Weekend on the Current River section

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Weekend on the Current River section

Postby jyancey » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:27 pm

I had some free time last weekend on short notice, so I grabbed my partially packed backpack on Saturday morning, stuffed in a sleeping bag and some food and headed south. By the time I reached Rolla I had decided to hike the OT Current River section from Route NN to somewhere on Indian Creek or maybe a bit beyond. I went through Eminence around noon, so I grabbed a big greasy cheeseburger at the little retro drive in and then headed down Hwy 106 and the secondary roads to reach Rocky Falls.

I parked at the "trailhead" on Route NN and proceded downstream along the creek. The scenery as beautiful, with bluebird skies, brilliant white clouds and sparkling water in the shutins. MDC and NPS have done an admirable job with prescribed burns along that section and it is gorgeous! I watched a small herd of wild horses in the old pastures near Klepzig Mill and then crossed Rocky Creek there. After a very pleasant stroll through more burned forest I reached Indian Creek, one of my favorite trails in all of Missouri. At the last crossing I decided to top off my water bottles to prepare for a dry camp that night. To my surprise and dismay I discovered that my water filter was not in my pack side pocket where it usually resides. No problem. I always carry a backup Steripen, so I got it out, only to find that its batteries were dead. Oops. I filled my "dirty water" container, planning to just boil enough water to drink and cook with. I then headed uphill to the camp spot on a bluff above the Current. Since it ws still early I pushed on to where the trail descends to close to a large gravel bar on the river, where I thought I might camp. Unfortunately it was occupied by a bunch of RVs, four-wheelers and people. I turned around and retraced my steps back to the bluff-top campsite. After establishing my cowboy camp I proceeded to boil some water for dinner. Instead of the Esbit tablets I thought were in my cookpot, I found a nearly empty fuel canister and stove. Oops. So much for impromptu packing! I ended up having a lovely camp with a nearly full moon and a great view of the valley below.

The next morning I arose early, packed up and hit the trail. A lovely walk again. At the base of Barnett Mountain I thought I could see a clearing on top, so I side-tripped up and found a beautiful igneous glade. The glade appeared to continue all the way up to the summit, so I followed it. Unfortunately the burns have resulted in extremely thick brush consisting of oak sprouts, sumac, grapevines and greenbrier underlain by downed cedar tree logs. It was horrible to bash through, but I finally gained the summit, where I was treated to a fabulous view to the east. I'm pretty sure I saw Clark Mountain, 27 miles away near Piedmont. After a filling "brunch" I skirted around the south side of Barnett thinking it would be easier going than fighting the brush back the way I had come up. Wrong. If anything it was even worse. I finally got below the glade zone and into burned mature woods where the going was actually easy. After reganing the trail I proceeded without incident to Klepzig Mill where I used the last of my fuel to boil enough water to make it back to my truck. There were a couple of tourists there with an agressive yappy little dog who worried me a bit. I got away from them and had another pleasant jaunt back to my truck, seeing the same herd of horses again.

After my hike I stopped by Rocky Falls, but there were a few too many tourons there for my taste so I turned north and headed home.

Lessons learned: repack and replenish supplies upon returning from a hike! At least check the pack before heading out the door! All in all, it was a wonderful hike along a beautiful trail in gorgeous weather, my inattentiveness notwithstanding. The Current River section is simply one of the best trails in the Ozarks!
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: Central Missouri

Re: Weekend on the Current River section

Postby mike » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:19 am

Thanks for sharing. It was a great weekend, Larry and I kayaked Jacks Fork and Current River and I saw the RV's on the gravel bar you mentioned. It looked like an RV park for sure, upside was we saw a bald eagle just a few hundred yards downstream from there. I totally agree with you on the Current River Section of the trail, it's one of my favorites.

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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

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