By Randy Putt
This is the third year for our clubs Fall Backcountry Trip. While most of our wheeling throughout the year is more about rock crawling we have diversified somewhat in the last few years by organizing a spring and fall backcountry three day backcountry trip. Fall is my favorite time of the year and this year I participated in 2-3 day off-road trips for the first four weekends in October and the first weekend in November! The Ozark National Forest (ONF) is a beautiful painted forest this time of year and I treasure every minute I can get to experience it.

While this is a club event, club membership is not required to participate but we do have to limit the number of rigs to about 10 due to limited primitive camping spots in the ONF. Actually you are allowed to camp anywhere in the ONF with the exception of designated food plots but we choose to Tread Lightly and only use existing campsites that have a rock fire ring in order to keep as much of the forest undisturbed as possible.

The plan was to meet at Woolum campground on the Buffalo River at 10am on Friday morning and follow a route we planned out taking various unimproved roads south and west eventually ending up around St. Paul, AR about noon on Sunday. Ninety percent of this trip was to be off pavement. The week before I had a wrench thrown into my plans due to a budget meeting my new boss scheduled for 11am on Friday morning. This was a meeting I couldn't miss so I made arrangements for another club member to take the lead on Friday and I planned to join them at a designated location at the end of the day, hopefully. The group had gone from a high of twelve rigs to seven by Friday morning as everyone arrived at Woolum (except me) to start this adventure.

We had a good mix of rigs including two Forerunners, one Tacoma, and three JKs, and one Tahoe. Five club members and two non-members, one that had never wheeled with us before representing Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana!

We stopped at several overlooks, Falling Water Falls, Carwash Falls, The old Union school house, an old homestead, Oark General Store & Café open since 1890, the old Union School, and Hankins Country Store. The best part was the fall colors. Ill let the pictures tell the rest of the story...

To see all of the photos taken, click here

Until we ride again,