25.1 Miles in a Day- Berryman Loop Trail

I know, I know, before I get this started there are lots of people that can do far more miles in a day than 25. I have even done a 32 mile day but that was more than a decade ago. Some of the very fit and "young" people I follow on the interwebs routinely due 30 to 50 miles per day, day in, day out. I am always very impressed. Well that is not going to be me anymore. However two old guys and one younger one decided that we would try to go our own version of a big day this weekend. We had previously planned to do 26 miles on the Ozark Trail the weekend before but for various reasons, we all cancelled at the last minute. This weekend fell in place and we decided to give it a shot. The Berryman trail as you my know from previous posts in a very well marked, well maintained trail used by mostly bikes and some horses in central Missouri, near Potosi, Missouri (about 2 hours south of my house)
We knew it would most likely take us from sun up to sun down so we decided to meet and hit the trail at 7 am. In fact we started on the trail at 6:58 am

This was the only time we would see the sun today. It rose just as we started the trail with a temperature of 15F (-9.5C) but quickly clouded over and remained the same all day. In fact the light changed very little from 7 am to 5 pm. 

 The big day starts

Berryman is a 25 mile loop. we decided to do it counterclockwise as the East loop in rougher of the two sides

 Did I mention it was cold?  Cory (left), Joe (right)

We totally lucked out with the frost flowers this morning. There literally dozens and dozens of Frost Flowers that had sprung up everywhere along the trail and they were huge!

the trail in Missouri in the winter is pretty much just a brown tunnel, not a lot of changing scenery, but we were really glad to be walking. We only saw one person on a mountain bike all day. We had the woods to ourselves!

The west side of the Berryman loop in the official Ozark Trail, the East side is considered the OT spur trail

at exactly noon (5 hours of walking) we made it to the half way point

 Time for some lunch- Joe was smart and brought his small stove and had hot soup for lunch, while Cory and I just had cold sandwiches. (Joe below)

We had planned on taking an hour from lunch, but it was so cold that sitting around was just not very comfortable. It got to be a high of 32F (0C) but with even the smallest breeze it was very chilly. So we spent about 15-20 minutes and then got back walking again
Cory (above)

Besides the Frost Flowers there was an abundance of fungus along the trail.

 pretty and various colors growing on the downed logs

On the west loop the stock pond is the only water until Beecher Spring

with 5 miles left to go, we reached Beecher Spring. It has always been reliable and was running today as well.

We took a few minutes to look at the campsite. One of the trees we have hung our hammocks on many times was now down. Could be beetles made it weak and then a strong wind finally knocked it over. 

The old stump that looks like a deranged rabbit was still there, looking more weathered and deranged than every!

A look at my new 35 liter pack from Pa'lante Packs. This is the Simple Pack.

 More ice on the trail as we move to within a few miles of the end

 Made it- .2 miles from the end and light is fading. We walked into the parking lot at exactly 5 pm.
5 hours for the first 12.5 miles and 5 hours for the last 12.5 hours. Pretty good pace for coming off the couch to attempt a big day.

After a celebration beer at the trail head, we headed into Potosi to Boos Market, now called West Side Grille, for a very large hamburger and fries as well as another beer before the two hour drive home.
I can tell you getting out of the car after two hours of driving and then getting out of bed this morning was no easy feet. I made sure to take plenty of Vitamin I before bed as I had three hockey games to officiate today.

Cory and Joe both had personal bests for their highest mileage days on the trail. It was really a fun time on the trail.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are very brave with that bad shoulder to try and do all that walking! I'm sure you felt it the next day (and maybe a few days after that lol) It wasn't a very pretty walk this time of year, but I enjoyed your pictures all the same. Stay well Love you


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