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1/7/2012
  Well....I wasn't real sure how good the weather would be on this weekend...but decided to git on up to the Upper Buffalo Wilderness again and find some more natural coolness anyway. It was 47 degrees and cloudy at 7:00 a.m. as I departed from my motorized vehicle and dropped into Pruitt Hollow. There is a creek in this hollow that I assume bears the same name...but it is not noted on maps as being Pruitt Creek...but that is what I shall call it. So this is one of the longer creeks in the area and therefore had a decent flow of water...even though it had been...maybe a week since it rained up here. The terrain was average for these here parts and not too difficult to traverse...lacking any great drops in elevation and no major waterfalls in it's entire length made it easy taters compared to some of the other hollers around the Upper Buffalo. Not long into the hike the sun rose and the clouds cleared making for a glorious morning. The plan was too carry my gear for camping and do so if the weather was favorable and my mood did not deteriorate. I like ideal conditions since my weekend is short and don't want to spend the night if the experience is not to be.....perfect.
  The creek joined the Upper Buffalo right where the map said it would. The cool thing about the merger was how the stream bed narrowed down where a bluff tried to block its entry into the river. This was a tight and twisty little section that quickly opened up the Buffalo River. My plan was to follow the river down a bit and head up the short hollow that contains Smith and McClure Falls. Upon further ponderance...the thought of having to wade the river here and there did not appeal to me on this particular date. The decision was made to go up and over the vast mountainous ridge that separated Pruitt Hollow with this no-named hollow. The uphill trek was not too grueling and before I knew it the creek that feeds Smith Falls was beneath my boots...and a might bit dry it was. You see...the watershed for these two falls is quite minimal...so I reckon a fair and recent rain is warranted in order for the water to gravity ratio to be optimal. I think this area is noted to be Hawk Hollow...for from the sky it is in the shape of a hawk with its wings in a v-shape. Smith Falls has two levels...the top fall has a bunch of dead trees hanging around it. I only saw it from the top. There is a neat trail had follows the bluff to the north towards McClure Falls. It has an overhanging bluff above it that creates a shelter that many have used for a campsite. The bluff here is quite high and and a slip would result in a bad trip...man. 
  I crossed over the top of McClure Falls...which is also a two tiered affair as well. Not being sure how to get down below...I followed the trail around and was amazed to find a large slide that provided an easy ramp to the valley below. Both levels of falls could be accessed from here. I did not go deeper to investigate Smith Falls further. By now it was completely cloudy and I had made the decision not to spend the night in the bush...for the weather was not as I had hoped. I made my way back up the creek to where the trail was found that feeds this area and also the Bowers Hollow area. There was just enough time to make it back to my starting point before dark. I arrived at 5:00 p.m. to find some horse dudes loading up their trailers. Evidence of their passing was abundant on the trail. The high temperature was around 53 degrees this nearly fine day. My total trip was about 9.5 miles.
  The valley of these two falls is quite spectacular and you can see the ridge on the other side of the Buffalo from there. Unfortunately...private property is visible at the top of this ridge...which takes away from the wilderness experience...for me anyway. If you have never been to this area I highly recommend it...and it is fairly easily accessible by trail for the most part.

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