Current River - October

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Current River - October

Postby photomankc » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:05 pm

I took forever getting an account setup here after discovering the Ozark Trail. I promised to post a report from my trip from below Powder Mill to Rocky Falls. My friend and I decided to work out way in from opposite sides meet and hike back out via the falls. Our previous attempt at this on the Blair Creek section ended in disaster and someone rescuing a bright yellow abandoned tent! Our second trip was called due to flooding and my shoes being horrible. We camped at Jerktail instead. Finally in October we got together and despite some early bad weather we had a pretty good time.

The photos from that trip are here: ... index.html

Here's the report I posted on my site:

In October of last year I made a second trip to the Current River section of the Ozark Trail. I posted the original story but in the hustle of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years I forgot to update the story and post any pictures. I guess I should go ahead and do that.

Day one was mostly my drive down to the Owl’s Bend Campground near the start of the trail. The trip was a 5 hour drive and at the end I planned to setup my camp and start my actual hike the next day. True to normal S.O.P. the weather turned nasty just before my departure. The day of my drive down it began to drizzle on and off and it was predicted to continue on into the next day. It was not too pleasant the first night. I had to setup in the rain and jump into the tent and prepare to go to bed without doing much cooking.

It shortly stopped raining for about two hours and allowed me to cook a little dinner and get a small fire going. That did a lot to boost my morale. A little chili and some warmth from the fire made me feel better before bed and so I settled in for a long night. It started to rain fairly heavy for several hours and the sound was great to fall asleep to.

The next day I packed up my backpack and tried to dry everything off as best I could. My plan was not to hit the first trailhead but to drive to a second trailhead that would make my first day of hiking closer to 5 than 7 miles and bypass some tall grassy areas that had been filled with ticks in spring. The trail was pretty easy going from there. There were no exceptional elevation changes and trail is pretty well defined. Some of the highlights were the campsite above the Current River. It was only a mile or so in and it was quite a nice looking spot with a bench to boot. There was a nice meadow between there and Indian Creek and Indian Creek was another beautiful location. There was a campsite along that creek that would certainly be a wonderful location to spend the night.

I arrived at Rocky Creek several hours before sunset. Just about 100 yards from the bank of the creek was a pretty nice campsite complete with fire ring and a log stool to sit on. High luxury! The day had been gloomy but thus far had been free of any real rain. I was hopeful that I would be able to get some things a little dried out before night. I was able to gather a little dry wood and things looked good for cooking and a fire. I then took some time to take some photos of the Klepzig Mill and the Shut-ins there at the creek.

As soon as I returned to camp it began to drizzle and I had to scramble to cover up my wood and get my gear thrown into the tent. The drizzle kept coming and going till just a little before sunset. I was able to get a reluctant fire going and boil some water for my dinner. Sunset was quite a sight and the blaze red color of clouds made me hopeful that tomorrow would bring some better weather.

Dawn was a beautiful sight. The sky was nearly cloudless and blue and the sun was bright in the sky. This would be a better day. I now needed to cross Rocky Creek which was deeper than my boots so I had to cross bare foot to avoid soaking my socks. My plan for today was to meet up with my friend Steve and make camp near Buzzard Mtn Shut-ins. We would then return in late day to take some photos of the Mill and then head back to camp for the night. I found Steve early on in the day and we headed out to find a good campsite. After setting up we returned to the mill and lounged around on the rocks near the creek. It was a nice place to sit and just talk and take in the view.

We ended up camping a bit away from the shut-ins where we found a wide spot on the trail that looked like it had some reasonable space for tents. There were some great rocks in the woods to the side of the trail that offered a good place to sit, build a little fire and cook. It was shaping up to be a very cold night and after sitting about and talking near the fire for several hours we retired to our tents. To my friends displeasure we found that our campsite was apparently the source from which all spiders are born. Our tents were crawling in them and Steve was at one point considering making a night hike out after he saw what he thought might be a Black Widow. We got inside the tents and stayed for the most part until dawn.

At dawn we ate a little breakfast and warmed up a bit. We then broke camp and headed out for Rocky Falls. It was about three miles or a little more to the falls. We got there in the early afternoon discovering another nice trail camp just prior to the falls. With the roar of the falls in the background I’m sure that is a wonderful place to spend the night. When we arrived at the falls we loaded up into Steve’s car and he shuttled me back to my start location 8 miles north. The trip was over and it was back to Kansas City for me. My feet were hurting a bit but I felt pretty good otherwise. It was a nice trip and I was happy to finally be able to backpack along the trail this time.
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