My first point to point hike!

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

My first point to point hike!

Postby MTBguy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:33 pm

First of all, I just registered here, and the CAPTCHA image code is just about impossible to decipher. Anyway...

Hello! I am Todd from Joplin MO. I just completed a 45 mile section of the OT, which was my first point to point hike. I have gone into the woods, stayed for a few days, and came back out, but never a long hike.

I started out at the Hazel Creek Trailhead. Ozark Outdoors dropped me off, and I left my car at their place, hiked back to it. I started on Saturday, and had a whole week to do the hike. Being the first time out, figured I would take my time, and I also didn't really know what to expect.

Day one, I hiked from Hazel Creek to Machel Hollow, and set up camp there. I soon realized, there were tons of spiders all around me, my gear, and my tent. Awesome. First night, not so great.

Day two, I decided I would hike to the Berryman Trailhead and Campground. That place was great. I had the whole thing to myself. There were a group of guys who had just done a day hike, and one of them offered me two cold beers he had in his car. (A Schlafly Octoberfest, and A. Kieths Novia Scotia Pale Ale) I also found a large stash of abandoned firewood. Between the beer, the lack of spiders, and the large fire, it was great.

Day three, I hiked to Beecher Spring. Very cool little area. Good cold water, a fire ring, and a decent place to set up camp. I ran into two guys from STL on cheap wal-mart bike who were biking and camping on the Berryman. They moved on, but I ran onto them again the next day. Guess they slept in.

Day four, I planned on camping at Harmon Springs. Didn't find much there besides over grown grass. Decided to move on. The trail was a little confusing there. I eventually figured out I needed to head NE to stay on trail, before I go west and off of the Berryman. Perhaps some more OT signs here? Also, the next few miles headed west I had a few confusing ATV intersections. No big deal though, but that might be a good spot to toss up a few more signs also. I decided I would hike on to Courtois Creek and camp there. Once I reached it, I didn't really see a good spot to set up there either. Getting late in the day, and feeling tired, I just kept moving. I eventually ended up at Bass River Resort at about 7:00PM. I learned that 14 miles is about all I can do in a day. I was exhausted.

Day five, not really feeling like hiking, and being ahead of schedule, I decided to do a float trip. I hired Bass to shuttle me down to Berryman, and I canoed 25 miles down the Courtois, Huzzah, and Merimac to Ozark, camping on the creek overnight just past Bass. My hiking pack worked just as well for a floating pack.

Day seven, I was ready to hit the trail again, with just 12 miles left to hike. I went as far as the Huzzah Campground and set up there. The caves and bluffs in the area are amazing. The creek was beautiful, clear, all of it was picture perfect. After hanging out at camp, another hiker comes walking in. He started at Harmon Springs, hiked the whole Berryman loop, then north up the OT. He said that he has hiked almost every section of the OT.

Day eight, the final day, was a nice short five mile hike back to Ozark. There happened to be a Civil War reenactment happening there, so I stuck around to check out the camps, eat my first real meal in a week, and watch the reenactment. Pretty cool stuff.

Overall, I enjoyed the hike. I don't think anything longer would be for me though, but i would definitely like to hike more sections of the OT, perhaps bring somebody along next time. It was a great trail, very secluded most of the time. I never actually saw another hiker on the trail. The weather was perfect. Sun everyday, and cool. The Berryman trail looked amazing also, I will be back with my bike for sure. Thanks for the great time Ozark Trail, and thanks for giving me a good first time outing! I will be back for more.

Here are photos of my week if you are interested: https://picasaweb.google.com/MTBguy/Oza ... directlink and https://picasaweb.google.com/MTBguy/Oza ... directlink
MTBguy
 
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby Jim » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:54 am

Nice work. It was awesome you got to squeeze in a float. Next time use a bike drop to save a $$ on a shuttle. Gravel roads can weave you along the OT for hundreds of miles.
Jim
 
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby ImWithSadie » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:50 pm

Sounds like fun. How much was the shuttle ride? I don't see a price on the Ozark Outdoors web site.

I doubt a 45 mile trip is something I'd be able to do, but you never know...
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby JackW » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:57 pm

Great pics and nice report!

I canoed the Courtios Friday thru Sunday, and camped on the north side of the river immediately adjacent the trail on Sat night. About a mile upstream of Bass Canoe. Was able to jump on the trail for an afternoon hike and do some trail maintenance.

Your comment about the trail being a little confusing at the ATV crossings has been noted. I'll be out improving the signage soon!

Jack
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby Ed Kindley » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:51 pm

Hey MTBguy:
read your post, Day 4: I've passed on your comment re. needed signage
to the AAT folks for that trail segment (Harmon Spg. westward) and just
got a response that it will be taken care of pronto. Thanks for the post.
We depend on our OT hikers to keep us informed of trail conditions and
we do our best to keep it up to snuff. We're all volunteers but we love the
trail and do our best to make it an enjoyable experience for all. Keep
on hikin' and posting! Ed K/Courtois-TraceCreek AAT Area Coord.
Ed Kindley
 
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby randyanderson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:35 pm

Great report, looks like you had a fun trip. One question though... If you've got that great looking hammock, why do you need a tent? There's nothing like sleeping in the hammock. :P

Randy
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby MTBguy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:32 pm

@ Jim Great idea, I hadn't thought of that. I'll look into it next time.

@ ImWithSadie The shuttle was $80. I called Bass River Resort and they gave me the same price. I opted for Ozark because I would be hiking back to my car.

@ Jack W & Ed Kindley Thanks guys! I'm aware that so many of what we all enjoy outside (for me, mostly mountain biking) would be impossible without people like you guys out there cutting trees, making bench cuts, and fixing erosion issues. Thank you volunteers!

@ randyanderson The hammock is pretty comfortable. In fact, the guy I ran into at Huzzah was in a hammock, with an under quilt for warmth, and a tarp for rain. My thing is I just like the screen from the critters and bugs.
MTBguy
 
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby randyanderson » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:15 am

You can buy a hammock that has an integral bugnet or you can buy a bugnet to go with the hammock that you already have. It's not for everyone but I sure enjoy packing a lot more now that I sleep soundly every night in the hammock.

Randy
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Re: My first point to point hike!

Postby randyanderson » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 am

You can buy a hammock that has an integral bugnet or you can buy a bugnet to go with the hammock that you already have. It's not for everyone but I sure enjoy packing a lot more now that I sleep soundly every night in the hammock.

Randy
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