Since the sun would be rising well to the north and out of sight from the Buckeye Mountain overlook, I wasn't concerned that we might be a few minutes after sunrise getting there. The color I was hoping to find wouldn't be there until the sun was above the horizon anyway.
Still, the earlier we got there, the better, and so I pushed on up the trail pretty hard, at least for a fat, old man, and although I was in much better physical shape than on our last visit to Buckeye Mountain last November, there is nothing like strapping on a pack and puffing up a hill to give you a good idea of the kind of shape you're not in.
There are a couple of places along the trail where the view opens up a bit, and for about half of the distance to the overlook the path follows the narrow spine of Buckeye Mountain, with views to left into Caney Creek Valley and to the right across the grand ravine that the trail skirts on its first half. Here and there are interesting rock formations, so different from the ones I'm used to seeing in the Ozarks, one of them a huge, room-sized outcrop tipped up on its end with its strata running almost straight up and down.
We made it to the overlook a few minutes after sunrise and found gold in the eastern sky and a dusting of green across the hills, and I went about doing what I had come there for, which was to put a camera in front of some of that light flying outward from these Ouachita mountains and valleys, and capture it so that I could bring it back to show it to you, gentle reader.