Berryman Trail Overnight Aug 3-4, 2107

The weekly meeting of the 50'sAU club was at Berryman Trail this week. Joe wanted a couple of longer days than he has been getting in his daily walking around his local lake area, so I suggested the 27 (used to be 24 but they have changed the mileage marker signs now that the trail has been re-routed and finished) mile Berryman loop.
We met up on a Thursday late morning and hit the trail at 11 am. The plan was to do the 11 miles counterclockwise to the Brazil Creek campsite and then the 16 miles finishing the loop and back to the cars, getting an early start Friday morning.

Thursday was another hot and humid day. we only had 11 miles but it was in the middle of the day. The heavy tree cover gave us plenty of shade, but with no breeze we sweated a lot. 

Giant Walking Stick on the trail 

Lots of the older sign posts in mid-Missouri have been used for target practice over the years.

Joe takes a break in the heat 

Horses, mountain bikes and walkers permitted on the trail 

more lovely trail 

After 11 miles you come to a road and it is just over the bridge to the campsite

Brazil Creek Campsite is mostly a place for the horseman to stage their animals and park their trailers. At one time I remember it being a bit nicer than it has become. Campers have been careless with their trash and TP. 

Getting out of the heat and letting the feet air out. 
A thunderstorm rolled in just after we arrived with a couple of really good thunderclaps but no rain and it moved off to the north east leaving it a bit cooler

dinner time

a nice evening 

my set up for the night

Friday morning was much cooler. I didn't any quilts until around 2:30 am and slept mostly through the night. The temperature in the morning was in the mid 60's

We were packed up and back on the trail by 7:30 am. It was Joe's turn to lead today and catch the spider webs. Actually he still ducks under most and I still get them right in the mouth! 

Today was not much of a problem. The air was cooler and there was a good breeze. The early morning sun made for long shadows as we walked West

When you reach the Harmon Spring cut off the Ozark Trail Association has put lots of new signage. This part of the trail coming up is part of the official Ozark Trail. The Courtois 3 section. We had come 4 miles from Brazil Creek in 90 minutes 

It continued to be picture perfect day for walking but it was starting to get warmer

Stock pond along the trail 

With about 6 miles to go you reach Beecher Springs. This is a nice oasis on the trail as the old pump has been working for many years. A field of black eyed susans has grown up around the spring and it made for a good break spot for a rest and a mid morning snack 

The old pump has seen some days, as has the trail sign 

We have camped here before and used that tree for our hammocks, but the campsite did not fair well with recent storms. The campsite is a bit of a mess now. 

6 more miles in about 3 hours. The last few miles my bone bruise (stress fracture) in my right heel began to ache again. This slowed me down considerably, so as Joe went on ahead I had the trail to myself (except for the 5 mountain bikers that past me toward the end) 

Another good training session for Glacier National Park in a few weeks.

Walking with the girls at Lone Elk Park Aug 1, 2017

Today we were babysitting Cali and Alyssa. Vicky and I decided to get them out of the house and go for an adventure, so off we went to Lone Elk park to see if we could see some Elk and Bison and some other animals. We did and had a great time

The Elk were across the lake and too far away for a really good picture, but we did see the bison, not quite up close, but it was easy to see them through the trees

There was a bunch of wild turkey roaming around 

The deer were unconcerned about our car driving by

Cali leading down the trail 


Ready, Set 


more unafraid deer

lots of geese 

Here they go! 

It was a fun albeit hot day, and it had plenty of biting bugs, not on the girls, as we sprayed them down with bug spray, but Vicky and I got bit up pretty good....
We look forward to having the girls whenever we can.

Day Around Bell Mountain July 29, 2017

What a difference 24 hours makes. My hike on the Chubb trail was Thursday and it was hot and humid, Friday remained the same, but Saturday started cool and clear. Joe had invited me to our weekly 50 something unemployed meeting (hiking a trail) and I was eager to accept. He wanted to work out his uphill stamina for Glacier and that means one place- Bell Mountain.
we have been there literally dozens of times, but don't really do it in the summer so it did look completely different all leafed out. The temps were in the high 60's to start.

Forgive me if some of the photos are the same ones as I have taken many times on this loop, but I like coming here, so here goes

We hit the trail right at 8 am. This is also part of the Taum Sauk section of the Ozark Trail and there as been this very useful plaque up at the beginning of the trail for quite some time. I like these very much.

The first section tops out at this overlook, which didn't have much of a view with all the summer time trees, but it marks the end of the first uphill push from the parking lot.  This is obviously facing west as the sun is rising on the other side of Bell Mountain

Lots of really great small flowers hidden in the grass along the trail today

sun streaming through the trees.

A large section of exposed granite is always a nice place to take a break

End of section 2 is at the Ozark Trail Bell Mountain split. the Ozark Trail continues south while the Bell Mountain trail breaks east

this is my photo this time as more spiders were just mouth high all morning strung across the trail
this is a Micrathena gracilis from the orb weaver family. They look like they have sea shells on their bodies 

Joe kept a very brisk pace taking his hill training seriously. We averaged about 3 miles per hours for the whole 12 miles. 

High Point marker on top of Bell Mountain. For those that have never been able to find it... it is under where the old fire lookout tower used to be 

Not much of a view today from the top of Bell Mountain, but lots of very nice clouds

Snack at the top was a cheese, onion and potato pasty from London Calling in Springfield Mo. 

Our usual spot on the top of Bell looks pretty used. Someone has broken off the excellent rock bench on the right and the fire ring has been damaged

A bit further along the rim there was a bigger opening to get some views of the valleys below.

I spotted the biggest lizard I have ever seen sunning himself on a rock. He changed color to try and blend in to the granite he was sitting on.

Loop completed and heading back out. Joe and I back on the Ozark Trail portion of the trail 

a mile and half from the parking lot, or the same from the end, this spring has always had water in it every time I have been here, except today it was bone dry. This is usually the only reliable source of water except for Joe's Creek at the bottom of the loop hike, which did have water in it today. 

12 miles in about 5.5 hours. Not bad, but we need more time to really get ready for 60 miles in Glacier at the beginning of September, but with any luck we will both be ready.

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