After reading so much about Arkansas on a different forum (ExPo) I decided to give it a go. Unable to convince my friends to join me, my wife expressed interest. I had been putting off getting her a kayak for no real reason in particular, so we went to ACK and got her a new Hobie 11. I had a rough idea of an itinerary. Plan being; exploring the forest roads and trails for 3 days 3 nights then do an overnighter on the river. I had originally wanted to do the Buffalo but when I called the outfitters they all said the water was too low.
Loaded up the yaks, my mtn bike, & my sidekick Jax and got a late start arriving at the Cossatot Falls State Natural area around 10pm. The deer were so thick I drove 30mph or less for the last 10 miles or so. A wrong turn took me towards the visitor center. A sheriff passed me and I had to back up to flag him down. Not a day over 25 but super friendly with a southern drawl so bad I had to hide my grin. He steered me the right way. "Ders campin up dat way, ish up in der 5 mayb 6 mile". (Please do understand I am not makin fun, just trying to illustrate the details. I am oft called out on my okie accent). This Sherriff would be the last human we saw for a couple days.
Anticipating a late arrival I had opted for an improved or designated campsite. The place was empty. 8 sites, each with a picnic table and a fire ring. Temps were in the low 40s. We could hear fast water but other than a couple scans with a spotlight I didn't investigate. The next morning we woke to this.
The Cossatot falls are actually class V rapids in the spring/early summer and Cossatot is french slang for skullcrusher. After some breakfast and some boulder hopping/wading. We loaded up and crossed over into the Nat'l Forest.