We again gathered at Woodbridge Wildlife area just outside of Lawerence KS for the 2nd Annual KS Hang. While most of the guys spent two nights this year, because of work travel, we could only spend one, but it was a good time this year with some old friends and new ones.
Finally a hang that I didn't have to drive up to 10 hours to attend. Bell Mountain is practically in my backyard, just 110 miles south of my house. The weather was the best of the fall so far, with temperatures close to 70 during the day and a low of 28 at night. the sky was clear and the sunset, stars and sunrise were all wonderful.
Started off the morning by seeing a Bald Eagle along the side of the road
The trail from the parking lot follows the Ozark Trail south and then branches off to the Bell Mountain Loop Trail. The trail is this part of the state is very rocky being on large granite slopes
Once on top, it is a beautiful panorama of the Mark Twain National Forest
It was about 6 miles from the parking lot to the top of Bell Mountain, a rise of 700' of elevation change
Camp was made at the very top point and the afternoon was spent around the fire with good conversation ( come good jokes) and getting to know each other
Gideon and his son Jeremiah ( JAC) also now ( Pyro2012)
Spider and Honeybear
early morning sunrise panorama- Just before dawn
Dawn breaks (below) and the hills are revealed
and finally sunrise, proceeded by a night of millions of stars
The view from my hammock on the edge of Bell Mountain
got back in the hammock after sunrise and relaxing before breakfast
Hiking the 8 miles loop back to the parking lot with a large Cairn built in a clearing of granite and some smaller still green and alive plants amidst all the fall/winter brown.
Bell Mountain is a designated a Wilderness area and was a great place to spend a weekend night with fellow hammockers
It was the same weekend as last year and another great weather weekend as we met back at Yellow River State Park in Northeastern Iowa. This Park along the Missisippi River is its own little hiking world with 25 miles of trails and 4 or 5 really nice hiker campsites.
the hike to the first campsite Camp Schultz is quick, just one to one and half miles to the campsite on the hill
Fire in the evening and then for some a big breakfast courtesy of the large amounts of bacon and eggs that BuckeyeHanger brought for the group!
Bacon on the open grille
Panorama of the woods of Yellow River State Park
The group photo after night one ( Hanging Yankee, Hanging Yankee's Brother and HeadRush had already hit the trail early)
photo by Sean "Shug" Emery
I took the somewhat long way to the next nights campsite, about 5 miles. All the campsites have been stocked with firewood by the Park employees- a very nice touch
The day was warm and sunny and walking was very nice- a creek crossing with cold water, but nothing to damper the day
Night two's hammock set up and more firewood to burn at Camp Hefferin
The walk out was rainy the next day, but it made for some great mist over the river and since the temperature was still mild, I didn't mind. About 3 miles back to the parking lot
The last real weekend chance to get out before all the leaf color is gone. I took my Dad and Brother on a fishing, relaxing weekend to Mark Twain State Park. I have never been to Mark Twain and it turned out to be a very nice park.
we arrived just as the sun was going down Friday night. Red sky at night
The morning dawned clear and chilly
Chris and Dad made the best of trying to catch some fish, but the temps were cold and the lake was drawn down for the winter already
When they were done, I made a quick 2.5 mile trip around a couple of the loops just to get some excercise- I couldn't have eaten any more this week and weekend if I tried.
Some of the color was still left in the trees.
Saturday evening was another nice sunset and a great roaring fire. A nice way to spend the weekend with my brother and dad.