A video from a previous one night hang on Bell Mountain in November. This was actually the week before the longer Ozark Trail hike. I didn't realize I had some good video footage especially of the morning sunrise.
Video of the three nights on the Berryman trail with "Kerflop" and "Hoot"
Day 3- On My Own- Hwy DD parking area- Hwy A Trailhead 12 miles
After parting with the guys I looked at the map and decided to break the day up mentally into two parts, well three if you count the first 5.5 miles we all did together. I had 5.5 miles to Hwy 32 and then 6 miles to the finish. I knew the terrian would be much harder south of 32 so I decided to push myself in this section to make up some time.
I made it down to the split of the OT and the Council Bluffs trail ( past Nazarenko Spring) in just 20 minutes
On top of the first rise 2.5 miles in 45 minutes
the intersection of the split in the OT, south toward Bell Mountain or west toward the Middle Fork section. in 1 hour- 3 miles
Made it to Hwy 32 in 1'49" Kept up the 3 mph pace for the first 5.5 miles
Crossing Hwy 32 into the older section of the OT is much harder. the trail seems to go straight up and down and doesn't contour as much. Hwy 32 is at 1460 feet and the streams are at around 500 feet. I would do this 4 times in the next 6 miles
Panther Branch was good for 2 liters of water
More "turkey" fungus
still some great views when you did top out on each ridge
fortunately for me every valley had water except Big Spring just north of Hwy 32
old model A in the creek bed a Peter's Cave Hollow- I still missed seeing the caves- someday I will have to get back just to find them.
As I came down the last ridge line I can see Bell Mountain across the valley from where I was standing
Done! 4'48" for 12 hard miles. Had the guys picked up in 30 more minutes and in 90 minutes we were eating in Boos Market and Diner in Potosi Mo having dinner.... I can recommend it highly.
Stay tuned for the video with me walking into a shooting range in the Hwy A parking lot.
Day 3- Trace Creek to Hwy DD Trailhead- with the group 5.5 miles
It was very windy and cold last night and I had the tarp pitched low to block some of the wind, but I had the hammock system "dialed in" and was actually sweating at certain points in the night and had to take cloths off to vent.
We got water from Trace creek again and started out about 8:15 am. we had some miles to do but the guys had not sleeped very well, waking up with a fever and various sore ligaments and feet issues. the discussion was the they would stop at Hwy DD ( Council Bluffs Lake Parking Lot) after 5.5 miles and I would hike on to the Hwy A trailhead, and additional 12 miles get Bob's car and come get them.
Eric on the left and Bob below still made good time in the morning even nursing some ailments
more small things
Wilderness boundry marker reminding everyone that ATV are not allowed. With hunting season approaching that is pretty much ignored in this area.
The Beech trees had dropped their yellower leaves and it made a nice contrast to the normal brown and reddish of the oak and maples.
We arrived at Hwy DD in just 2 hours, for 5.5 miles and after some discussion it was decided that Bob and Eric would hang out in the parking area and I would hike on. I dropped my food, except for some snacks and my cook kit and took off down the trail. It was 10:30 am.
Day 2 - Ridge above Snapps Branch to Trace Creek area. 10 miles
The second day dawned as good as the first and even a little warmer.It was great view of the surrounding hills
We had climbed to the ridge line to take advantage of the first rays of sun and not spend the night in the "Hollar" where it would be colder longer- we were right, we got the sun right away.
Bob getting everything packed up and ready to move out.
another nice day to walk in the woods
After walking through the Hazel Creek campsite we came to Town Branch (above) had water and small Trout! Interesting it appeared that they had just put brand new power lines through this area.
Hazel Creek had water and some issues getting across, but no one got too wet....
The little things- this is water that "leaks" out of the grasses and plants and freezes in the cold air as it curls escapes into fantastic sculptors
Small mosses and lichens
as well as "turkey" fungus growing all around the trail. I like observing the little views
but of course there are plenty of big views as well.
Bob moving up the trail
Trace Creek old homestead with all the is left is the chimney (above)
Trace Creek just beyond the homestead, perfect reflection of the trees above and clear water to see the leaves that had fallen in the creek. The water was so clear here you could see small fish and a crawfish in the bottom.
More on Eric's Hammock. Getting out of the hammock this morning Eric heard a rip and this is what occurred. we had planned to hike another 5-6 miles today, but since it was mid afternoon and this needed to be repaired and tested we decided to find a campsite just along Trace Creek. We climbed a hill again after getting water and set up camp
Eric had a sewing kit with pre-threaded needles ( thanks goodness because I can't thread a needle anymore without my glasses). we proceeded to sew the hammock back together. And the best part is actually worked!
Bob made another great fire and we relaxed for a very nice evening.
Bob "Kerflop" asked me to put together an itinerary for a few day hike on the Ozark Trail. I suggested a section of the OT from Berryman to Hwy A as the Hwy A area has become somewhat of a standard for the Hammock Forum guys being it is the access to Bell Mountain. We would start on Wednesday and hike through Saturday night with desire to have the last day going up Bell Mountain and doing the loop making the total mileage 51. Bob and Eric "Hoot" who you will remember from the SHT adventure Superior Hiking Trail Adventure would come down on Tuesday night from KC and spend the night at Hwy A. I would arrive early Wednesday and shuttle everyone to the Berryman campground and we would hike north to south from Berryman.
Day 1 Berryman to Almost Hazel Creek. 12.5 miles
I picked the guys up at their Hwy A campsite and it was 14 degrees on my truck thermometer. They had spent a pretty cold night at the parking area. We sorted some gear and drove up to Berryman
Me "Skygzr", Eric "Hoot", Bob "Kerflop"
the trail was all to ourselves as we suspected it would be given it was midweek and November. The day was shaping up to be nice and sunny, still a bit chilly with temps in the 30's but good day for walking.
The leafs on the ground made for very loud walking, there would be no chance of animal sitting with as much noise as the leaf litter was making.
The trail was fantastically marked. Having had the Ozark Endurance 100 race through here a few weeks ago the trail looked like it had just been signed as new, markers and ribbons hanging everywhere.
"Hairbear" left a note for me on the Hwy 8 trail head wishing us good luck. He must have left it there as he was leaving the area last weekend after the Bell Mountain Hang One Night Bell Mountain
The shadows are even longer this weekend even during the day as we walk through the woods
We walked at a leisurely pace stopping for rests and scenary breaks and arrvived at Snapps Branch in the mid afternoon to get water.
Hazel Creek was about another 1 to 1 1/2 further on and was our original stopping point for the day, but after getting water, we climbed the trail to the ridge line and found a lovely spot to camp where we would catch the last light of the day and the first light in the morning
my hammock set up for the evening.
the evening light faded quickly and made for a very nice view from my hammock, overlooking Bob and Eric's set ups
A stealth fire to keep us warm in the chilly evening air and watching the last light fade from the day.