May 23, 2021Back to the start and some notes

Mystery Trail. The trail I arrived on is coming in from the right, but the blazes suggest there’s another trail. It’s a puzzle, and there was no visible trail. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

From here there is just a short thirty-minute hike, south, down the Ozark Trail to get back to the trailhead. That’s it, trip over, though there’s still the two-hour drive home to complete. The placing of the trail blaze here is a puzzle. I came in on the trial from the right, and the main trail is off to the left, so what is that trail blaze doing center frame? At first, I thought it was just badly placed, but looking more closely at the picture I can see another blaze on a tree in the direction it is pointing. I didn’t notice a worn trail joining here from that direction.

Well, this interesting question, the fact that I missed out on the top northwest corner of the North Fork Loop, and that I’d like to come back when the trees are not in leaf, all mean a return trip is needed. There is also the issue of the missing link trail to the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness to be investigated.

In total I hiked a meager 12.54 miles with 1,400 feet of elevation. Not a big hike at all. I’ve almost done that mileage in a day!

Lessons

  • Thoroughly check new gear before leaving. If I had I wouldn’t have ended up with no way to charge my electronics.
  • Remember to download the maps to my phone before leaving.
  • Check where I am heading with the compass and map — especially if I am not using the GPS. I know this, I don’t know why I don’t do it. I’ve even changed where I keep the compass and map to try and remind me.
  • 2H pencil leads are unreadable. Change back to HB.
  • Trails move and they may also be closed. Check my route.
  • I can make a gallon of water last a night and most of the next day.
  • I took more clothes than I needed. I had my medium fleece that I never wore, I could have carried my light fleece.
  • Don’t take the underquilt protector when the forecast doesn’t call for it.

What worked well

  • While it didn’t get a proper test the new battery pack seemed to work fine. It powered the lights without shutting down, which is a problem with my old battery pack.
  • My food and water planning were good.
  • And while I lost the trail (a lot) I got around and visited all (okay most) of the places I planned on visiting.

Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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