When we were in Branson, MO, my daughter had a rare day off from working at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. Since we are both determined to get as many stamps in our National Park Passport Books as possible, we found that Tyler Bend Buffalo National River was within a nice two-hour drive for a day trip. We set the navigation on Waze to ‘no highways’ and went on an adventure with some geocaching stops along the way.
The entrance to the National River was a breath of fresh air from the sign pollution and tourist trap of Branson. The park was almost empty and we had free reign of the Visitor’s Center and the hiking trails. Time with Dani (my daughter) + nature + nature trails + running waterway = a wonderful, wonderful day.
One of the trails led us to the riverbank completely covered by river rock, a gently running river, and rocky cliffs on the other side. It was peaceful and serene. We enjoyed skipping rocks, watching nearby kayakers, and locating interesting rocks and wildlife of the bug kind.
We continued our drive deeper into the small park and found another trailhead. This was only about 1/2 mile and ended at an island area where the river meandered through.
On the other side of the river was a tall cliff with an alcove under it big enough for a kayak to enter and become hidden.
However, some young men and women decided to climb the cliff and jump into the pool below. It made my heart skip to watch them, but I captured some video (below). The jumping only lasted long enough for a park ranger to come along and stop the activity, for which I was extremely grateful.
After the park ranger ended the jumping, a group of men at the river for a bachelor party weekend asked Dani to take their picture.
It was a peaceful and quiet day. We had lighthearted conversation and laughter, moved at a slow pace, and enjoyed the fresh air and serenity of the nature around us.
It was a very good day, indeed.
Where we are: Austin, TX. Where we are going: Jacksonville, FL. Blog post location: Harrison, Arkansas (during visit to Branson, MO).
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