Berryman Trail- Last TGO Challenge practice hike April 25-27, 2014

The Berryman loop is our last practice hike together before we leave for the TGO Challenge on May 6th. This weekend was arranged by our friend on Hammock Forums, Disco. Disco (Corey) had set up this hike a few months ago and it just happened to be a perfect practice for our Scotland hike.
This weekend let us spend 2 nights in the MLD Duomid and it gave Vicky a better idea of weight and distance and how bad she would smell after a few days in the woods.
The only difference for us is that the temperatures in Missouri this weekend were in the 80's and hot and not the highs of only 50's and rain we expect in Scotland.

 Day 1- Friday April 25th.
3 Miles

We arrived around 1:30 pm and waited for everyone else to show up. Around 3 pm Ben (TriForrestTri), then Seth (Deutschland Sproutt) and his friend Billy arrived. Seth and Billy wanted to get hiking so they left ahead of us and we waited with Ben till around 5 pm when Joe ( Gideon) arrived. Joe said that Disco (Corey) wasn't arriving until around 9 pm, so we packed up and headed down the trail.

The plan was to hike about 2-3 miles in and then camp and wait for Disco to show up around 11 pm when he hiked in.

We walked in the late afternoon sun. It was warm, probably in the 70's but the spring flowers were out along the trail and their was water flowing in the creeks.

The shadows were long through the trees and it made for some very nice walking. We were carrying more than we needed for the heat and the length, but we were carrying everything for Scotland to get a better idea of the actual pack size and weight. 

We camped after about 2.5 miles. we camped up on a ridge to get the last of the evening sun and the early morning sun as well. we didn't do a good job of letting Disco know were we were as he walked right past us during the night!

Vicky, Joe and Ben the first day.

DAY 2 Saturday April 26th
15 miles
Vicky ready to go. This section of the Berryman Loop is part of the Ozark Trail
 We started out around 9:20 am with no sign of Disco. We did figure that he walked right by us and that we would see him before the day was out today.

 The day was more overcast with some look of rain, and the forecast actually called for rain, although only a couple of sprinkles fell all day. It was nice to have the sun under the clouds, it keep the heat down to the 70's but the humidity was high.

 Lots of water in the creeks and on the trail meant we got wet feet today.

We arrived at Beecher Spring. This is an established spring with a pipe coming out of the ground feeding a concrete basin to collect the water. It is a popular campsite and we found Disco here waiting for us.
 Seth and Billy has spent the night here as well, but they were up and out early and still ahead of us.

more water on the trail (above) and more flowers along the trail (below)

it was about 9 miles to Brazil Creek Campground and the three boys ( Ben, Joe, Corey) were all faster than Vicky and I we made arrangements to meet up and spend the night at the Campground.
When we arrived at the campground Seth and Billy were there but no one else?
Seth and Billy said they were not staying here as they didn't like the look of the campground and there were lots of ticks in the grass. We said we planned on meeting everyone here and would wait awhile to see if they showed up. We had no idea how we got ahead of the group earlier.
 The others did show up shortly after Seth and Billy left. They had gotten off the trail at Harmon Springs, a short spur trail, to have lunch and we walked right by them! We discussed the campground and everyone agreed it was better to press on and find a spot in the woods.

Corey, Ben, Joe (above)

We walked for another 4 miles making the day total to 15 but found a great campsite on a hill near water. 
the moment I got the tent up and ready Vicky was taking a nap. This was the longest and toughest day she has ever done backpacking. She did a great job and got a well deserved nap!

 We had a lovely sunset and no rain all night. 

DAY 3 Sunday April 27th.
7 Miles
Vicky and I packed up and were ready to go for day 3. It is hot and humid this morning. We are away from camp by 8 am, trying to get more out of the morning when it is cooler.

A couple of larger creeks to cross today, and we do get wet!
 an amazingly large, (5 1/2 feet) back rat snake moved right across the path in front of us and then climbed this tree only to disappear inside a knot in the tree.

Arriving back at the Berryman Trail Campground and parking lot
 We were done by 12 noon. Vicky tired but excited to have done the entire loop with no issues ( well just one fall.. LOL)
the gang set off for Potosi, MO and Boo's market and a big and well deserved lunch before splitting up and everyone going their separate ways to home

Scotland- here we come.

The whole gang
Thanks Disco for organizing again
Left to Right
Disco (Corey), Gideon (Joe), Torch (Vicky), Skygzr (Craig), TriForestTri (Ben)


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    1. Thanks Joe, it is always a pleasure to share the trail and campsite with you. Let's hope we can get out more this fall on the trail.


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