We rounded a curve and saw the sun peeking over the horizon and saw Hawksbill crag - it was BEAUTIFUL! Yes, we were too late for the best light, and I know this picture I got could have been better had we been the first there because we could have gotten the prime spot - the only really good spot - to take the pictures of the sun rising and the hikers standing out on the rocks...but it was not meant to be this trip... here is what I was able to get.
So you can see the sun was a little high, and right into the lens of the camera, and not quite the right angle to see the "Hawks Bill", but oh it was soooo pretty!!!
I took a few pictures and then scrambled a little higher up the trail and walked out on the "hawks bill" to get a picture of the valley below filled with morning mist.
I then walked back up the trail looking for a shot I had seen on the way up, but the light had changed and the shot was long gone - again, meant for a future trip I'm sure!
We stayed and watched the magical play of light and shadow as we slowly made our way the mile and a half back to the car, enjoying the peace and quiet of the walk and the quiet serenity of the mountains around us.
Once back in the car (and after a wonderful breakfast) we decided we would tackle the Mill Creek Trail. This is a fairly easy mile and a half trail that doesn't make you feel like you are climbing a mountain!
As we were walking along a dark shape dropped from the trees on the right ahead of us, flew right in front of us and shot up to a tree on the left! We searched the trees and saw this owl peering down at us - I wasn't sure any picture I took could be blown up so that we could see it but thought I'd try anyway and here it is!
We walked the trail and saw the remains of the Shaddox cabin that I'll put in another post later - then, because it was nearing dusk we headed over toward Ponca to see if the Elk would come out to the fields.
There was one Elk out in this field, but do you see those very small green "bushes" just below the trees? He was next to those and wouldn't get any closer. We simply didn't have enough lens to get any good pictures so I started taking pictures of the setting sun hitting the trees on the surrounding hills.
Friday would be our day to pack up and head back to Texas and home. We got up really early though and headed back to Steel Creek one last time. The fog over the river was beautiful.
I actually pulled out the tripod so I could get some shots of the river speeding over the rocks.
Then, as the light changed and began to spread over the valley floor we walked over to look at the horses in the field close to the river.
I think this one was used to people - kept coming up and looking in the camera lens!
Although it was still very thick and a deep blue color nearer the valley where the light hadn't touched it yet!
We walked into the field to get some pictures of the bluff above the river, then
back to the road and saw the light flowing across the fields and touching the grove of trees next to the river - just seemed to light them up!
And you could just stand and watch the fog lifting and burning off as the sun climbed higher and higher.
It was a beautiful last morning in Arkansas, and I can't wait to go back and see it again!