Hike Above Spradley Hollow Near the Upper Big Piney Creek Valley
  Three weeks ago I hiked one of many "Bear Creeks" scattered around Arkansas. This particular one was located in the upper Big Piney Creek drainage. As I climbed out of the Piney Valley that day I gazed across the valley to the north and observed what appeared to be an unspoiled group of hollows and ridges. I was intrigued. This curiosity brought me to this small section of Ozark forestry. Hang on...lemme eat some breakfast first at Denny's in Russellville. Thanks Suzy the server for the tasty breaky.
  My thermometer read 37°. The temp in Dover was 28°. What tha!? The wind was still making it feel colder even though it was shifting to a southwestern origin. My parking spot was on top of a ridge on CR 27 in Newton County southwest of Hickory Grove off Hwy 16. A waning crescent of a quarter moon illuminated the dirt road as I traveled towards my entry point into the shrubbery. Many creatures scattered from my path as my footsteps brought to life the sound of crinkling leaves. As I understand...the animals fear this. I used used it to my advantage...for they prey upon those that walk without making this noise. By 6:20 the first bluff was before me but the darkness yielded no view of the valley. Onward to the next bluff which was on a point. It was OK but nothing great. The next bluff was down the point a ways and had too many trees blocking the view...so not that good either. The sun was rising, but right on queue the clear sky gave way to clouds and obscured its beauty.
  It was now 7:20 so I followed the upper bluff line at its base around the upper end of the hollow and climbed to the top as soon as a gateway opened for me. After more exploring a decent rock was found with a good view of the valley. By now the temp had risen to 50° and I relaxed there for a while. Around 10:15 I headed back up the ridge and my vehicle was before me at 10:50. The round trip was a little over five miles. It was not one of my favorite hikes due too a lot of brush and disappointing bluffs....but you will never know if you don't go.

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