Eye of the Needle Indian Creek Backpack and Day hike Fall of 2016
October 28th-29th, 2016 Low of 67 high of 78 no rain!
18 in attendance. Ten adults and 8 boys including 3 ladies.


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Eye of the Needle is rated at a 9 out of 10 with 10 being the hardest on the Mark Jones tough trail scale. Yes it is a 4 mile scramble. From 2200 feet down to 900 feet and most of that is done in the 1st Mile and a half.

This hike began on Friday night at 5:30 leaving from my house with 11 folks from Outpost 6 and Evangle Temple group and a meet up in Branson with Grace Community group. We made great time down to Kyle's Landing the last 3 miles were a decent of dirt road from 2200 feet down to 900 feet in the two trucks and church van. At the Kyle's BRT trail head we found Kyle's Landing campground pretty full with all kinds of folks enjoying this awesome place.

We put on our backpacks and head lamps and hiked in just over a half mile to our base camp close to to the intersections of BRT-Indian Creek and OBRT trail splits.

Soon we had tents up. Hammocks hanging and firewood and a fire kindled. Usual campfire antics laughing, cooking, sharing and telling and our Council fire with Rob Batchman.

At about 10:30 half went to the shelters. The other half .... tended fire and at one point the laughter was so hard I heard a limb break and drop on my tent and no thud from Andrew as his Ninja skills kept him dangling in the air on that 3" thick vine that was still attached after the other 1" thick vine let go and left him sailing through the air like tarzan for a short distance. I was thankful no thud followed the stick hitting my tent.

Saturday morning as usual you could hear the early risers snapping sticks and blowing on a kindled fire and soon camp was in full action.

Morning devotion by Mark Jones on you Can't take it back after you say it so be careful and don't let Sticks and Stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you.... shape your future. I taught on both sides of this...yes we need to be careful what we say. Yes we need to let what we hear roll off our back and not be conformed by it. In Christ we are Winners despite ourselves.

We left base camp up and put on our day packs and made the shuttle trip up to the top of Sherman Mountain to the trail head of Indian Creek.

Words do not do this scramble justice. It's hard. It's a challenge. It's awesomely beautiful. It's slick. It's filled with hazards of all kinds. It's the trail you will not soon forget. Yes it takes climbing over rocks the size of houses and cars. It takes scrambling down muddy hill sides covered in leaves and acorns and round sticks that act like ball bearings. It's covered with shapes and sizes of all kinds. Water falls, caves to explore. Rappelling if you want to. Rock formations that make folks go wow over. Tunnels to craw through. Stream beds to cross back and forth on. Pools of clear water. Pools that were clear before it was filled with boys swimming and screaming with glee being free in the wild outdoors.

Filtering water from the Indian creek. Sweating, huffing and puffing. Sore muscles. Yes even some first aid on the trail. One young man built 4 fires along the way. As we regroup along the trail there is some down time...fire building contest is always a hit.

The base of the Eye of the Needle has a cave that you can craw through that brings you out through another opening some 70 feet away from the first....and you would never know it was there unless you explored for it.

Some of the trail on the way out brings you up some 100 feet above the creek on a narrow patch that if you have a fear of hights it will bring that out of you.

I am thankful we serve a God whom looks out after us. He gives us mercy and safety and keeps us doing our part to remain safe and yet makes it all work out for good. With out God in this. I would not be bringing folks to these places. Yet when God is in it. I can't wait to bring folks out to these places as the awe and wow of God's handy work is so much beyond what man can do. I can't wait until we are all in a perfected body and a perfected creation. Won't that be something you shout about.

We ended this scramble with a stop over in Jasper Arkansas at the Ozark Cafe. I think the Excaliber hamburger was without question the top honor to those that ordered one this trip.

We arrived back to Ozark at about 8:15 p.m. with one more trip to praise God for. It was awesome and the group was awesome. We are blessed in so many ways.

Mark Jones