We had several people express interest in coming this time, but in the end it was just me, Disco, and two new members to our group Chris (MOhiker79), and Charlie (Bloodyhell)
The plan was to meet at Berryman campground and then shuttle everyone over to Onondaga and start from there and then hike back to Berryman.
Squeeze between the rocks
Huzzah River cliffs
We stopped here for some lunch and to sit in the sun for a bit. The watch that I have had for many years broke its band here and even though I taped it back together over the next two miles it fell off my wrist and I lost it.
Once up on the ridge it is a nice level walk "except for one big uphill" with some nice views of the two valleys on either side of the ridge.
(above) this is the view of the Courtois River sideAfter about 12 miles you come to Bass River Resort, another of the big outfitters along the twin rivers.
We had not made any plans to stay at the resort, but after a suggestion to go inside for ice cream (good call) we all decided we were very tired and should camp near by.
We found an excellent site out the way over the hill from one of the campgrounds that was directly by a side channel to the river.
The side channel was flowing really nicely with good water and a perfect sound for sleeping
We were able to set up without anyone seeing us and close enough to easily chat. We had the entire campsite to ourselves until after sundown when a group moved into one of the official sites. At this point even if the campground cops had discovered us I would not have paid as the campers stayed up and were very loud until 3 AM!
So much for our pleasant evening! But Day 1 was excellent non the less. Chris wasn't feeling well, but with some food, some vitamin "I" and a good nights sleep he would improve greatly for Day 2
Bass Resort did have some of the nicest bathrooms and shower areas of any campground I have ever been too. But even at 6 am the campers were loud and obnoxious.
The remains of any old homestead and grave yard are here as well.
Once again, once on top of the ridge the walking in this section is mostly flat and easy.
We did take many more breaks in the heat and the bugs were also much worse today flying around your ears and eyes when you stopped or weren't moving fast enough.
Tree top canopy (above)
We made it the 12 miles to Harmon Springs (which we couldn't locate back in the brush) but the spring was feeding the creek which had good water so we had lunch here. While we had lunch at around 1:30 pm, 4 teenagers showed up wearing just gym shorts and some in jeans. They had parked up the road from the Spring. They had minimal supplies, no backpacks, raingear, or food. They were going to walk all the way back to Bass Resort, where we had started at 8 am. We let them know they probably would not reach there before dark and we didn't think they were prepared for the walk, but they left cheerfully enough... I hope they made it!
We reached the real spring of Beecher Spring.
The tree stump that looks like a wise old rabbit as you come into the campsite
We made camp at the spring site and had a nice evening despite the gnats. I had no trouble falling asleep after 16 miles of walking in the heat today.
Today was Disco's longest mileage in a day and Chris recovered well from yesterday and Charlie was just a machine with his long stride and clearly in better shape than all of us.
Charlie was up early making a cup of coffee (I could hear his stove fire up) and sitting on his camp chair which was the envy of all on this trip. Rising was good and early and it was much cooler today than yesterday. It started to rain about 3 am but was all finished by getting up at 6 am. the clouds cleared and it was going to be another excellent day on the trail.
Chris was having some blister issues, but nothing a little duct tape can't fix!
Coming to the end of the trail back to the Berryman campground
The Flora and Fauna of this trip was still very nice despite some higher than normal temperatures for mid September. Below is a handful of pictures taken from all three days.
(Left to Right)
Charlie (Bloodyhell), Corey (Disco), Chris (Mohiker79), Craig (Skygzr)
thanks guys for a great weekend of hiking and company.
38 miles - 19.5 hours Northern Terminus Ozark Trail (Onondaga Cave) to Berryman Campground
more animals heard:
Coyotes, Owl, Cows, (Bull), Gnats!
Loudest animal of all- campers at Bass Resort