Location: Bowers Hollow Falls 

Date: 5/9/09 

Journal Entry:

I called Bob to let him know it would be a few minutes before I could meet him to leave for Bowers Hollow. Thirty minutes later I was at McDonalds eating some breakfast and talking about the storm as well as our plans for today. We agreed we needed to visit a falls that was going to be flowing good from all the rain we had. Bowers Hollow was just the place we needed to go. I had been there years ago before digital cameras, and now was my chance to catch the falls in digital format. (For information on going to Bowers Hollow I strongly recommend getting Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfall Book, check your local bookstore or go to Cloudland.net to get yours) We took off and headed up Hwy 21 to our destination. We have had at least 7 inches of rain over the past two weeks and the ground is really saturated. The roads we drove on showed those signs too! There is a section of road that is very bad that is about a ½ mile from the parking area into Bowers Hollow. Tim recommends only high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicles attempt this road. You really need to listen to the book on this one! Here is why....

We get to the road and I am telling Bob that the last time I was here with a friend of mine; we got stuck in her Jeep. Bob thinks we can handle the hill and I am a little reserved about this. We make the first attempt and we start spinning. The road looks very nasty and it is VERY WET clay. Bob thinks that if he takes a running start, we will be able to tackle this small hill. We get a running start and hit the muddy area in 4WD and we start spinning and the front of the truck takes a dive into the mud. We are stuck! Bob thinks we can get out, but the more we try, the further down we go. I get out and start gathering rocks to place under the tires. Just maybe we can get some traction, and get out of this situation. As I place the rocks around the tires, I step off into the mud and sink up to my knees. I am really stuck and can’t get out. Truck is stuck, Mark is stuck and I am really thinking we are stuck really bad. Bob pulls me out and I get stuck again. Hell, I can’t walk in this shit, how can some one drive in it! I am a little concerned right now. The main reason I am concerned is Bob is one of these guys that is prepared for everything. Anytime we go somewhere he has his camera gear and a whole lot more. Bob is not prepared! He doesn’t have anything to help us other than a rope and a few D-rings. This is not going to work. We set up a z-drag to try to pull the truck out, no success. We are sunk up to the frame by now and I KNOW we are really stuck!

Via Bob's iPhone. Click to see larger image.


Via Bob's iPhone. Click to see larger image.

Bob has one tool that may save the day, his iPhone! Apple say’s they have an application for everything....we could use the winch app right now! Bob and I use the same AT&T carrier, I have no service, but Bob does. The iPhone may save the day! We try several people, but they can’t help us out. We have one hope, Tim lives near by and maybe if I can get in touch with him he can save us. I call up on the iPhone and Pam answers, I tell her I am really stuck and could they help us out. Tim gets on the phone and I can hear him chuckling under his breath....”I’ll gather a chain and see if we can get you out”. I am relieved, but don’t know if the Acura 4x4 family wagon will pull us out? About 20 minutes later Tim and Pam arrive to save the day (at least I hope). We hook a chain and a few nylon straps together and pull, but we don’t move. Tim tries again and no luck. Bob recommends we give him some slack and then make a tug. After several tries, we get loose and Tim pulls us in the mighty Acura as gravity helps us get down the hill. I am very happy this all worked out!

We were all talking after we were pulled to safety and a friend of Tim and Pam arrive at the scene, Terry from Fayetteville. Terry is hiking into the same area as we are and is interested to see if the ice storm has damaged the trail. As we hike in it is very clear that the ice storm has done some major damage to the trail. It takes us and extra hour or so hike that used to be an easy trail is now difficult. If you go to Bowers Hollow trail, be prepared for the extra time to get there. We dropped off the trail into the hollow and found the falls to be running very nice. We hiked down below the falls and rested from the long hike in. After drinking some water and eating a power bar, I was ready to photograph the falls. Enjoy the images.

-mark

Season: Spring, after 7 inches of rain 

Weather: Cloudy 

Mileage: 130 miles (from my home)

GPS Coordinates:

Parking area up the hill - N 35 51.688, W 093 27.517

Jump off main trail to falls - N 35 51.113, W 093 26.210

Bowers Hollow Falls - N 35 51.241, W 093 26.076

 

Directions:

Page 20 & 21 of “Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook” by Tim Ernst

Check your local book store or go online to Cloudland.net.

 

Camera Data & Gear:

Canon 1Ds, Hakuba Carbon Fiber Tripod HG-6230C with Kirk modified Bogen Proball 308 head, Circular Polarizer, Canon 17-40mm lens, Canon cable release, Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II, Lexar Digital Media, Lowrance iFinder H20 GPS.

 

Notes:

Recent damage from the ice storm makes this trail very hard to hike.  It would normally be an easy stroll along the trail to the falls drop off point, but not any more.  Plan some extra time going to this trail and I would not wear shorts due to the briars and thorns along the trail.  This was once a nice trail and it would take hundreds of man hours to fix the trail.

Getting into the hollow can be tricky and a rope to lower your gear is a great help while trying to get down into this hollow.  Take lots of water and a GPS is very useful getting you back to the trail and your vehicle.

 Images:

Bowers Hollow Falls taken from inside the cave near the falls. Great place to rest and have lunch, but bring lots of mosquito repelant!

 

 Another view from down stream of the falls.  You really need a wide angle lens to capture the beauty of the falls.