Between the Rivers Section

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Between the Rivers Section

Postby smkybr » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:41 pm

I sure hope you got out and enjoyed the beautiful Ozarks this past weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect for hiking. Low humidity, mild temps and the absence of chiggers and ticks.
We left West Plains early Saturday morning and staged one vehicle at Sinking Creek Lookout Tower and started our trek at the Highway 60 Trailhead (hiking North to South). This would make a 20.52 mile hike. A little shortened, for the shuttling used a considerable amount of time.
We finally started hiking at 10 a.m. The trail showed a lot of maintenance and signage was very adequate. (Thanks guys!) Our equestrian friends have used the trail extensively and really helped to keep the trail open. The terrain is fairly moderate, few steep grades. This makes it easier on this 52 year old body! Too much fire fighting, I guess...
Our base pack weight of 18 lbs. for me and 15 lbs. for my wife, Laurel, has greatly played a part in us enjoying the great outdoors, here and in the Rockies. I finally figured it out "less is more." Especially less suffering at the end of a day.
2 mph average is very doable (including breaks) on this hike. We finished day one on a flat ridge at about the 12 mile point (section 8 ) at 4 p.m. The abundance of pine stumps and old limb knots make for great campfire fuel. Mainly because pine does not spark while burning and also burn well under the damp conditions due to last weeks rains. The rain made for low wild fire potential which is great. Camping on a ridge is also about 10 degrees warmer than the valleys this time of year.
Sunday morning was bright and still. Another day in paradise! A great coffee drinking morning. A Jetboil really improved the experience. :wink: This brings to mind water. This is about the driest section I have found on the OT except for the North Fork Section. After leaving the HWY 60 Trailhead, the first water potential was a small pool in Chilton Creek crossing at mile 5.56. ZERO water at Devil's Run at mile 7.12. We found good flowing water in Hog Hollow at mile 9.88. Thank goodness we rewatered here before making camp as Big Barren Creek at mile 10.98 was dry. Stillhouse Hollow had good water at mile 14.57, for the Sunday trek. We noticed a few wildlife ponds that could be utilized. Cotham Pond was not much more than a mud hole. Very low.
The highlights of the trip were that this section is a good example of the Ozarks Karst topography and mature forest stands of Oak and Hickory mixed with some Pine. This section would be really great to mtn. bike. The OT crosses several forest roads you could further explore.
Most of all, no noise pollution! No motor noise, barking dogs, etc!
NOW, get out there and enjoy...I'm off to the Eleven Point Section!
smkybr
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:03 pm
Location: West Plains, MO

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