By: Kathie Brennan
04/01/14 11:55:43 AM
Hiking the hills and valleys of the Ozarks is just about the best adventure you can have for a day. Twenty-five OTA volunteers did just that during the “Whoopin’ It Up In Winona” event held March 22 & 23 at the Winona Forest Service facility. Volunteer crews were out on the trail from south of Peck Ranch on the Current River section, on the Between the Rivers section and on the Eleven Point section. Work included leaf blowing, lopping, signing, sawing and swamping. That is over 28.5 miles of trail covered. It will not go without notice by the individuals who will be using the Ozark Trail. Many of our volunteers felt a little sore and stiff at the end of the day but the weather was about as perfect as we could have asked for.
After a long day out on the trail, volunteers returning to base took advantage of the down time to relax in anticipation of a well-deserved meal. Chef Jeff Goetter was on hand to cook for us in Winona. For those staying over, the evening was topped off by sitting around the campfire under the pines with a star filled sky overhead.
Yes, for some of you it was a long drive but I truly believe this is one of the best times on the trail. New faces made for new friends who I hope to see again at other OTA events. For our “southern” volunteers, know that this is one event I always look forward to because you have a little bit of heaven that many don’t get to see. This is a great way to see different sections of the OT in a weekend.
A most deserving thank you goes to the US Forest Service’s Samuel Ainsley for his work with the trails. Samuel is new to the area and working with the Ozark Trail Association volunteers makes his “adventure” a bit easier. Again, the Ozark Trail Association appreciates all that our volunteers do every time they hit the trail to help continue to make the Ozark Trail one of the top destination trails in the state of Missouri. And it’s because you care about the OT that makes the difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Kathie Brennan – Event Leader