Courtois- Spring Break

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Courtois- Spring Break

Postby aroth87 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:36 am

I was originally going to start at Bell Mtn and hike the Trace Creek section in 2 days and meet a friend at Hazel Creek and finish off the Courtois in 3 days, ending at Ozark Outdoors. He had to cancel though, so I modified my plans to be an out and back from Ozark Outdoors.
I parked my car at Ozark Outdoors on Tuesday and after left my keys with them in case they needed to move it. I hit the trail at about 10:45 AM and made it to the campground right before the Courtois Creek crossing by lunch. I had lunch there and talked to a nice younger couple who were out with their daughter rafting on the creek. After lunch I crossed the creek, which was still very cold and about mid-calf deep, and continued along the trail. It took me a minute to find the trail after passing the Bat Cave because there were some trees in the way. I rounded back up onto the ridge and had some great views of the creek below. It was warm and breezy, a great day to be on the trail, trail being the operative word. I passed through the Narrows, which were equally nice, then hit the gravel road. It didn't bother right away. Then I ran into the purple paint on one side of the road. I kept following the gravel until I came to the paved road. After following it for what seemed like forever I came to Bass River Resort. I stopped in to use the facilities and filled my water bottles. After a little break I continued on down the paved road. The canoe launch/camping area was next. I crossed over the creek via a small bridge and took another break along the rock wall. It drizzled on me for a second but cleared up quickly. By this time I was tired of walking on the roads and wanted to get back onto the trails. That wasn't my luck just yet. After the bridge came a fork in the road. I followed it the right and was greeted with more purple paint, this time on both sides of the road and the great smell of cow manure. I knew that the trail started again off of this gravel road, but the purple paint on both sides made me wary of stepping off. Finally the purple paint ended and I began looking for the trail. It didn't come nearly fast enough. I FINALLY found the trail and hugged the sign. I only got about a half mile or so on the trail before the weather started to break down.
It was getting windy so I set up my tarp and boiled some water for my meal. After eating and taking a little nap I called my girlfriend. After talking to her I sat for awhile under the tarp since it had started to rain pretty hard. It came down pretty good for about 10 minutes and cleared up again. I was really bored just sitting there by myself and between the loneliness, the rain, and the miles and miles of road walking I was very demoralized. I decided I didn't really want to be out anymore and packed up and started to hike back, so I didn't have as far to go the next day.
As soon as I hit the trail it started to pour and this time it didn't let up. It also got dark really fast. I followed the road back to Bass River Resort with out stopping. I used the facilities again took a little break. I noticed there was a box to talk to the guard on duty. Turns out it was the owner of the resort. I asked him how far it was by road to Ozark Outdoors and he said it was 15-18 miles. Then he offered to give me a ride. I thought about it for awhile, but I was so tired of the rain and the road that I accepted. I paid him a nominal fee and he gave me a ride up to Ozark Outdoors. It was about 9:00 PM by now and I was afraid there wouldn't be anyone there to get me my keys, but to my surprise the guy who ran it was my driver's brother. He asked him if I could get my keys and he let us in. After I got my keys, I offered them some Snickers for their trouble, thanked them over and over and went on my way. They were some really great guys.
I'm glad to see that a new route has been flagged that doesn't use the road as much. That actual trail part of the section was great and I had a good time on it. The road is what killed me. There wasn't anything the see and I was just trudging alone. I will be more than willing to help in the construction of the new trail.
I guess not every trip is a great one, but I got out the next day hiked the Kaintuck trail and stayed overnight there. It was a much better experience and it really recharged me.

Here are some pictures from the trip

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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:56 pm
Location: Lenexa, KS

Postby John » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:09 pm

Nice report, Adam.

I despise long road walks. The new trail will reduce the road portion to three miles, which is tolerable. Better yet, we'll have a big trailhead about two miles east of the Courtois which will be an excellent spot to start a 30-mile Courtois section trip. It would be nice to have this portion open in 2008.
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:11 pm
Location: Berryman

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