Time spent in the great outdoors hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, paddling, and shooting. Anything well away from the madding crowd.

Journal: Four days R&R in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024

Journal: Four days R&R in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024 — It’s been almost a month since I was last out on the trail on my trip to Irish Wilderness. I toyed briefly with a four-day hike of the Berryman Trail, but I settled on some downtime by the lake instead.  Trip write-up: Five-minute read, +15

Heading home

Heading Home — I remembered to take an end of hike selfie just before I left the trailhead parking lot. Two-minute read.

All packed up and ready to leave

All packed up and ready to leave — I toyed with the idea of leaving first thing in the morning, but a bitingly cold wind put me off that idea. It was very windy in the night, the trees flexing had the hammock bouncing around a bit. The temperature dropped to 24 degrees, I wasn’t toasty, but I was warm enough. Two-minute read, +1

Doe! A deer…

Doe! A deer… Despite being 1-200 yards upwind from me they heard me creeping down to a spot where I could grab a picture through the trees. It was nearly dark, and I had to use the max zoom on my phone, hence the very poor image.

The lake is low… It’s almost the lowest I’ve seen it

The lake is low… It’s almost the lowest I’ve seen it.

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake — Yup, another picture of one of my favorite spots.

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake, February 2024

A quick pan of the south shore from Piney Creek towards Table Rock Lake. Table Rock Lake is low. Almost the lowest I’ve seen it so far. On the good side, the change in lake level has caused all the silt to be washed out of the creek mouth. Video: 24-seconds.

Hammock Camping in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024

Hammock Camping in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024.

‘Red Flag’ Warning — so I shall not be using my wood stove

‘Red Flag’ Warning — so I shall not be using my wood stove. High winds, dry conditions, and unseasonable temperatures have resulted in a ‘No fires’ advisory. And given how windy and dry it is, that makes sense.

Back at my home from home

Back at my home from home — Taking a selfie when I get to the lake has become another Piney Creek Tradition.

Lunch Stop

Stopped for Lunch by Piney Creek — I thought this was the spot we stopped for lunch on 11-11-2011, but it was probably the next creek crossing. +1

Fire ring at the bottom of the Tower Trail — Piney Creek Wilderness

Fire ring at the bottom of the Tower Trail — Piney Creek Wilderness. I’m on the trail again, and this is the plan… +2

Journal: Four days solo backpacking on the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, Clockwise, January 2024

Journal: Four days solo backpacking on the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, clockwise, January 2024.  A break in the weather means I’m off on a four-day hike of the Whites Creek Trail, South and North Loops at Irish Wilderness.  Trip write-up: Eight-minute read, +39

Day Four & Trip Summary — Whites Creek Trail North Loop. Whites Creek Crossing to the Camp Five Pond Trailhead

Day Four & Trip Summary — Whites Creek Trail, North Loop. Whites Creek Crossing to the Camp Five Pond trailhead.

Loop finished

Loop Finished — And I’ll admit the trail kicked my butt. I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was, and my heart deciding to throw a wobbly at the end of day three didn’t help.

There’s a trail there somewhere

There’s a trail there somewhere — The trail can be very hard to follow (for me anyway). The signs are so faint that if I look away, I can lose it.

Unintended trail markers

Unintended trail markers. Sometimes when you cannot see the trail you just have to look around for a downed tree that has been cleared.

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension.

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

All this bushwhacking is taking its toll on my feet and legs

All this bushwhacking is scratching up my feet and legs.

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri.

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024 — I survived the night 🙂 (at my age I sometimes wonder!), but my heart was still in AFIB. I had enough water for breakfast (12oz), a cup of something hot (10oz), and about 4oz for the trail.

Day Three – Camped above the Eleven Point River to the Whites Creek crossing on the North Loop

Day Three – Camped above the Eleven Point River to the Whites Creek crossing on the North Loop. A hard day, and some health concerns. Two-minute read

Eleven Point River, Scenic Overlook — Irish Wilderness, Missouri. February 2024

Eleven Point River, Scenic Overlook — Irish Wilderness, Missouri. February 2024. Video: 26-seconds.

Eleven Point River, scenic overlook

Eleven Point River, scenic overlook — And the only scenic overlook on the Whites Creek Trail. You had better enjoy it! The trail along the top of the bluff is a tad sketchy in places, but it is fine here, though you need a head for heights to step out on the overlook.