Ozark Trail Hike Berryman Campground to Hwy A (Bell Mountain) 39 miles November 13-15, 2013 Day 1

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.
A very nice first day on the trail.

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