Irish Wilderness

End of hike selfie — Three nights, four days. Twenty-one miles and 1600 ft. Nothing too strenuous, but I’m nearer to 70 than 60, not to mention having to keep an eye on my heart (well those are the excuses I’m fielding at the moment).

Camp 5 Pond in the winter sunshine — once again our car is the only one at the trailhead.

First Creek Crossing, reprise — looking at the leaves, there was no way this was knee deep at any time. Unless the guys I met on day one had really short legs (and I’m short).

Haven’t I been here before? Whites Creek Trail Loop Completed.

Trees, trees, and more trees — And hidden in this picture is an old forest road.

Lunch time snooze in the sun — albeit a very watery sun. Can you see my glasses? No? Neither could I. It took me a lot of searching to find them.

The geology seems a bit different on the south loop. Note the rocks in this picture. Also note the blue blaze. You are not supposed to have blazes in a wilderness, but to save money rescuing lost people, there appear to be some exceptions. But the quality and positioning of the blazes is so poor and erratic, it is just annoying. Well, it annoys me!

Pool on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness.

Cat briar’s revenge — I got myself into a huge patch of them on the third day, and this is the result. It is also why I am resisting being put on aggressive anticoagulants.

Unusual, but it worked — I wanted a tarp configuration that would keep the wind off me, but still let me stand up. +1

My own little spring.

Camped near Whites Creek — This is not where you are supposed to camp, it is far too close to the creek but it was getting dark when I arrived and this is an established camping spot with a fire ring (I didn’t use it).

Whites Creek — All the leaves stuck in the brush are a good indicator of how high the creek got a couple of days ago.

All of this was flooded a couple of days ago. Whites Creek, Whites Creek Trail South Loop.

Photograph of Gary Allman camping near Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. March 2023.

Day Four — Contemplating life and the view — The view was a bit tangled as the floods had made a huge mess of everything. +1

On the South Loop of the Whites Creek Trail — despite the whole area being flooded yesterday, the trail was not washed out (here, anyway).

Photograph of a large pool on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. March 2023.

Pool on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness — Oh the joys of the Golden Hour (and being in the right place).

Photograph of Whites Creek Cave, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. Taken from the entrance (The cave is currently closed and the entrance barred). March 2023.

Whites Creek Cave — It’s a slightly better picture than last time. I used my headlamp to light the place up. I’ve tried to find out some more information about the cave, like how big it is and how far it goes back. Thus far I’ve drawn a blank. Let’s just say it’s big-ish.

Gratuitous Selfie — taken just because I took a picture of this sign the last time I hiked this trail. +1

Photograph of Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness. March 2023.

Whites Creek — close to its confluence with the Eleven Point River — I stopped here to have lunch and enjoy the view. One-minute read

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