Found it! The lost trail junction

Found it! The lost trail junction — At last, I have found the elusive point where the Ridge Runner Trail joins the North Fork Loop. And here there are very faint signs of the Ridge Runner Trail I’ve been hunting for over a year.

Blazes? I’ll take some stinking blazes!

Blazes? I’ll take some stinking blazes! It was a Windy, cold but bright start to the day. Back on the Ridge Runner/North Fork Loop trail, and there are some new blazes. There’s a chance I may find the trail Junction I’ve been searching for.

Camped among short leaved pines for a change

Camped among short leaved pines for a change — I like camping among the pines, but it was windy and watching the tops of these 100 Ft. tall trees whip around, did make me wonder how much of a good idea that was. I’m still here, so it can’t have been bad choice.

Morning in the woods

Morning in the woods — The temps dropped quickly last night. It was below freezing by 9 p.m. and dropped to 28F.

Trail Not Maintained

Trail Not Maintained — that’s fine, the trail is in better condition than the maintained trail (I hike this trail back in December). Not far to go to my planned stopping point and it is still light.

Another evening, another trailhead

Another evening, another trailhead — I am at County Road CC Trailhead in Ozark County to be precise. I have a couple of hours before it gets dark to get to my planned campsite and set up camp for the night. That shouldn’t be a problem as I’m only going a mile or so.

Journal: Four days on the North Fork Loop & Devil’s Backbone Wilderness, December 2022

Journal: Four days on the Ridge Runner Trail & the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness, December 2022 – Work has been keeping me off the trail for too long. I took three days of comp time to get out in the wild and put a few miles under my belt. I’ve been wanting to revisit the Ridge Runner Trail North Fork Loop ever since I first hiked the trail in May 2020. Trip write-up: 10-minute read, +42

Another view of the North Fork River

Another view of the North Fork River – I took this picture because it seemed to be pretty much where I took a picture the last time I hiked this trail. +1

The trail here is not for the faint-hearted

The trail here is not for the faint-hearted – Not only is the drop-off steep but so is the trail. It drops 300ft in three-tenths of a mile. I don’t think I’d like to hike this trail clockwise and have to climb up it.

Selfie on the bluffs overlooking the North Fork River

Selfie on the bluffs overlooking the North Fork River – Being so high up, I checked for cell service, and immediately received some messages on WhatsApp from my daughter-in-law in the UK. So I took a quick selfie to show the folks where I was. I still forget to look at the darned lens when I’m taking a selfie with my phone.

The North Fork River from the Ridge Runner Trail North Fork Loop

The North Fork River from the Ridge Runner Trail North Fork Loop – The bluffs here are impressively high (well they are to me). I was glad that the trees had shed their leaves, otherwise, the views would have been pretty boring.

The North Fork River from the Ridge Runner Trail North Fork Loop – take two

The North Fork River from the Ridge Runner Trail North Fork Loop – The bluffs here are impressively high (well they are to me). I was glad that the trees had shed their leaves, otherwise, the views would have been pretty boring.

The forecast lied …

The forecast lied … Not only did it rain overnight, but the temperature was a lot lower than the forecast at 30℉.

Camped near the Ridge Runner / Ozark Trail & My plans for the next four days

Camped near the Ridge Runner / Ozark Trail – I last camped near here in May 2021 on my first hike of the North Fork loop of the Ridge Runner Trail. Then the leaves were out, it was warm, and I deliberately missed a large section of the trail in order to explore Steam Mill Hollow. Two-minute read, +3

Back to the start and some notes

Back to the start and some notes – 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.

Ready for the trail

Ready for the trail – Don’t come to me for outdoor fashion guidance. I hike to my own tune!

The view from my chair – Stereo image

The view from my chair – Stereo image.

And very tall trees too

And very tall trees too.

Trees, trees, and more trees

Trees, trees, and more trees.

Lunch break, and I’m showing a bit too much thigh

Lunch break, and I’m showing a bit too much thigh – I had a choice of routes to take today. The short route takes the North Fork Loop east back to the Ozark Trail, where I could get back to the trailhead. The longer route goes south, and into the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness, and returns to Highway CC via the McGarr Ridge Trail. One-minute read

Day Three – Back on the North Fork Loop Trail

Day Three – Back on the North Fork Loop Trail

Nothing but trees

Nothing but trees – Camped in Mark Twain National Forest, it was a wonderful morning in a rejuvenating spot.

Dappled

Dappled.

Hammock Camping

Hammock Camping. +2

Stereo Image – Just Trees

Stereo Image – Just Trees – It’s difficult to see the trees for the woods in a normal forest photograph, you need your full 3D vision to be able to separate things.