Thursday, November 10, 2016

Camp Clearfork

Hidden in the Ouachita Mountians down a short gravel road lies Camp Clearfork. The camp was developed in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps and includes several cabins, dorms, and a dining hall. This was the location of the photography workshop hosted by Taylor and Brenda Bellott. As I mentioned in my first post about the workshop, Taylor is a nature/landscape/wildlife photographer. He and his wife put on a fantastic three day workshop. Not only is Taylor an amazing photographer, but he loves to share his knowledge with others. His wife, Brenda, is the perfect partner; while he fed our brains, she fed our stomachs. Oh my, did we eat some delicious food! 

Some might call the location primitive, but I call it rustic. It's vintage, but clean, It smells old, but you can open the windows. It has features that are antique, but the cabins do have running water and a bathroom. Primitive would have been no bathroom in the cabin. There is also no heat or air conditioning, but  the weather was mild so neither was needed.

The first time I went to the bathroom in our cabin I laughed out loud. Instead of the metal rod that locks the door, there was only a very small stick. The stick would only be good for keeping the door shut, not keeping anyone out!

Not all our time was spend in workshops or group photography. There was plenty of time for us to explore and for me to find the little delights of this beautiful area.

After the workshop my sister and I stayed in the area for a while. We walked a trail around the lake until it became very overgrown, then we backtracked. We also went to Camp Charlton which is right across the highway from Camp Clearfork. Charlton is a historic recreation area located on Walnut Creek. The rustic bathhouse was also built by the CCC in 1935. It has the most fascinating shape. As you can see in the picture all the walls curve. From the top they curve in and then curve back out to a wider base. It's not just curved at the corners, but the whole wall is curved.

Walnut Creek is lovely. It was a fun place for rock throwing and looking for fall leaves.

We couldn't have asked for anything better from this workshop. We learned, we took pictures, we made new friends, we laughed, and we ate! I'm already saving my pennies for the next one. A great be thank you goes out to Taylor and Brenda. You made my first photography workshop perfect!


  1. Cathy, how lovely! It reminds me of Camp Fire camp when I was a girl. I love that stone bath house and your description of it. Those curved walls seem very unusual. I wonder if there was a utilitarian reason for that, or if it was just decorative. It certainly raises it above the ordinary. It sounds like a wonderful workshop!

  2. How wonderful to do a three-day workshop, Cathy! You and your sister had such a wonderful time. I love that first shot of the walk in the forest. Three days of learning new things in photography, great walks and good food!

  3. I think it's great that you and your sister share the same interest in photography and were able to go to a workshop together...I can just image the giggles between you two as you explored the area. Sounds like a great workshop for both learning new skills and for eating delicious food...

  4. Let me know when the next one is, I may come down :) I love things built by the CCC, so much history and the era...oh my...

  5. You said it all. We did have a great time. Love the reflection where you dropped the pebbles.

  6. wow cathy - you are able to see and capture images that are very special. this sounds like an amazing workshop - what could be better then photography and someone cooking homemade meals for you. sounds heavenly, your pictures are beautiful!!!


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