Bell Mountain to Hwy J

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Bell Mountain to Hwy J

Postby DaveN » Sun May 23, 2010 3:07 pm

Tuesday May 18 to Thursday May 20. Weather great til Wednesday night.

We each had packs weighing in at under 35lbs including 2 Qts of water. Mashed potatoes and hamburger, spaghetti, and chicken and stuffing was on the menu along with oatmeal, eggs and bacon, and summer sausage and cheese wraps.

My two sons and I started from the Bell Mtn TH on Tuesday at 10:10am and the weather was great. Trail condition was great also and we stopped for an early lunch and some exploration on Bell Mountain, with fantastic views to the east. This would be a great place to camp and there was also a nice place cleared a little farther down the trail. The trail was very easy to follow and we did about 12.5 - 13 miles the first day. We camped in the woods off the trail and had a pleasant night, on the trail by 8:15 next morning. I took along some Starbucks Via instant coffee and it is really great.

We were planning to make this a four day trip but the going was so easy we decided to make the Eagle Scout camp the second night, which is about the 27 mile mark on the trip. We made this position by about 4:45 PM and were disappointed, the camp was basically non-existent, overgrown, not maintained. But it looked like the maintainance crew was just in the area and just hadn't got to it yet. Anyway, it started raining a little so we immediately set up tents and ate then went down to the bridge to explore a little. It started raining around 7:45 just after we got our food hung in a tree, so we turned in and it rained all night, still raining at 6:30AM when we woke up. We decided to just break camp and go for it, no breakfast, no Via (damn!). So we hit the trail in the rain and took the by-pass at Barton Fen, there was a lot of water on the trail and Neals Creek was running very fast and almost knee deep, but not too deep to cross. Well, we decided to toss the boots across after each person crossed. I went first and my younger son had changed to his water shoes and decided to toss his boots to me on the other bank, he threw the first boot and only made it about 3/4 of the way across, I almost dove for it from the bank but I had my pack on and the rapids just really took it quickly. So, we all three stood there with our jaws on the ground watching my son's boot go down Neal's Creek. My son said he could finish in his water shoes but we had about 9 miles to go to make Hwy J and I thought, though noble, that wpould be a bad idea. We found some really nice folks near the intersection of CRs 74 & 78 that gave us ride down to our vehicle at J ($45.00 tip). This is a trip that we will remember the rest of our lives and never let my son live down.

I also wanted to say that the trail association is doing an excellent job of trail maintenance, there were so many trees down along the way, some of the damage is staggering, and all cleared to make the trail easy going.
DaveN
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Bell Mountain to Hwy J

Postby JackW » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:31 pm

Did you camp between Hwy A and 32 the first night? Just curious as that's the section I maintain along with others. :?:
JackW
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:11 pm
Location: Town & Country, MO

Re: Bell Mountain to Hwy J

Postby DaveN » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:04 pm

Jack, Yes we did and the trail was in great shape, you all have done a great job maintaining it.
DaveN
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:03 pm


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