The parking lot was jammed with cars and the top of Bell Mountain was jammed with people as we would see later in the day.
Brian's dog Bonnie was along for this trip and she is an excellent trail dog.
This is probably the largest lizard I have seen while walking the trail in Missouri. This guy was about 8-9" long
Wildflowers still in bloom
The trail is very rocky and as you move toward the middle you start to see the large outcroppings of Granite the mountain is made of.
Made it. the view from the top. The guys actually put on a good pace. Up in 2 hrs 15 min. There were so many groups up on the top we had to spend 15-20 minutes finding a spot to hang. We missed getting our favorite site by just 30 yards as a couple walked to it just before we did.
Getting our hammocks set up- Gideon in his Darien UL from Dream Hammocks.
The view over the edge from my hammock
MGuns (Butch) and his wife (Dee Ann) arrived later and they had some unusual hammocks- Amok Draumr hammocks.
These are Norwegian Hammocks where the suspension is on the sides of the hammock.
Dee Ann had hers all done and then at night it was lite up like a Christmas tree.
The sun started to set behind Bell Mountain, the shadows started getting long and the colors started to "pop" with the more subdued lighting
Reds, Gold, Orange, Greens
Above ( Joe, Dee Ann, Brian)
Below (Fred and Butch)
The sun through the leaves made everything shine.
It is never hard to wake up in time for the morning sunrise. I was up and sitting on my rock ledge to watch the dawn
The full morning view
After breakfast I had to back up and get going as I had a brunch appointment back home, so I made the trip down by myself as everyone else lingered on top for awhile longer
It was also much cooler this morning than yesterday so hiking downhill was not any trouble. I made the 6 miles down in 1 hour 45 minutes. Pausing just briefly to take pictures
Part of the number of cars in the parking lot on Friday was the forest service doing some trail maintenance by putting up better signs at some of the trail junctions. You can see the new signs on the tree above the old signs for Bell Mountain and the Ozark Trail