The hike that wasn't but there was still beer- September 2018

We have made it almost a yearly event for the three amigos (Cory, Joe and myself) to plan a week long trip. Last year we had a fabulous time in Glacier National Park. This year we planned to do the Foothills Trail in North Carolina, but Joe haven't gotten a new job and the Hurricane Florence, which was predicted to drop 11 inches of rain in the Carolina's kind of spoiled the event.
(later we would learn there was only a light rain for a day as the Hurricane did not go in that direction)
Cory and I then decided to go on a series of hikes around Missouri.

We decided on a loop around The Big Piney Trail but that is for later. For our first day we decided to go to Piney River Brewery a particular favorite of mine, but located in what could be described as the middle of nowhere in Bucyrus, MO. So to set ourselves up for a day of drinking we decided to go to Boiling Springs Resort RV park. This was/is a nice place run by a really great couple, but the entire campsite was washed away first in the Christmas flood of 2016 and then the April flood of 2017. They have been rebuilding since then with the help of some donations, which we supported, but as long as we were going to the brewery this is the closest campsite at about 15 miles away.

getting to the resort we only needed the primitive camping spots not any of the RV hook up sites which are being refurbished along with the cabins that were lost in the flood. 

Cory relaxing it was going to be a hot week of hiking!

 Boiling Springs as the name implies, is a natural spring that comes up in the Big Piney River, one of the many great "floatable" rivers in Missouri 

 Our first stop today was Piney River Brewing

And as I said it is in the middle of nowhere, which is always someone's somewhere, but in this case the only neighbors are the cows that eat the mash from the brewery and get drunk off their beefy asses! 

Welcome to some of the best craft beer anywhere

The first of a few flights today

 The original brewing process was just a couple of 40 gallon tanks, now those tanks to specialty beers and the operation has moved to the giant new barn/warehouse next door

 The new operation produces much more beer as evidenced by the cans waiting to be filled. Good beer gets a reputation 
 After our day drinking and making back to our hammocks for the night, it was off to the trail the next day. Did I mention it was hot. Almost 100 and in September!

The Big Piney Trail is about 17 miles that we planned to split into 2 days.

Very quickly dubbed this hike the mushroom hike as there were hundreds of mushrooms in all varieties all over the trail 

They were in all different shapes and colors

This is a very rugged trail that doesn't get much maintenance or traffic other than horses, but there was still water available in a few places and it was very refreshing to splash in the water when we found it. 

 Still some pretty summer flowers lingering 

Cory on the trail 

  About half way through we decided it was just too hot and we were going to finish the entire hike in one day. With only about 3 miles left, I just was too hot and needed to rest so we decided to camp for the night and just finish up early in the morning . 

Sunrise the next day was still hot

A little water to cross

We didn't spend too much time hanging out last night when we stopped or today as the moment we got out of our hammocks we were attached by thousands of mosquitoes! We used everything we had to cover as much of our bodies as possible to keep from getting eaten. I soak all my cloths and hammocks in Permethrin and those mosquitoes still landed and tried to bit right through my cloths.

The woods all to ourselves

Finished and out of the woods a celebration beer

Well enough of that walking in the woods with the bugs. We decided to head back to Cory's house to swim in their pool. A much more civilized way to spend our time off.  We also devised a new plan. We will go to a new brewery each day of the rest of our week off. 

The next day and first up was a new brewery called MacKenzie brewery in South County, also well located right next store to SugarFire BBQ. Being the good husbands we are, we took Jennifer and Vicky and went first for BBQ and then to try the new brewery.

Some promising first efforts but they could use some work and hopefully they will get better as the months go by. We will definitely be back to see how they progress. 

 The next day Cory and I met at a perennial favorite and well respected 4 Hands Brewing in Downtown St. Louis. The beers here are first rate and we consumed a few flights as well as some food, which is made by Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Restaurant.

The beers were excellent and a few were very strong. 
Afterward I was still hungry and stopped by Mission Taco a fantastic taco joint in the Central West End of St.Louis. Two fish and one chorizo tacos

 Mixed in this week we also took the families to Schlafly and Friendship brewery for nice afternoon and evening drinks and meals.
On the last weekend of our vacation we had originally booked a B&B in Arcadia MO, The Plain and Fancy B&B. Thinking we would still be down in this part of Missouri, but we decided to keep the reservations. We headed down for a lovely night and dinner in the quiet setting to end the weekend.
In Arcadia is the Arcadia Academy and The Abby Kitchen. An old girls catholic school that has long been abandoned but resurrected as a restaurant, ice cream and candy store with meeting rooms and apartments. It had great fried chicken and while it doesn't have a liquor license you can bring what every you want with you to dinner. 

We had a nice meal with ice cream and good company

on our last weekend. It might have been a busted trail week, with a plan to lose 10 pounds not to gain them drinking beer but it was a great way to spend the time off. 

 Thanks Cory for a great week off...

Support Our National Parks - Preserve - Protect - Enjoy