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7/28/2012
  Has anyone noticed...?....it's warm out.....so they say....but not to me. I took a short hike up in the Ponca Wilderness Saturday and had a lovely stroll on the Buffalo River Trail going in. The start was at Steel Creek Campground following the trail downstream to Beech Creek then down to the Buffalo River. Temp at 6:00 a.m. was around 72 and rose to above 100 later in the day but it felt great out there...even with the humidity. The trail is a nice one here with plenty of waterfalls along the way in wet weather. There are 2-3 overlooks along this stretch with views of the river. When arriving at the confluence of Beech Creek and the Buffalo a herd of wild pigs was encountered working their way upstream. They did not see me and I watched them for a while before stirring them up by my presence....quite humorous. The river bed was then followed upstream where possible...but the Old River Trail was used when the river was bank to bank. Two very friendly groups of horse riders were encountered...and I yielded to them...as is the only choice on this narrow trail. Made it back to the campground around 10:00. Total miles about 7.5. Breakfast was again at the South Park Restaurant (24 hrs) in Clarksville and lunch at K's Cafe in Jasper. If you have never eaten here you should give it a try...I prefer it to the Ozark Cafe. It was also cool to see several elk right along the edge of the road coming into the Boxley Valley just before dawn. 

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