March 28, 2016
Pops and I began another adventure today. This time to somewhere he’s always wanted to go…Buzzard Roost. All the directions in the book and on All Trails told us how to get there from Pelsor. Dad knew there had to be a better way from our end of the Ozarks, so we plugged it into Mapquest and found some old dirt roads to take us there. We parked at the beginning of a muddy ATV trail in front of a white house and next to an old barn.
We took off down the muddy 4-wheeler roadway for 2 miles. We passed a small pond and 2 forks in the road. We veered right on both splits. The first one we will have to go down another day, but the second one will take you to see the rooftop view of the Natural Bridge. Both rights took us to Buzzard Roost. Looks a lot like the hoodoo rocks in the Ozarks, especially Pedestal Rocks. The book said it was a safe trail for kids, but I would argue that. Between the rocks were cracks that would drop down to the caves below. We sat here to take it in all in for a minute and then ventured our way down to the caves.
The caves were amazing! You could walk right through the middle crack underneath the entire Roost. Ernst suggested to walk from here around the ravine and get to the Natural Bridge from the bottom. So we bushwhacked our way across and were astonished at what we saw. The Natural Bridge was worth every moment sliding in dead leaves. Dad was wanting to climb on it but there really isn’t a good way to cross the bridge, unless you’re daring. I told Dad I wasn’t about to carry him out of the Piney Creek Wilderness.
We then decided to climb up the ravine to the see the rooftop view and then hit the 4-wheeler trail and started the 2 mile journey out. The walk back seemed a lot shorter. We made it to the vehicle in record time. Dad heard twice in one day from several people to take the driving tour down Pilot Rock Mountain Road and since we had extra time, we did. We took several dirt roads out to Hwy 123, passed Haw Creek Falls and took the next left up Hess Mountain. The famous Arkansas Sphinx sits at one of the highest points in the Ozarks. The approximately 15 mile dirt road took several hours to maneuver. Many campsites were scattered along the road. Towards the end we came up to Pilot Rock. I can see how planes used this mountain to guide them home. The mountain road went straight downhill and spit us out at the Old Hwy 7 close to Longpool. The driving tour was a great way to unwind from the unseemingly tiresome hike around Buzzard Roost.