Buttermilk Springs Road


Buttermilk Springs Road Spring

I got lucky when I made the right turn east off Arkansas Highway 8 while traveling north bound to Norman, Arkansas. This the namesake spring on Buttermilk Springs Road near Caddo Gap north of Glenwood, Arkansas

Cool clear water

Norman Arkansas library

Click the pic to see the Norman, Arkansas in all its homespun glory.

Call it fate, blind hog finds acorn, and/or Divine guidance but sometimes you just get lucky and frankly, I’d rather be lucky than good any day of the week. I had returned to the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains in the neighborhood of Glenwood AR Friday afternoon to be in nearby Norman in morning hours to photograph the front of the Norman library. I got the afternoon light the previous Saturday. See what I got last week at Weekly Grist, July 19, 2015. And see what I got this week on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com.

Cool clear water “on the charts”

In 1947, the Sons of the Pioneers recorded Cool Clear Water, a ballad that reached number four on the country charts that year. The tune and lyrics conjured up thoughts of two men struggling in the desert to reach “Cool clear water.”

Back to getting lucky

I had decided to take a gander at the Norman library, my main target for the next morning, in early evening light. I struck out from Glenwood late Friday afternoon on the short trek to Norman. On the way, the little voice said “turn right dummy,” after he picked up the visual signal my big browns had sent to the receptor system upon personal observation of a street sign that said “Buttermilk Springs Road” — which headed east from Arkansas Highway 8, the route from Glenwood to Norman.

The first few miles were nice, but nothing to write home about, and then all of a sudden on my right was a craggy-face near-vertical cliff grounding out less than 15 yards or so from the road bed. I could barely make out the top of the cliff being physically impeded by a fence and visually impeded by a growth of trees. Despite these interferences, the cliff appeared to be about six stories tall give or take a few randomly scattered standard deviations.

Rock cliff on Buttermilk Springs Road

Before I arrived at the spring, I happened across this, I’m guessing 60-foot-high-plus cliff grounding not far from the road bed. You look to the right and all of a sudden, there’s a cliff.

Not far from from the cliff, I found the spring. Some good soul had run a pipe into the spring output to direct the steady stream of cool, clean H2O to be conveniently caught by thirsty visitors. And yes, it had a good taste.

Rock cliff on Buttermilk Springs Road

Forklift pallets create a makeshift walkway from the roadside to the outflow of the spring. I walked with extreme caution. The cool clear water was a sweltering afternoon natural treat.

I happened across a local resident a mile or so past the spring. He takes care of the premises by weeding and picking trash droppings left by unappreciative visitors. To the best of his knowledge, local legend has it that the spring has been flowing steadily for more than 200 years. He said the water had been analyzed and was brimming with beneficial minerals. He also told a story of a man whose diabetes was allegedly cured by quaffing the spring outflow for several weeks.

Barn on Liberty Road

I eventually made my way back to Highway 8 via Liberty Road where I found this neat old barn broadside to the road.

Elderberry field

This is a holdover from last week. At the time I did not know what the crop was. A number of friends on facebook informed me that I was looking at an Elderberry field, my first such exposure. Since it may be your first look at a field of Elderberry, I included it this week. No extra charge.

There you have it. Blind hog roots out an acorn or two one more time. Ain’t life grand!

Thanks for looking,

Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

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One Response

  1. Mr. Joe, these pictures bring back memories. My mother grew up in Caddo Gap. If I’m not mistaken, the bluffs in the picture are just outside of Glenwood, and at that point is the “gap” in the mountain where pioneers crossed the mountain. Hence, the name Caddo Gap. I’m thinking that the Caddo River is just off to the left of those cliffs. There is a low-water concrete bridge crossing the river. Back in the mid-50s we used to go camping there. There were cabins across the river that could be rented. Not far from Buttermilk Springs is Crystal Springs, another public camping place; tents required in the 50s. We would take our milk and other perishables to Buttermilk Springs and keep refrigerated in the cold water. Mother and Daddy passed away twenty one years ago but the memories were just like yesterday. Thanks so much…..
    Barry Burkett

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