Middle Fork - solo over the lower 60%

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Middle Fork - solo over the lower 60%

Postby fidlnjohn » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:59 am

I pulled a solo backpack trip on the lower part of the Middle Fork and a couple miles of the Karkaghne section, October 14-17. My goal was solitude and calm hiking pace (I'm 53 with an office job, so days of flashing a trail are over). The last couple years I've been trying illustrated journaling (my blog is http://john-alookin.blogspot.com) and I wanted a trip with frequent sketch breaks, which slows up the whole process to about 5 miles/day (trip total: 18.2 miles). Blisters and over-use injuries are avoided that way, too. First day I drove from Topeka, KS to Brushy Creek Lodge (http://brushycreeklodge.com) to camp the night, just SE of Hwy J Trailhead. Had a great dinner and hot breakfast at the Lodge (they cater to horse riders) and they shuttled me north for a 3.5 day hike back to the lodge. I chose a drop-off of a sawmill near the old school just East of the junction of 49/32. I hiked down CR-73 to get on the trail at Brooks Creek. Plenty of water, with four creek crossing requiring my river sandles (cold water felt great). Penty of May storm damage will be visible for decades, but the trail is all open and I really didn't mind the damage. One night got nippy at 28F. Fall colors required frequent gawking. At Neal's Creek I caught the road for a side trip West to a very old small cemetary. The Tailings Pond looks much nicer than it sounds, and is worth a side trip to see. It's a multi-use trail, but I didn't encounter horses/mules until the end (north and south of Hwy 7 Trailhead). I encountered no other backpackers on the trail, although one couple did catch the same shuttle but started at DD trailhead for an overnighter. Got back to Brushy Creek Lodge, took a shower, ate my trail lunch and headed home. If you use Brushy Creek Lodge (I love the place and staff), ask for Bob. He's a wrangler, shuttle driver and trail volunteer who knows the Ozark Trail like the back of his hand. His trail info was quite helpful. Amy is a fine host and cook, too.
fidlnjohn
 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:08 pm

Re: Middle Fork - solo over the lower 60%

Postby Danno » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:45 pm

Thanks for the trip report. Will check out your blog.
Danno
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 7:25 pm

Re: Middle Fork - solo over the lower 60%

Postby Hungry Jack » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:52 am

Thank you for sharing. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Middle Fork is really a great stretch of trail. Proud to say I helped build a good piece of it over 6 OTA outings.
Proud contributor to the Middle Fork Section
Hungry Jack
 
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