27th - 28th, 2018. Temps a high of 68 and a low of 40. Perfect weather
sunny. No breeze to speak of.
Group at Long Creek Falls
Click on a picture for a larger view. Special Thanks to Rob Batchman
and Mark Jones for sharing the pictures.
File of all these pictures.
Our Group of 14 came in 3 waves. My part started earlier
with 2 folks to be picked up in Springfield. Then a trip back to Ozark
AOG at 10:00 am. Our group of 11 left Ozark AOG by 10:15 am and headed
south on 65 passing through Forsyth then on past Kissie Mills on to Coy
Bald Trail Head in the Hercules Glades. Jennifer Napier and her son met
us at the trail head at 11:00 am After putting on Orange as it was
Youth Hunting Season so we would be very visible we headed down the
trail head after a few trail instructions. Trail head Sign in. Maps
given out. Shown where we are on that map and show where we are going.
And the only real rule we work hard to live up to; When a trail splits
we all stop there until we are all there and then we all go down the
right trail together. (if you don't do this it will bite you at some
time or another).
Soon we had descended the 238 foot over 1/2 mile and we
were at base camp. Tents went up and base camp was established. Lunch
(bring your own, cook your own, or go hungry). Then firewood detail.
We drug up firewood for about 45 minutes. Most of it was pretty damp
from the rain the day before.
Soon with our day packs on we headed out towards the
Pilot Knob stopping at trail crossings and regrouping. 4 of the group
got out ahead of the group and the leader with them was asked not to do
that again but keep me or Jim Evans in ear shot or by vision. Folks get
anxious when the groups get spread out. This is a natural thing as each
have their stride. It's very frustrating hiking behind folks that walk
slow. So get out around them walk your gate and then regroup often
seems to work the best.
At the trail split that goes north to Pilot Knob we
stopped and Rob was planting gummy bears in what I thought was a Prickly
Pear Cactus patch. It was clear to me it was a cactus some 30 feet
away and I got animated and Rob said show me a cactus..it's right there
as I walked over to discover it was lichen moss that looked from my
other vantage point like a perfect cactus.... Never mind! We all had a
good laugh. Jim said the same thing happened to him just down the trail
so it made me feel better. Ha!
At the next trail split our maps were checked at each
trail crossings. Some folks are great map readers and some folks are
great leaders. Not everyone is a great leader and not everyone can read
maps. Choose wisely when your hiking or following another down some
journey. Ok. So there we were. I walked down the wrong path a few
feet and put my trekking pole in the ground and then asked if this was
the right way to go Some said yes some said no we need to go that way.
You are right lets go. "where is my hiking pole i asked" right there
to your right. I looked around and it was not there. No..over there so
I was embarrassed once again. (not done yet). Soon we were at the
falls at long creek.
We all enjoy this spot. It's the main point to visit
when in this area and almost always meet others down at this spot.
After a snack and purifying water with the gravity works all the water
bottles were full and we headed down long creek following the creek and
the trails that skirted the creek. Passing by some pretty falls and
over hangs and all kinds of cool stuff. Yup as always there are boys
that are told to stay out of the water were walking in water over the
tops of their boots... warm weather this is normal. Cold freezing
weather it's a cause to return back to the truck. These boys would have
to live with wet boots the rest of the trip.
Back at base camp at by 4:30. I noticed my jacket didn't
make the trip down from the trail head my 3rd snafffoo. Rob called
Justin and he picked it up on the way down to our base camp. Justin
Fisher came in with Oakley his Rottweiler dog and we enjoyed a night
around the campfire cooking food and laughing. The boys enjoyed using
the hatchet to chop the logs in half. We erected boot drying racks 2
feet from the base of the fire about 3" tall and and it took some of the
water out of them. Jim gave us some plastic bags to put around the last
pair of dry socks to get them back to the truck on Sunday Morning.
Rob brought forth the evenings council fire and we shared
around that campfire.
I laid awake most of the night listening. Several new to
backpacking folk in our group. I sleep so light that it's not really
sleeping. Sunday morning the sound of campfire was filled with some
whispers. The early birds were up and so was I.
We enjoyed a fun breakfast and Sunday service and a
communion service around the fire.
A quick trip back up the hill and my orange vests were
returned and we were heading back to Ozark AOG by noon. Our McDonald
window was too short so we forgo that stop and headed back to Church. I
dropped off the two from Springfield and was back home drying my gear on
lines in the garage by 1:30.
Another perfect trip. If God was not in this I wouldn't
be doing it. So many great lessons were taught and learned this
weekend. Time spent with these folk is valuable. One event like this
is worth 15 wed night meetings in my opinion. Take those Friends of
Rangers and Rangers and head out and enjoy this beautiful area that we