Short Breaks

Quick visits, day trips, excursions, and weekends away. Anything under a day or two, that you wouldn’t count as a genuine vacation.

A self portrait photograph of Gary Allman keeping warm in his hammock while winter camping. 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

Orange colored seventies style table lamp on a blue dresser, with hat and shotgun.

Cottage Still Life – This photo started life as a joke picture for the girls, and then it took on a life of its own requiring a second ‘shoot’ just to put right a few of the details.

Snow in the yard and on the field – We woke Saturday morning to a light dusting of snow which had mostly melted by the evening.

Small farm cottage in the snow. Missouri US.

Cottage in the snow – For the past couple of months Ginger has been working with her parents on a remodeling project, converting the one room with ensuite ‘Little House’ into a Writers/Get Away Cottage. It now has a living room/kitchenette, bedroom, HVAC and a wraparound deck out back. +1

It’s always good to see the car where I left it.

Black Eyed Susan and backpack – Before heading up the ‘Farm Track Trail’ and into ‘Shelob’s Lair’ I stopped to fill up with cool creek water and a dunk in Piney Creek. It was cold but very refreshing.

Looking back the way I’ve come, east towards the lake.

Hiking westwards along Piney Creek. Much nicer than trying to cross ‘Cat Briar Meadow.’

Please don’t do this. If you can pack it in, you can pack it out.

Packed up and ready to leave – Day four and it is time to go.

Noodles for lunch – I cooked breakfast on the wood stove. I decided to use the Fancee Feest alcohol stove to heat water for my lunch.

Clear-up after breakfast – I’ve used this stove a lot on this trip, and its final outing was heating water for my breakfast – biscuits and Gravy, and my morning cup of mocha. +2

Day Four – Bluffs and hill by Piney Creek.

Dinner, campfire, a visitor, and dreams. I don’t have a campfire very often nowadays. But it seemed like a good way to celebrate my last evening, and what use is a fire ring if you don’t use it every now and then? +1

Twilight at PIney Creek Wilderness.

Day Three – Enjoying the last of the sun – With the sun already set on the other side of the lake, the foreground really pops in this picture. +1

Visitor – midland water snake. It appeared like a periscope sticking eight inches vertically out of the water, making a point of studying me and tasting the air with its flickering tongue. I must have passed the test because it swam past where I was sitting and proceeded to hide in a hole in the nearby rocks. +1

Resting spot in the sun.

Mountain House Southwest Breakfast Skillet and a cup of tea (PG Tips), enjoyed against the backdrop of the lake.

Pelicans at the end of the day – And that low line of bluffs in the distance is where I went swimming today, and intend to spend a good part of my day tomorrow.

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