Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cave and Spring near Old Sand Mine at Nasco

At the area's district fair Friday night, I ran into the owner of the Old Sand Mine property on the River at Nasco. While talking with him, he told me about a cave near the old mine and gave me directions. Because he is in the process of selling the property, he suggested we make our visit as soon as possible.

We did so. We made plans late last night and got up with the sun to drive down the old Nasco Traverse to do a bit of real exploring.

It was an amazing morning. A spring below the cave empties into Lyons creek several hundred feet below. We crossed Lyons Creek after finding a suitable place to park our vehicle and found the spring branch the gracious landowner had described. Ascending a natural staircase carpeted in a rich emerald green moss, we made our way up the steep branch that is a series of tiny trickling waterfalls. Crystal pools of Ozark spring-water reflected the lush canopy of vegetation creating astounding contrasts with the vibrant moss that covers each rock along the stream.

Making our way breathlessly over boulders up the final steep climb, we finally made our way to a bluff which revealed a cave opening.

A stream of water flows from the mouth of the cave to disappear into the loose gravel that makes up the floor. It only took a glance to see that any attempt at exploring the cave beyond a few feet would prove a wet and painful experience. Though we had brought lights, we had not brought kneepads or any way to keep equipment dry. To explore into the cave (which looks can glimpse deep passages from the water's edge), would have required more determination than we had at the time. Hopefully we will get to return more prepared.

Running parallel to the spring-branch is a wash...though currently dry, it must have plenty of water throughout the year because the moss on bluff-shelves that create a picturesque "grand staircase" up the little hollow to an interesting bluffface some twenty-to fifty feet higher up the hill than the cave described.

The trip[ today was wonderful. We love visiting new places we've never seen. And this was one p[lace really worth seeing!

I would like to return in the winter if we can get permission. From the position of the cave's mouth, I'm almost sure one would have an excellent view of the White River from that position.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick Trip To Calico Rock

Very early this morning, Jaca, an integral member of our crew and at the top of my wife's list of usual suspects, stopped by and said, "Let's go for a ride!" As I do most days he does this, I complied.

We headed north and west to Calico Rock and captured images of one of the old schoolhouses in Calico Rock. Though I don't know much of the history of this building as of yet, I intened to find out when it was built and when it also operated.

It's an awesome old structure...standing high an proud, though looking rather worn...and terribly neglected. Walking around the stately old hulk, I was both invigorated by the majesty of the place and saddened by it's state.

It's not the first time I've felt these same old feelings. Several times since we started EIC, I've experienced them. The first was the old hotel/boarding-house along the tracks at Mount Olive. the old schoolhouse in the old Strawberry Township...come to mind as well. I am also reminded of the many wonderful old buildings that so captivated me as a child that have either burned or just rotted and collapsed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 8, 2007

Totally Gid, Dude!

Today, we took our friend, Donny, to visit the amazing features at Gid. We visited both waterfalls and the old Indian Shelter above the Grist-Mill.

It was a beautiful day, though humid. The stream of water falling off the rock at the smaller of the two falls (upstream) was quite thin. We took the opportunity to spend a little time wandering around and looking at some of the interesting formations a little farther down the creek. We are quite sure the creek bottom and the hollow it follows would make an excellent hiking trail.

Downstream, at the Grist-Mill Waterfall, we drove to the top of the falls and got some footage and shots of the feature from above. Afterwards we descended the hill and enjoyed the cool spray as the spring-fed water pummeled the rock at the foot of the falls.

As we headed out, we stopped at the top of the opposite ridge and visited the old Indian Cave there. More great video! This feature is truly worth notice...a large shelter with two of which has a stream of water falling into.

September 11, 2007

Return to Lafferty Cave

Rick and I both have sons whose birthdays occured this week. Today, we took one of them...Rick's...also a member of the EIC Lafferty. We climbed the falls up to the cave and went in to take a look. A hundred feet or so into the cave lies a pair of streams. Following the second of these brought us to a flooded tunnel. Though we had three lights, we had not come prepared to wade an underground creek. One day we will return fully prepared for an excursion.

We had fun, though. As we always do.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Lafferty Springs

On Saturday, the first of September, our crew took a drive to Lafferty in order to document the spring and the cave above it. We arrived at approximately 10;45 a.m. and spent about 45 minutes at the location. While there, we explored the various outlets along the side of the hill, some which have been tapped for use by homes down in the Lafferty Valley below the springs.

We also ascended the steep wash that stretches from the cave at the top to the branch at the bottom. Because we did not bring any lighting, we only took a peek inside the cave and decided to come back for a more thorough investigation of the feature at a later date.

Our short trip allowed us to get some great shots of the Sanctuary Ranch as well as some of the dam on Lafferty Creek.

A reader had commented about the stone basin located at the spring in an earlier post ...which we photographed and have posted at EIC.

The spring was not as robust as we have seen in the past. An extended period of dry weather is to blame. We plan to return when we can capture the spring as it cascades down the wash.