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only gets better. In what is one of the
longest established stretches of the
trail, the trail descends to the banks
of Rocky Creek. Once there, a spur to
the west leads directly to Rocky Falls
whose tumult grows louder with each
approaching step.
Of the creeks to be crossed in this
section, Rocky is the deepest. But as is
at the Current itself, where the hiker
must climb a bluff to behold the goal.
There’s camping up here, where, one
night, I wrote a poem (see below).
The four miles that lie ahead are argu-
ably the most gorgeous of the 30 that
comprise the Current River section.
For those who want a day hike, I can
think of none better than one from the
trailhead at Owls Bend to Indian Creek
and back again, for the hiker is wed-
ded to the Current the whole way. The
sycamores are majestic, and bluebells
grace the sandy shores come spring.
Connecting to the Blair Creek section
takes one over the bridge on state high-
way 106 where the river and sky open
wide—a far cry and distance from the
culvert on this section’s opposite end.
Rocky Falls tumbles 40 feet into a deep pool below
View of exposed rhyolite glades from
Stegall Mountain lookout tower
The sycamores
are majestic, and
bluebells grace
the sandy shores
come spring.
often the case, with
danger comes beauty.
Rocky Falls itself at-
tests to that, as does a
shut-ins just past county
road NN in the notch
flanking Buzzard Moun-
tain, and another just
down the trail, at the site
of Klepzig Mill. Though
some cross Rocky Creek
here by tightrope walking
the remains of a dam, the
hiker with a heavy pack is
smarter to cross at the creek,
though the bed is uneven and
the water often overlaps the
knee. But once past Klepzig
I feel home free, able to
enjoy the beauty without
worry, for just over a small
saddle awaits Indian
Creek. The trail sidles
this soft and lovely water
for a good length, and
crisscrosses its shallow
shelf until arriving
The Ozark Trail Association
Galvanized to the earth’s salt in a fusion of rock and bone
I lie here above the Current River, tented, in a light rain.
All day it drizzled and froze to the track, glazing
The stone in a sheen of abalone light.
All day I thought about this comfort: of being dry
And warm in a down bag under the rain’s light patter.
My candle sheds soft light and the occasional bead
Of wax as I watch shadows dance on the wall.
Usually, up here, I’m dancing to the pop and spit
Of a cedar fire, the fire ring taking me close
To the bluff and the seething swirl
Of water below, moving eddies to the sea.
But tonight I’m prone, snug as a foot
In a terry cloth sock, safe at last from the sky.
Fused to the earth, I feel the marrow of pine needles
In my bones, and the firm assurance that nothing will move.
- Bob Henningsen