Missouri

Words and pictures featuring Missouri

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

End of trip selfie – and a summary of the trip. Three-minute read, +4

State Highway CC Trailhead, Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri. +2

Looking up ‘Camp Hollow,’ the hike out, and more horses – It took me an hour to get to this spot, about two-and-a-half miles from McGarr Spring. I’ve named this hollow ‘Camp Hollow’ because, surprise, surprise, I’ve camped here a couple of times.

Photograph showing the shallow pool below the McGarr Spring, Devil's Backbone Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri. December 2022.

McGarr Spring, and on my way again – I had plenty of water for my hike out, so I didn’t need to collect any. The main Spring is located up the hill a ways and it drains down into this pool which is slowly filling with debris. It was a lot more ‘pool-like’ when I first came here a couple of years ago.

While I was getting breakfast ready it started to snow. I then spent a quiet morning enjoying the solitude until I was visited by a bunch of people on horseback. Two-minute read

Morning view from my hammock.

A self portrait photograph of Gary Allman keeping warm in his hammock while winter camping. December 2022.

Keeping warm in my hammock – The low was 23℉ (-5℃), well within the 10℉ rating of my quilts. I was nice and cozy. A forecast of 20℉ is my lower limit, not because I cannot keep warm at lower temperatures I can, but because it is not enjoyable sitting around and doing camp chores when it is that cold. I do this for funsies, not to prove anything.

The forecast Lied. Again – And a couple of early morning passers by. Start of Day Four. It was 23℉ overnight – A bit cooler than the pre-trip forecast of 31℉, and I did not set my tarp last night.

Camped above McGarr Spring, Devil’s Backbone Wilderness. Near the end of the third day of my trip. I surprised myself with an 8 mile hike today. Not bad. Four-minute read, +1

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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 … 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 – 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

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.

Photograph of drilling air holes in a titanium backpacking wood burning stove.

Titanium backpacking wood stove modifications – My titanium wood stove needs a bit more air. This afternoon I added some more air holes.

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.

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