Ozark Images: Sylamore Trip
Readers will recall that as I was leaving Seoul on August 7th to join my wife and children in the Ozarks, I promised scenic vistas like this one below, borrowed from the Buffalo River website of Tim Ernst.
Well, the time has come to fulfill that promise with unborrowed photos. What follow are images from our penultimate day in the Ozarks, when we took a drive with my brother Shan and his wife Shoshanna through the White River's Sylamore Hills, which start just outside of Melbourne, Arkansas, the area around where my maternal grandmother grew up, some 25 miles south of my own hometown of Salem.
In the photograph below, you see Shan, En-Uk, Sa-Rah, me, and an obscured Shoshanna against the backdrop of a Sylamore Hills vista.
Gaze again, this time without the people, on the vista below, which offers a sense of wooded isolation. Somewhere out there was the cabin of Mary Black, my maternal grandmother's Cherokee aunt. My grandmother told me that Aunt Mary was in her seventies, still had long black hair without a strand of gray, and would sit cross-legged on her cabin floor, having no need of a chair. Grandma was a child at the time, so that would have been prior to World War I, making Aunt Mary born around 1840 or so, I reckon, but that's all that I know about her.
Next comes a photo of Shan and his lovely wife, Shoshanna, again with the vista as backdrop.
Now comes my family's turn, with a rare picture of the beautiful Sun-Ae -- rare because she's usually the photographer.
The next vista appears at a different roadside stop. I find this vista more charming than the other because of the farmland visible a few hundred feet down in the valley below.
Against the same backdrop, another rare image of my beautiful wife . . . though marred by that squinting fellow with the presumptively proprietorial arm enclosing her.
Enough of vistas. We finally reached our destination on the valley floor, the settlement known as Sylamore, founded at the confluence of the White River and Sylamore Creek. The bridge seen in the distance spans the White River, but Sylamore Creek lies closer to us spectators.
As you see below, a bridge also spans Sylamore Creek, which Sa-Rah and En-Uk are investigating.
Below are visible two access roads to the White River, and if I'm not mistaken, these two were originally linked by a ferry, which people used in my childhood to cross the river before the bridges were built.
Here is En-Uk walking past an informative sign identifying this place as the Sylamore Access to the White River.
Uphill from that access point, a Sylamore resident displays a large crawdad caught in Sylamore Creek.
En-Uk keeps a cautious, if intrigued distance from its threatening claw.
At this point, we had to hurry back to Salem in order for Shoshanna to participate in a scheduled conference by telephone, so we had no time for taking more photographs, which would merely have shown the same vistas anyway.
Today's blog entry thus ends here, but I'll post a few more vacation photos in a day or two.