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Apr. 18, 2004

Windy, hot, hazy, dry. This is not how you would normally describe spring, but that's the way things have stacked up so far for the most part.

So I spent most of Sunday exploring rather than taking pictures and didn't fill up even a single roll. The photos on this page are from our expedition a couple weeks ago to the Talimena Scenic Byway.

Still, it was a productive day since among other things Junie and I discovered an overlook in the upper reaches of Salt Fork valley where we had tried to find one but came up empty a few weeks ago. This time instead of struggling along on the loose rock and slick leaves of the steep slopes we stayed up on the flat hilltop as much as we could and went straight up and down when we had to. The forest service had recently done a controlled burn in this area, incinerating most of the dead leaves and the ground covering vegetation, and in some places where the fire burned hottest there were ash shadows where fallen trees had been.

I'm not sure if we found the bluff I had spotted from Potato Knob Road, but after we made our way along stoney ravines and down charred and steep hillsides, across flat benches and around bluffs and rock outcrops, we happened upon a place where the forest canopy opened up, not much, but enough I think, on the steep bank behind a bluff. Next time I'll bring the camera gear and try to get some pictures, that is if I can find the spot again.

Oh, before I forget, I've been meaning to pass along a link I recently added to my links section, John Moore's Mooremonkeys' Adventures. I enjoy John's photos and stories about his travels in the Ozarks, and I know you will, too.