Monday, March 7, 2011

Rush Ghost Town/Indian Rock House, Arkansas

My buddy Brian and I headed south on Saturday morning to hike and camp along the lower Buffalo River in Arkansas. We had planned to leave the night before and hike a larger loop trail, but rain and high water kicked the trip back a few hours and made us choose a Plan B. So, we hiked Indian Rock House Loop and then wandered around Rush Ghost Town, checking out the history of the place.

A building on the way down, in Yellville, Arkansas. It was shaped like a pirate chest.
This building was in Yellville, Arkansas. Shaped like an open trunk, I had to get a pic.

At Rush Campground
My tent at Rush Campground

Since we usually camp in fairly cold weather, we often have campgrounds completely to ourselves.
We camp a lot in cold weather, we often have campgrounds completely to ourselves.

The Buffalo River at Rush.
The lower Buffalo River

The view from Buffalo Point. I've canoed this stretch once, about 7-8 years ago.
The view from Buffalo Point.

Brian and I
Brian D. and I

A small waterfall along the trail.
a small waterfall along the trail

a small waterfall along the trail

There were markers along the trail that explained anything of a historical nature.
There were signs along the train explaining the historical info of the area.

This mine entrance went back about 30 or so feet, then ended in a collapsed ceiling.
I mine opening.

Small flowers, about the size of your fingernails.
tiny flowers

Inside a cave with a sky light
a small cave with an opening in the ceiling

Bear in the cave.
bear (cookie) cave

trail sign

Indian Rock House Cave - There's evidence of people living here as far back as 7,000 BC. With a stream exiting one wall behind us and entering another to our right, it's easy to see why.
Indian Rock House Cave

this stream came out of one wall and went into the next, inside Indian Rock House Cave

this stream came out of one wall and went into the next, inside Indian Rock House Cave

Indian Rock House Cave

Indian Rock House Panoramic

There are two deer in this photo, can you spot them?
there are two deer in this photo, can you spot them?

Rush Ghost Town - Zinc was mined here till World War I and the town had a population at one point over 5,000 people. Then the market on zinc bottomed out and so did the town. Nothing remains but mines, buildings, rusting implements and daffodils.
area description

buildings at Rush ghost town

inside a home at Rush ghost town

daffodils are often the only sign of where a homestead once stood.

buildings at Rush ghost town

buildings at Rush ghost town

smelter at Rush ghost town

blacksmith shop at Rush ghost town

A bald eagle landed just across the river from us Sunday morning, while we were having coffee around the campfire. It hung out and watched us for a couple of hours.
a bald eagle landed just across the river from us Sunday morning, while we were having coffee around the campfire

We heard coyotes and owls at night, saw close to two dozen deer, by foot or car and saw some signs of beaver in the area.
beaver trees

Right to the left of this, a spring literally rolled up out of the hillside like it was boiling.
beaver trees

It was a nice trip. A bit lazier than usual, but I had only had four hours sleep the night before heading down and the rainy cold weather sidetracked us a bit.

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