Buffalo bound with no TL

It’s Bill’s trip. We were supposed to do it last year, but put it off so he could get a knee fixed. We were on I-81 Friday, driving to Jasper, when Bill called to scratch. His wife fell I’ll. So now we are on a trip with no Trip Leader.

It looks like we will be able to float a boat at Ponca. So, I’ll get on the phone tomorrow and call an outfitter. I think Bill had spoken with Lost Valley so I’ll start with them. But where do I tell them we are going?

We have a guidebook with us. Guess we need to break it out and then get on the phone. We are going to meet another guy in Harrison, and I suppose we could run our own shuttle. Help us out. What should we see on the Buffalo given roughly a week? Are there hikes we should not miss? Any particularly nice camp sites to look for? Anybody want to join us Sunday at Ponca?


In Waverly, Tn.

Virtual TL
Ponca to Buffalo Point is 94 river miles, or about 6 days with 16 mile days. Ponca to Buffalo City and the confluence with the White is 124 river miles, or about 8 days with 16 mile days.

Sorry I had to scratch - but the river will always be there and other more temporal matters command my attention.

Maybe a solo run for me later this year or in 20102.

Make that 2012, altho I am planning on immortality the smart money is on me not being around 20102.

River side hikes - my intentions were to do Hemmed in Hollow in the first 10 miles from Ponca and then the Nars about 5 miles downstream of Mt. Hersey (or 47 river miles from Ponca).

Have fun, gonna miss Orville’s popcorn.

Lost Valley Trail

– Last Updated: Mar-19-11 6:14 PM EST –

If you get a chance check out the Lost Valley Trail. It is beatiful and a fairly short hike.

It has multiple waterfalls when the water is flowing. At the top of the trail is a cave, and in the back of the cave there is a waterfall that comes out of the ceiling.

The trail is just outside of Ponca.

Do not miss Hemmed-in-Hollow if the water is flowing.

I will be floating there in a couple days. I can't wait, but hopefully they get a little rain. It is getting pretty low at the Ponca Low Water bridge.

I have used Lost Valley and Buffalo Outdoor Center to shuttle my vehicle many times and the are both really good outfitters and good people.

I have used BOC
and they do not bring your vehicle till the last day…Ergo you can change your destination take out. There is a landline at Buffalo Point.

Hmmm… I have always run Ponca to the White River in five days. Sixteen mile days are very relaxed. We averaged 25. Mostly due to higher water and faster current.

Be careful at Hasty and Erbie Ford and check before running. Hemmed Hollow is a must.

get the Buffalo River Maps series West and East from National Geographic. It shows trails as well as river miles.

Also see here


I have done the river four times and once tandem and all other solos.

Watch the river levels…plant a stick at waterside and monitor.River goes up quickly. Also tie all boats. They can blow away if just pulled up on a gravel bar. Otherwise plain common sense can get you through…leader or no

with kayamedic. have a great trip. the buffalo is truly one of the most scenic floats in the country.

Just got back
from there yesterday- we floated from Ponca to Ozark. Water was pretty low on Friday, so I’d imagine if they don’t get any rain you will want to move further downstream.

The river sure is beautiful right now- although my buddy did flip at Steel Creek, he got a little too far right and to steep on the ledge there and over he went in his kayak.

Must see- I’m partial to Hawksbill Crag, Hemmed in Hollow, Maybe you will catch a herd of Elk in the Valley (we did on Friday).

My advice, take your time and enjoy as much of the river as possible.

Harrison ER
If you have to get hurt and go to an ER, go in Harrison, AR. Wow, super nice and efficient people. In and out in under 2 hours.

Steve stepped on some infirm, riverside, timber piles. I’m not sure how it happened, but he ended up falling into a stab wound by a split of tree limb. He took it in the thigh, about three or four inches deep. So, our trip ended at Wollem. Super nice people at Lost Valley Canoe brought us our vehicles and we got to the ER in Harrison, where we encountered people so nice it makes me want to move to Arkansas.

I will be very surprised if Ed doesn’t bag another stream or two before he heads back.

We were all really enjoying the Buffalo. What a ton of fun!


Stab wound

– Last Updated: Mar-24-11 7:44 AM EST –

“I’m not sure how it happened, but he…” Chip, a 4-inch stab wound suffered in the Arkansas wilderness demands a more horrific tale. How many people were on this trip? Embellishing a story is only a matter of keeping your lies straight amongst those involved. Are you sure that the pile of unstable debris wasn’t actually a deadfall trap set by some crazy Buffalo River madman?

You’ve got to remember that many of us are still snow bound and waiting for the ice to melt. Our only source of riparian adventure comes from the stories that you southerners post here. I will await a more exciting fabrication of the facts from your Buffalo River adventure.

I have experienced your feelings of gratitude for emergency personal. I was working alone in the shop one night. I can remember the hissing sound of air just moments before the explosion. A rocketing air tank caught me on the right arm, nearly severing it at the elbow. Dizzy from shock, I managed to reach the phone and call 911 before passing out. My next memory was of the bright light in the operating room. Before succumbing to the antithetic there was a consoling gaze of a masked nurse that assured me … Get the idea.

Sounds like fine on river 1st aid
Sorry to hear of Steve’s accident - kind of takes the shine off of a nice week of paddling.

From your description is sounds like Steve had some paddling left to do to get to a takeout, waiting for vehicles and then a drive to town. That had to take some time before he got to professional medical people. You guys must have done an excellent job providing 1st aid to stem the blood flow.

Hope he’s doing fine now and needs a reason to paddle the Buffalo next year and finish what he started.

Great story!

(but are we really supposed to believe it, after your first paragraph above?) :wink: