Failed Trip Report

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Failed Trip Report

Postby mbrandeskc » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:22 am

As the title suggests, our plans to finish hiking the OT from Eleven Point to Brushy Creek went down in sever blisters. We both made last minute changes to our footwear, replacing stock insoles with Superfeet. We did not get a chance to hike in them before we left, which turned out to be a fatal mistake. We had both hiked in our shoes with the stock insoles and had no issues. Within hours of starting our hike, Sandi had already developed and popped a blister on her right heel. We did hike 16 miles though...

We left Friday afternoon from home and drove to Brushy Creek Lodge where we stayed in a cabin overnight. BCL is a great place, very friendly. Saturday morning we got up, left one of our vehicles here and got on the road south. We dropped four food buckets along the way (P235 TH, Powder Mill TH, Hwy 60 TH & Hwy19/Greer). We parked our car at the Eleven Point Canoe Rental and they gave us a ride to the Eleven Point TH. Well... almost... the forest service road back to the TH was blocked by trees, so we walked the 1/2 mile or so to the TH. It would be hard pressed to call this an actual trailhead though. It looks like all of the other road crossings along the trail. No info board or anything. We got on the trail @ 12:45. The trail was immediately more 'rugged' than the trail we experienced in the northern sections. Quite rocky, narrow and not very level. This only made our shoes problems more obvious. By mile 3, Sandi had fallen twice (no damage). She also formed & popped a blister on her right heel. Our goal was to make 9.4 miles to Bockman Spring for the night but that clearly wasn't going to happen. While taking a break at the 4152 road crossing we found a really nice hunters camp about 200 yards south down the road on top of the hill. Large flat area with a fire ring. We setup camp, ate some dinner & built a fire. Some locals on 4-wheelers stopped by to check on us, wondering how we got there. There were out running around, drinking, shooting beer cans and having a generally good time. Nice folks. Of course they asked where our guns were as there were lots of bears down here. No guns. :-) I did choose to hang our food bags though.. just in case. I really don't expect that we would encounter any bears but I'd rather not tempt fate, our trip was not off to an auspicious start. The temp dropped down to a mild 56 degree's overnight. Our Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 was nice and roomy, our Enlightened Equipment quilts warm.

Back on the trail @ 7:30am and Sandi's feet were immediately painful. She had modified the insoles by removing the plastic cups from the bottoms hoping that would help. It didn't... now her feet were sliding around inside the shoe. It was clear that this trip was going to get cut short. Initially we hoped we could make it the 19 miles to the Hwy 19/Greer spot where our food bucket was and catch a ride into town. Maybe go canoeing instead of hiking. Things got worse, Sandi was on the verge of tears, I had a blister on the right heel out edge. New plan: make it to the EP river and hope we can find someone to take us down river. If not, spend the night and then call EPCR and have them send someone to get us. :-) We pressed on the 9 miles to where the trail passes right by the river. Not more than 1 minute went by and we heard boat motors coming up river. I scrambled down the bank to the river edge and flagged them down. It was a pair of boats actually, father/sons out enjoying the day seeing how far up river they could go. Apparently they can't normally get this far up river due to water levels. We asked if we could catch a ride down river when they returned and they agreed. They did seem a little skeptical of our story though. :-) They boated us across the river and we hung out on the gravel bar while they continued up river. 30 minutes later they came back down and picked us up. They had put in at Greer access which was right where we wanted to go. After we got unloaded and they were pulling the boats out of the water, I asked if they were headed towards Alton, where we had a car parked. Sure enough they were. Not only did we score a boat ride down the river, we got a ride into town! Serendipitous to say the least. By now we had decided to just call it and head home. It was 3:00 in the afternoon so we knew we wouldn't make it all the way home. We grabbed two of our food buckets and then stayed in a motel in Eminence, MO for the night. Monday morning we got up, picked up the last 2 buckets, grabbed our truck from BCL and headed up.

We are sad, disappointed and bummed about the trip. This was certainly not what we had planned. We WILL be back though. We both still very much want to finish the hike. We will likely come back this fall when the ranch is open for hiking through and when we have our footwear problems solved. We plan to go hike sections of the Ouachita Trail in late May for our anniversary, so we will have a chance to fix our shoe problems.

Matthew & Sandi
(Copperhead & Half Caff)
mbrandeskc
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Failed Trip Report

Postby mike » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:04 am

Hate to hear it didn't go well for you two on your hike, I know you are disappointed.
mike
 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

Re: Failed Trip Report

Postby DirtRoadRunner » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:01 pm

Sorry to hear you had to cancel early. The trail will always be there though, so it can always be hiked in the future :).

I used to get a lot of blisters when I ran a lot, from my running orthotics, and used quite a few Band-Aid blister bandages. They really make a huge difference, and allowed me to run even with nasty blisters. It might be a good idea to throw a few in your back on your next big hike, and maybe some more in your resupply buckets. For socks, I've also found that wearing a thin pair of liner socks under heavier hiking socks really helps out a lot with keeping blisters at bay.
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Re: Failed Trip Report

Postby mbrandeskc » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:04 pm

She went through every sport band-aid we took with us + blister bandaids + 2nd skin ointment + some duct tape. :-) She also uses Injini toe sock liners with Darn Tough hiking socks over the top of that. I can't quite get into the toe socks. We were well prepared for blisters.. but apparently not enough!

We will definitely be back...

DirtRoadRunner wrote:Sorry to hear you had to cancel early. The trail will always be there though, so it can always be hiked in the future :).

I used to get a lot of blisters when I ran a lot, from my running orthotics, and used quite a few Band-Aid blister bandages. They really make a huge difference, and allowed me to run even with nasty blisters. It might be a good idea to throw a few in your back on your next big hike, and maybe some more in your resupply buckets. For socks, I've also found that wearing a thin pair of liner socks under heavier hiking socks really helps out a lot with keeping blisters at bay.
mbrandeskc
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:24 pm


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