Project 52 -1 Pam’s Grotto 1/1/2007

We had several days of rain so the creeks were full and it was time to go check out this cool waterfall just a little past the Haw Creek Falls camping area. For an exact description of the falls see Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook, or Arkansas Nature Lovers Guide. These two books by Tim are available at your local book store or online at www.cloudland.net. This will be the best money you have spent on a book in a while. Please consider purchasing one of these guide books.

It was a clear sky today and due to the location of some falls, it is necessary to get there late in the day rather than early morning. I packed my gear up and loaded the GPS coordinates into my Magellan Map 330 and headed out the door. The girls were going to go with me today, but Becky’s mom was not feeling well and had to attend to her. I drove out near the Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area and quickly found the place I needed to park, but there was a truck blocking the way. I went down the road to the parking area of the Ozark Highland Trail and turned around to see where I could park. It was wet and I did not want to get stuck on the side of the road. I found a spot that my truck did not slip and parked there.

I gathered my camera gear as well as my GPS to help guide me to the falls. I found the start of the trail the rock climbers use to get to the bluffs, but failed to take a right and followed the creek up to the falls. This was a big mistake! That was one tough climb for a fat boy and his gear. I made it to the falls and I was really tired when I got there (due to the bush wack), but the falls was really going. I looked around for a few minutes to find the best spot to set up the camera and realized the light sucked! I looked at my GPS, which shows me the sun angle and determined in 45 minutes the light would be behind the hill and the falls would be in great light. I was right! At 1:35 pm the light was not shining on the falls and I began to photograph Pam’s Grotto Falls. I will have to come back here again this winter to do some exploring down the creek.

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I took several dozen images of the falls in the great light and took a few snapshots of me at the falls. I had on dark clothes, so I blended in with the rocks at the falls, so I had to take some images a little different for my visit. This is one cool scenic area that you should check out sometime. Plan on about two hours for the hike as well as time spent exploring the area. A great place for a picnic!

1/6/2007 Return to Pam’s Grotto Falls

I enjoyed this area so much that I needed to go back for some more photographs. I contacted Bob Laster and he expressed that he would like to go see the falls. Yeah! I would have some company on this trip to the falls. We left my house at 7:00 am to go to the falls. I was up there in the afternoon last time and this time would be a morning shot. It was cloudy as we made it to the parking area and a little chilly. I thought my vest would be just right for the trip and decided that it should be enough once we started climbing the trail to the bluffs. At the top of the bluffs we saw all kinds of neat rock formations as well as a few caves along the route to the falls. After about a half mile or so you can see the falls in all it’s glory. What a site! Bob was excited to see this falls and I was glad to bring him along. As we set up our camera gear to photograph the falls, the light was getting better, but the falls was not flowing as fast as it was on New Year’s Day. Still a very nice sight!

I shot about 5 shots and my battery was flashing. D’oh! I told Bob to make sure he charged his batteries, but I had left my fully charged batteries at home. I had four more and would see how much charge they had. Tried a new one and it lasted about 10 shots and was forced to look for another one. The other two would get me through this shoot. I’ll have to remember this for my next trip! Took several images from different view points and did a self portrait at the falls form a different vantage point than I see most of the time from this falls.

Bob continued shooting while I put up my camera gear and prepared to find the Geocache that is hid here at the falls. Bob had been Geocaching once before with his uncle and was quick to find this cache before I had a chance to even think about it. It is nice to be able to find a cache that quickly after a long hike to a remote area like this one. A great day to be out in the woods today! Thanks Tim for your trail guide, because with out it I would not know about this place.