What was going to be a car camping then swim trip turned out to be a Safari!

September 2nd and 3rd of 2016.  Temps Low of 55 and high of 81.  No rain.  Sunny skies.

5.5 earthquake in Oklahoma at 7:05 am that we felt at the Richland Creek Campground.  Wow!


As like any other of our events it was retrip on known trails.  No GPS needed...uh huh sure.  Special thanks to Mark Jones and Rob Batchman for sharing their pictures.  Click on a picture for a larger view.

We left my house in Ozark at 5:45 pm 7 of us ready for Anything. Wanting to LIVE THE ADVENTURE!  We made good time and arrived at Richland Creek campground traveling 119 miles and 14 of those miles on gravel road.  8:45 p.m just one 10 minute stop at the gas station and a convience store run. 

At the campground we found it almost full of some 20 cars and we found our spot in the fork between the roads and soon had a campfire going.  Brought in some cedar fence boards 2x4's with nails in them cut into about 3 foot lengths...but it lasted just perfect for night and morning. 

We had a easy time of cooking. Rob had his aluminum pan on top of the fire upside down burning out the last campouts grease but it got a little to hot and melted.  Andrew was mowing his yard Friday morning and ran over a Gardner snake and he cooked it up in Rob's melted pan.  2 of us cooked chili and Jackson cooked up some soup.  I think Josh and David had apples.  Not sure what Jimmy had.  Prepackaged stuff.

Camp was good.  Rob delivered the Nights Council Fire devotion  and what he was reading in Psalms.  David was hammock camping.  Josh bivied on the ground with just a leaf bed.  Jackson, Rob, Jimmy and Andrew all tent camped. I put a cot up in my pickup shell and slept well.  Ok.   I did hear Jackson battoning firewood at 3:30 am, then 5:30 am.  Then 7:00 am.  2 dogs came into camp barking their heads off at about midnight.  We had lights out at 11:00 pm... with the instructions don't burn up the rest of the firewood. 

At 7:05 it was just barely light.  I awoke to what I thought was some of the boys rocking my truck.  It stopped then it did it again I sat up and looked around and didn't see anyone. 

After a few minutes Richland creek was beckoning.  The sun was up.  Jimmy and Andrew and Jackson had kindled a fire.  At 55 degrees the fire felt good.  It's been months since we needed that. 

Breakfast was on.  Bacon and eggs, starbucks donuts, apples.  Tents were packed up and camp was cleaned up and we were ready to go.  As the fire burned it's last fuel we had a morning devotion on what is one of your pet peeves that bugs you that you don't like and then what are you thankful for.  Well it's always fun.   Conclusion was there is good and bad in most of this life.  Yet there will be a day when it's all good! 

These guys I am with wanted to hike to the falls.  GRRR!  I just wanted a easy swim and relax trip.  So we hit 2 swimming holes on the way up to Richland Creek Falls and along the way jumped off Big Rocks into really cool swimming holes.  Swam explored.  Climbed.  Laughed.  I got stung in the leg, deer flies were biting, poison ivy all over the place,  I head butted a 12" log that was over the trail that I missed and did see those little cartoon birdies that fly around your head as my neck popped all around.  Jimmy sprained his thumb.  Most of us had wet boots and shoes from slipping into the creek or just tossing them and missing the bank.  We LIVED THE ADVENTURE!

The Falls were pretty.  Water running over them.  Water running down Richland Creek kept us on the trail.  Last year we were able to walk the creek.  This year it was sticking to the trails.  (Some of the hardest trails we go on)  This trail is good in some places terrible in other places.  It's a technical trail.  Over half way of it is each step has to be considered.  3 river crossing.  Words and pictures and video still can't do this place in the splendor it offers. 

What took 3 hours to get to the falls was a fast 1.2 hours of fast walking taking us back to our trucks at 3:00 pm.  We stopped in Jasper at the Ozark Cafe and had some really, really, really good food.  All hamburgers and yet they beat anything I had eaten in a long, long time.  You need to stop in there and have dinner. 

We arrived at my house at 7:00 pm.  Sent all them beggars home and took a hot bath and went to bed.  Thank you Jesus!

Mark Jones