2 Days On The Berryman Trail Loop March 20-21 2015

The plan was simple, go to the Berryman Loop, which is a 24 mile multi-use trail in central Missouri and take 3 days to do it. 10 miles, 10 miles, 4 miles (out early Sunday morning) the temps were suppose to be in the low 60's in the day and mid 40's at night. This would be another good warm up for the TGO challenge coming in May. Eric and Bob were going to drive over on Thursday and I would meet them at the trail head on Friday morning as I needed to get back from being at work in Chicago this week, and we would hit the trail by 9 am. 

 I arrived at 8 am and sorted out some of my gear while the guys got things ready from their camp the previous night

The forecast wasn't quite accurate for today. It had rained the previous night and the temperature when I arrived was a wet and cold 38 degrees
 But the trail was calling me, so off we went into the woods

Spring is starting to uncover in Missouri and the trailside had some early signs of green

Eric (above) and Bob (below) moving over some water and down the trail
 more signs of spring

 a rest stop at Brazil Creek Campground (a horse camp as this trail is used heavily by horses and mountain bikers)

The day brightened by late afternoon, but remained chilly all day.
 about 10.5 miles and we find a very nice area to hang the hammocks. Mine a traditional gathered end I made and Bob and Eric have Warbonnet Ridgerunners Bridge style hammocks

 Bob cleared an area and made a very nice little fire to take the chill off. it was just the right size and in the morning we returned the area to its original state, no one could tell we were even there.

the evening sky went all fire red just before sunset 
 Morning of Saturday March 21st "Happy 1st Day Of Spring" from the Hammock

The temperature was rising today and it was a very nice day even as we woke up temps were in the 40's and rising.
with the rising temperatures the trail thaws out and you can really see the damage done by horses when the use a wet trail.
 we started our hike counterclockwise going on the non Ozark Trail side to start, but at about mile 12 you come to the south section of the loop used as part of the official Ozark Trail.

interesting rock outcroppings
 What a difference a day makes- down to shorts and a T-shirt on the trail today

The sun was bright and the temperatures got into the 70's a great day for walking

 Bob and I reached Beecher Springs (a natural spring) where we sat down to wait for Eric. Eric was using new boots for this hike in anticipation of using them next week on his 185 mile attempt of a thru of the Ozark Highland Trail 
 He had gotten some bad blisters today and had needed to stop several times to address them. So we used the time to wait and relax and even took a nap!
Several runners and bikers passed us as we waited about an hour for Eric, but it was a great day to lay in the sun and just relax. Something I never do
 After Eric arrived it was decided that he just couldn't walk much further. We had only planned another couple of miles today but that was going to be too much, so we looked at the map and found a road crossing at about 1.5 miles away that we could camp at and then evaluate our options in the morning. Either walk out if Eric felt better or walk the road back to the parking lot (about 2.5 miles) or Bob or I could go ahead get the car and come around to the forest road and pick the others up.

The 1.5 miles from Beecher Spring to the Forest Road had some more nice scenery today. 

Bob and I discussed the options as we walked along and since Eric was really struggling with his feet he would probably take a while to walk the 1.5 miles to our stopping point. I could be close to the parking lot by then so I said I would just go on without a pack and bring the truck around to them.

(above) Off I go on another "rescue" mission 4.5 miles to go to the parking lot and I left at exactly 2 pm.

 I really needed the practice anyway for Scotland so I didn't mind a bit. I covered the 4.5 miles in 1 hr 24 minutes- not bad even running out of water with a little more than a mile to go.

Couldn't help striking a pose after getting back to the truck and getting about 2 liters of water

The road to go get the boys was really only about 2 miles so I was to them before 4 pm (less than 2 hours for the whole loop.)

Back to the parking lot (above) which today was full of cars and then off to Boo's Market in Potosi for a post hike burger and rootbeers. ( thanks Eric) 

Thanks guys for another great time in the woods.
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