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1/11/2014
  Valleys are abundant in the Ozarks. The hills are filled with hollows and creeks and many are well known and visited frequently. Many are not. I visited one such hidden valley this past Saturday. As far as I know it's not a common destination. This particular area is nearly as unspoiled as the Upper
Buffalo Wilderness Area...maybe even more so. Before exploration a big breakfast is always required prior to the attempt. This week's meal was had at the South Park restaurant in Clarksville...and remember...it's open 24 hours...a prerequisite since breakfast occurs between 3:30 a.m. and 4:00. On the drive up Hwy 21 the temp was about 40° but after achieving the upper Ozark plateau past Ozone my vehicle hit a surprising slick spot and scared the crap out of me. I slowed down and checked the temp for Ozone and it was still around 40°. This was perplexing so my speed the rest of the way stayed around 35.
  At 5:20 I parked on Hwy 21 and Dixon Ridge Road (FR 1463) which is the road that accesses Adkins Creek and Dixon Ford on the Upper Buffalo. By 5:30 I was walking north to west on Hwy 21 and the road had some ice crystals on it. When I hit the woods at 6:10 it was 35°...so I still don't understand the ice on the road. Rain hit the state hard the day before so water was plentiful in the little creeks. I was hiking along a valley with a creek that has no name to the west of Hwy 21. The week before the temps were quite cold and there was still ice on most rocks and such. This was going to be a slippery hike. This creek is a tributary of a tributary of the West Fork of Big Piney Creek in the headwaters of the Piney.
  The hike involved a lot of creek side scrambling and then some bluff top hiking and then some more creek hiking. The terrain was very impressive and there was only one section of bluff line where I saw signs of civilization. The creeks have a lot of character. The smaller one going in was cool and the bigger one going out was equally as cool. I will just refer to the creeks as Piney Forks. The day remained sunny and the temp climbed to 64°. Lunch was had on a bluff at the convergence of the two forks. The view there is great except for three houses seen on a distant ridge. I made it back to the vehicle around 4:20. Total miles hiked around 9.5.

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