the river (I was a little concerned about that…).
The water from the pump looked even worse this morning than it had the night before. We boiled some more and had our first (of many) breakfast of instant oatmeal with powdered milk…actually pretty tasty.
When the park ranger drove up a few minutes later we asked him about the water – assuming he’d say, “Yeah, that happens from time to time…just let it run for a minute.” Instead he said, “Uh…no, its never done that before.”
Of course, special milky poison water for the Texans…
We finished packing up our gear and loaded stuff in the truck for the short drive down to the river. Poisonous or not, this place was unbelievably beautiful.
So here we were at Buffalo Point, Arkansas preparing for our 30ish mile, 6 day kayak trip down to Buffalo City. Our plan was to paddle to Rush Landing (about 7 miles) and camp for the night. Tuesday morning we would hike the Rush trails which climbed up the side of the mountain, along Clabber Creek and around abandoned mines and a mining ghost town. From there we’d float down to Middle Creek to make camp.
On Wednesday we would spend the entire day waterfall hunting. Robey had found a book which described how to get to several 80 foot waterfalls around the lower Middle Creek.
Thursday we’d paddle a few more miles down to Cow Creek. Friday we would hike the Cow Creek Loop and then probably camp a second night at Cow Creek. Then we’d get up Saturday morning and finish the trip with a short jump to Buffalo City, get the other vehicle and head home. Before we any of this could happen we had to drop off one of the vehicles at Buffalo City.
A 30 mile float. So the drive from Buffalo Point to Buffalo City should take 30 minutes? 45? Yeah, that would work if there were any roads in this place…but there were no roads, only milky poison water.
So the drive was going to take about an hour and a half each way.
We unloaded the kayaks at the river. Got our gear mostly ready to go, snapped a couple pictures…
Then Ira and Chris headed off with the vehicles while Robert and I stayed with the yaks.
Sounds like fun.
We took the kayaks down to the waters edge…
we filled everyone’s water bottles up…tested out the kayaks…
we tried a little fishing (no luck)…we ate some food…we took pictures with our phones and emailed them…
called our wives (probably our last chance to have contact until we got Buffalo City)…sat on the ground…got sand blasted by the 40 mile/hour winds…and then we waited.
Sometime after lunch Ira and Chris got back and we headed out for Rush Landing. The first leg of the float was filled marked by unbelievable cliff faces butting up to the river and occasional waterfalls coming down the hillside.
It took a little while to find the campsite at Rush Landing which is the entry point to the Lower Buffalo and Leatherwood wilderness areas. But in the end there wasn’t much drama…we secured the kayaks, set up camp, fixed dinner and went to bed.
Pretty boring…surely the raccoons would show up and liven things up, eh?
Nope. Sorry. But the wind was crazy. That’s exciting right??
Well, maybe the excitement was over and the rest of the week would nice and relaxing…