Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring in the Ozarks: Foggy Hollow



After reaching Buffalo National River,  the first items on the agenda were arranging a float trip for the next day and having lunch at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper. But the next order of business was to pick up my key and settle into my Ozark refuge, the Foggy Hollow Cabin at Low Gap. This cabin sits on sixty acres of hillside overlooking the Steel Creek Valley between Ponca and Jasper.

It is lovely both inside and out, and has most of the comforts of home. But best of all, it has amazing back porches with views of the valley below.




These porches became the focus of my routines for the seven nights I stayed there. In the morning I'd have breakfast there, listen to the birds awaken, and the watch the mist slowly recede into the deepest hollows. In the evening I'd watch the sun descend and the stars come out, while bats and lightning bugs came to dance around the cabin. As the nights grew quiet, the sound of the creek splashing its way down the ridge would carry to the porch.

At night it got truly dark, so the stars and moon were exceptionally bright. In addition to the bats and lightning bugs, there were numerous moths that would flutter around any source of light. And on my first night there,  a chorus of coyotes sang me a lullaby.

During the day the woods were filled with birds including crows, titmice, nuthatches, bluejays, and woodpeckers -- including pileated woodpeckers. On two different mornings, flocks of wild turkeys passed through the yard. I saw evidence of deer near the pond but never actually spotted one.

A few observations might help convey the seclusion of this area:
  • The traction control system on my RAV4 frequently engaged when heading up the rather steep gravel driveway in the morning.
  • I was once obliged to move my car while having lunch at the excellent cafe just up the road in Low Gap. Why? I was blocking the hitching post when a group of riders came through.
  • Mobile phone coverage is so spotty that on several evenings I found myself driving to a nearby hilltop to get enough signal to check the weather and send a few emails. 
All in all Foggy Hollow was a beautiful serene haven tucked into the hills. And it served as a perfect base of operations for my Ozark adventures.

More Pictures from Foggy Hollow

2 comments:

  1. Hi! I came across your blog and couldn't resist writing you! I'm looking to rent Foggy Hollow this summer and after reading your blog....I'm truly convinced! Thank you for making my decision easier! Also, I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS!!! I read and viewed everything you had on here and I'm truly amazed! I'm interested in any other places or cabins you've visited too! Please write and give me your input on which cabin you enjoyed the most! Take care and God Bless!
    -Justin, TX-

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    1. Hi Justin, thank you for the kind words about my photos. It's a beautiful area so finding subjects to photograph comes easily.

      The only other place I've stayed in the upper Buffalo River region is Azalea Falls (http://www.azaleafalls.com/) and I enjoyed it also. If you follow the link on the right to My Photo Albums, you'll find pictures from there on Oct 6, 2010 and other albums around it from the same fall trip to the area.

      One word of warning about water levels. Floating on the upper Buffalo is heavily dependent on recent rains and is usually limited to spring and early summer. By late summer the lower sections generally remain floatable but the upper river is too low. The upper river outfitters like Lost Valley Canoe and Buffalo Outdoor Center can give you advice on this.

      Good luck!

      - Ben

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