Buford Mountain Loop July 20, 2017

After a most difficult week for me and the same type of difficulties for my friend Joe. We decided it was time to go to the woods to sweat off some of your worries, and that we did. With a heat advisory in effect in the Midwest for the last week. We walked 11 miles in 90 degree heat with 90% humidity.
Joe had not been to Buford Mountain and I had only been once, so we met at 8 am at the trail head and off we went.

 no one around on a Thursday morning.

It is all uphill to start.
The high point of Buford Mountain. 1740 feet (5th highest in Missouri, but all of the top 10 are within 100 feet of each other)

Lots of really nice summer flowers along the trail 


 There is no actual view from Buford Mountain, but further along the trail is Bald Knob (a rocky clearing) with nice views to the farmland below
Joe on Bald Knob
 Panorama from Bald Knob 

 summer flowers

Several rock walls along the trail marking old settlements 
 more pretty flowers

There is lots of old car parts along a section of the trail, how they got the cars back here in the 30's or 40's is beyond me

 some colorful fungus along the trail

 We both had issues with the heat coming up the last long hill that seemed to go on forever. It was time for a rest right on the trail.

Even our lizard friend was not moving very fast

We had plans to go right over and climb to the top of Hughes Mountain, but it was 5 hours to do the loop in this heat and we both decided that there would be no more walking for today
Thanks Joe for the company and great conversation... 

Video from the top of Bald Knob. 


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The Sounds of Nature July 4th '17

This weekend I was rudely (not really) awakened at 4:30 am by a whip-poor-will that was right near my hammock. In addition there was bull frogs in the creek and also my friend Joe snoring away in his hammock about 30 feet from me.

Enjoy



updated and cleaned up version of the audio

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Hawn State Park, July 3-4 ;17

We got back from our KC RV weekend just in time for me to go with friends to Hawn State Park for an camp and hike. The long holiday weekend this year meant I don't have to be back to work until the 5th, so on the 3rd I headed down to meet Joe and Cory for some hammock hanging hiking in the park. Normally we would not even consider being out in July with the heat and the ticks and bugs but it was staying nice so I thought I would give it a try. this was also the first time I was hiking after losing 13 pounds from the diet I was on all of June.
We started out in just a bit of light rain and the temperatures had actually dropped to around 75 degrees from the 90 degrees when I left my house just 2 hours ago.


 I am still experimenting with the Procam App for my iPhone that gives me more manual camera control of the iPhone's camera. I addition I had my phone in the Lifeproof case and I think the lens on the case was a bit dirty!

 A nice overlook at the very start of the trail, just above the treetops

 Then down the other side on a steep decent



 A quick stop at pickle creek for a view of the creek


 normally it is beer after the hike, but Cory packed in a beer a piece for when we got to camp
We only walked in 2 miles to set up camp in our favorite pine grove. Joe needed to go back to the parking lot to meet a "newbie" Dustin, who had never hung in a hammock and he was going to join us tonight so Joe could "educate" him... 

Hanging out in the hammock

we had walked in about 2 pm, so we had plenty of time to just relax today and it was surprising non buggy 

 Sun makes long shadows through the trees

 All three hammocks set up as we wait for Joe to return with Dustin


working with some of the macro features of the Procam app

 Dustin comes back with Joe and after introductions they finish up their dinners

 After some instruction, Dustin sets up his first hammock

 My hammock set up

Tuesday morning up and going to hike
Patriotic colors of my Dirty Girl gaiters for the 4th 

 Cory had to get home a bit early so Joe, Dustin and myself hiked the north loop of 6 miles back to the parking lot


 Down into the creek bed 


Then up to the bluffs 

and back into the pines which gives the Whispering Pines Trail its name
 View from the top of the trail


The north portion of the park (by the parking lots) have taken a real beating in some of the recent storms and it appears that nothing has been done yet to remove the fallen trees across the trail. They have been down long enough that people are making new social trails around them.

It would be good if the park got out and removed the damage to keep everyone on the paths. the park gets so much use these days that letting people cut further into the woods around the debris will eventually cause more erosion 

In fact Hawn is looking a little warn. From the lack of maintenance on the trails to the warn and faded Hawn State Park sign when you enter the park, it appears they could use a bit of up keep. I have not heard of any cutbacks in park funding, so I wonder what is keeping them from the up keep?

none the less it is a beautiful place and one that really showcases the best of Missouri's diversity. 

Done in a couple of hours. I will have to make a point of getting back more often in the future, but maybe later in the year, when the temperatures, bugs and over growth is lower.
Thanks Joe and Cory and welcome to the world of sleeping above the ground Dustin.


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