By MARK IRLE (digitalBURG) — My most recent solo hike was another trip into the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. As usual, finding my objective, Thunder Canyon Falls, wasn’t easy. This was my second attempt at finding this special
waterfall. The first time I tried to find it I was hiking with my wife, Sandy. The guidebook we were using informed us that we should cross Cecil Creek four times. This caused us to hike beyond the falls and we ended up camping in another valley.
This time, I had learned that the trail has changed over the years and the creek is only crossed twice. Once the canyon is discovered, you know you are in the right place because all of the creek bed is solid rock. This slick rock makes the bushwhacking a little tougher. “Bushwhacking” is a term for “off the trail” hiking.
There is no doubt that you have reached the correct spot because you will hear the thunder in the shear walled canyon. I always try to go to this type of falls after a good spring or fall rain and hiking is always more fun when the leaves are off the trees. This way you get better views of the falls and the countryside. The nights are cooler for camping and there are less bugs and ticks to pick off after a bushwhack.
Mark Irle lives with his wife, Sandy, on a Century Farm near Warrensburg, Mo., and has so far visited 27 countries and 45 U.S. states.Visit their blog at www.iplanetrip.com.