Onondaga to Little St. Louis 10/14-10/16

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Onondaga to Little St. Louis 10/14-10/16

Postby flyingbackpacker » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:36 pm

I just wanted to share my first backpacking trip experience with everyone as well as a "trail condition" update. I must advise that this was my first backpacking trip and the first time on the OT. So my opinions are that of a novice.

I started out on Friday, October 14th at Ozark Outdoors. I parked my car here which was free, I just had to register the vehicle with them and tell them when I would be back to get it. I asked about the shuttle that I had read about on this forum and the OT website but the women operating the store seemed a bit clueless about any shuttle as well as any knowledge about the trail. My original plan was to park at Ozark Outdoors and then take the shuttle to Bass Resort and hike the OT 13 miles back to my car, but without the shuttle I was stuck starting there and hiking to Bass, which I found out later has a 13.00 shuttle fee.

I hiked out of the parking lot and up their long drive way before reaching the highway. I made a right turn and walked maybe an 1/8 of a mile more before reaching the trailhead. The trailhead was marked with an OT marker nailed to a tree, and I realized this would be my navigational aid to keep me on track. My original plan for navigation was to buy a map of the trail, but the Onondaga Cave State Park Ranger station was map free as well as Ozark Outdoors. This dilemma almost put a halt to my journey, but I requested a print out map from the OT website from the women at Ozark Outdoors.

The trail was covered with leaves, but was still traceable if paying attention. After a twenty minute hike through the woods I crossed the highway and realized I was just a few "blocks" down the road from Ozark Outdoors. The hike was great but the OT tree markers were sparse. Several times on this section of the OT it led to a fire/service road, which left me the feeling of "no what." I felt many times I was just trekking along in the last direction the sign pointed, which gave me an uneasy feeling. I kept thinking to myself I just need to get to the river where I will cross. I was only a few miles in to the OT but it felt a lot longer. I finally made my way to the river and saw some people canoeing which made me feel better that at least I was in some "civilized area." It's funny to think about because when I first started the trip I was thinking I didn't want to see anyone or civilization. I continued the trail along some bluffs with several cave entrances until I reached a parking lot and primitive camping area. There were some locals camping in this area who indicated I was at the "little st. louis," which was funny to me because it resembled nothing of St. Louis. IDK...lol. I decided I was going to stay here for the night and then figure out my plan in the morning. As I Friday evening was rolling in more and more people started showing up in this camp area, which was completely fine by me after feeling a bit lost in the woods for a bit. I continued to ask around to figure out my location relative to Ozark Outdoors. I found out I was only about 3-5 miles down the road from Ozark Outdoors, so I leaning more towards hiking the road back to OO and getting my car. Which is exactly what I did after getting a good sleep and food in my stomach.

I had a great time the next two days of hiking around, bouldering around, and peaking in to the caves. I stayed put in the "little st. louis" and camped Saturday night and then drove back to KC Sunday morning.

Overall I really enjoyed my trip and planning another one soon with updated and lighter weight gear. I like the concept of trekking and just looking for some good places closer to KC.
flyingbackpacker
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:03 pm

Re: Onondaga to Little St. Louis 10/14-10/16

Postby mike » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:57 am

Good report. Hang in there, the more you go the easier it will get.
mike
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR


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