Paddy Creek Wilderness

Photograph of Gary Allman at the end of his November 2020 hike of the Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness, Missouri.

Gary – Hike finished and a tad damp – For the second time, my hike of the Big Piney Trail ends with rain. But I don’t mind with two nights out on the trail, over twenty-three miles hiked, 2,116 ft of elevation under my belt, and the last of trails in the Paddy Creek Wilderness hiked, it’s been a good weekend.

Stopped for lunch

Photograph of Gary Allman drinking a cup of tea by some small falls on the Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness. November 2020.

Lunch Break on the Big Piney Trail – here I am, sheltering from the rain by some small falls, while I have a cup of tea and heat up my lunch. +1

Who Lives in a house like this? The last time I came by this refuse/swill collector, I didn’t take a picture of the occupant as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. This time around, though, I didn’t have any such concerns. +1

Camped above Little Paddy Creek – Paddy Creek Wilderness Day Three. +1

Photograph taken in the late fall of 2020 where the Big Piney Trail crosses Paddy Creek, Paddy Creek Wilderness.

Paddy Creek – Three-fifteen, and I’d only just crossed Paddy Creek. With a long way to go, I stopped just long enough to fill up with water and take a picture.

View from the Slabtown Overlook – Paddy Creek Wilderness Day Two. +5

Bones – I say it every winter. I love this time of year when the bones of the land are laid bare. Paddy Creek Wilderness Day Two. November 2020.

Frosty Morning at Paddy Creek Wilderness – Eight o’clock and the sun hasn’t reach my hammock yet. Paddy Creek Wilderness Day Two. +2

It was a tad chilly out last night – I was nice and cozy though. Too hot at one point. The night’s low was 26°F. Colder than forecast, but not unexpected.

Setting up camp at dusk – The sky is so light because the nearly full moon has already risen.

Pine trees by the Big Piney Trail – The climb up from Little Paddy Creek to the ridge is some three-hundred feet. Unlike some of the other climbs on this trail, it is a fairly gentle ascent. One-minute read

Once you get to the bottom of the ridge, there are two creek crossings before the climb up the other side of the hollow begins. +1

What a mouthful – I suspect the tree will win in the end. Paddy Creek Wilderness Day One. November 2020.

On the edge – Not the longest drop along the ridge, but the trees help give the picture a more vertigo-inducing look. It’s probably only 60-80 feet.

Little Paddy Creek Scenic Overlook – It took me an hour to get to the ridge that drops down to Little Paddy Creek. I was so busy trying to make up for lost time, that I didn’t realize I’d arrived at the ridge until the appearance of a fire ring prompted me to take better notice of my surroundings. +2

Getting started – It was good to be back on the trail. +1

Roby Lake parking lot – The Annual Diocesan Convention (the work project that has been keeping me busy for the past three months) and Thanksgiving are over. There’s a break in the weather, and I can spend two-and-a-half days backpacking.

February 2020, Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness – It was time for me to get out and clock up a few more miles. We first planned to visit Paddy Creek Wilderness in late December 2011, but with high winds in the forecast, we decided to go to Piney Creek instead. Somehow Paddy Creek Wilderness never featured in our plans after then. Now was a good time to put that right. Trip write-up: 24-minute read, +68

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