March 15th, 2019  Temps low of 32 and high of 56.  Sunny Skies.  No wind!  Perfect hiking weather. 5 miles of hiking!  A tough 5 miles!

Our Group heading out for Adventure!

Kevin with his biolight hammock setup!

Ready for Anything!

Click on a picture for a larger view.  Special thanks to Rob Batchman, Kevin Fringer and Mark Jones for the pictures.  Zip file of all these pictures.

You tube video of our basecamp and the adventure up Indian Creek.

Our group of 6 came from Benton, Arkansas and Ozark, Springfield and Branson.  Small group this time.  As always prayed, planned, prepared and carried out.  Always using Royal Ranger taught methods.  Folks if it makes sense I will put it to work at all levels of Royal Ranger Ministry.  Some years we have had 17 go on this hike. I rate it a 8 out of 10  and 9 being one I wouldn't go on.  YET being on this trail nearly a dozen times it has taught me if you take your time use your common sense and don't take chances you will do fine. 

I wished folks would do this on a daily basis.  Common sense.  I do it at at&t for 40 years and while folks are looking out their windows going o my it's slick hazardous  while I  am in their back yards 400 feet off the road hauling 150 pounds of tools through 4' tall weeds part of that is a 28' fiberglass ladder and I am walking through 4" of 32 degree mud and it's raining on me.  That was 2 days before this event.  So my perspective and experience is much different than most folk.  Keeping in mind millions of people die each year from sitting in their favorite chain clicking a remote control.

My trip started when I took 2 hours off early from work and picked up Jimmy.  We visited a couple of stores and talked and went to my house and Jimmy talked with my wife as I showered and loaded my food up in my pack.  On to Branson to pickup 3 more.  We left Branson about 6 pm and was at Kyles Landing at 7:10 pm.

We met Kevin Fringer at the trail head and enjoyed a quick backpack in 1/2 mile to a new base camp location. I suggested a few places and pointed out firewood was all over this place so we picked this one.  Not flat as few places in Arkansas is but if you use your backpack on the down hill side of your sleeping pad you can about bring it up to level.  I always ask people to drag up firewood when we first get there as dragging up firewood after dark is not as easy as setting up your tents in the dark. In just a few minutes we had a pile of trees that would keep the fire going all night long if we needed it to.

Our youngest at 10 had the honor of picking dry tinder (squaw wood) dead tiny branches that snap from the many trees we had to pick from.  He was presented a metal match prize he gets to keep and lit a ladies facial cotton swab.  The leaf it was on was on fire pretty quickly so with my help it went into the right place we had prepared in A-Frame fire with a Teepee over it.  I still teach this methods in fire craft. It works every time. 

Our suppers varied from dehydrated food to soups to home made stuff to hamburgers cooking over the fire.  Rob brought the nights council fire.  I had a weird thing happed I had a pinched nerve just below my shoulder blade and it felt like a knife was sticking me there.  It just came out of no where.  Shortly after the council fire I confessed my pain and the group came over and laid hands and prayed for my healing.  Jimmy took special attention thankfully he tried to apply pressure to the pain point and chiropractic it a bit.  We enjoyed the fire for a bit and at 10:15 the pain was still pounding.  I went to my tent and changing into my sleeping bag clothes was very painful.  I could turn in a position and the pain would stop but every time I moved it hit.  2 Advil and off to sleep I went.

Next morning I shifted and found that pain was still there yet it was much less than last night. Prayed and put my outer layer back on over my thermos's it was 32 degrees outside.  Sun poking it's face above the hills.  Birds singing.  Kevin was sitting up in his hammock.  I headed down the hill out of site of camp for some cat hole work and in that 32 degree temps it was quite cold!  As I was returning to camp, Kevin was stirring coals.  After 2 days of hard rain the day before this place was still very wet.  Depending on conditions no coals should be left.  In this case we were good on that.  In minutes we had a pile of cedar twigs and bark upon a few coals and a teepee pile on top of that and soon poof we had a nice fire going. 

Soon I sang the song.  Good morning , good morning, good's time to rise and shine.  Breakfast was one.  Bacon was cooking and donuts were given out and Rob got up at 8:30.  He told us 10:30 was his time to get up but he couldn't sleep because of the excitement ahead. 

After morning devotion and some gear stowed back in our tents we headed out at 9:20 up Indian Creek to the Eye of the Needle.  Along that way we only saw one guy coming back.  He didn't make it to the eye of the needle as most don't.  It's tricky to find and our first trip up there we were guided by someone that didn't find the right path to this place the first time they went up there and they have climbed Mount Everest!  Yup its a trip!  After a dozen trips here you learn the path not to take.

The pictures give a small glimpse of what we saw and experienced.  This trail offers the very hardest and best of all the trails I have visited any where.  It's awesome. It's technical.  It's a whole lot better than dying a  ever weak death due to heart disease.  Yup it's many slippery spots will keep you focused.  It has some high trail sections that are 250 feet up along the walls of the canyon.  A few places there are is not much buffer zone between the edge of the trail and the vertical drop.  I have seen families bring 7 year olds up this trail.  NOT RECOMMENDED!  Yet on our return trip we saw some children and families hiking up this trail as well.  One group had missed the path and has hiked up the creek a 1/4 mile to find out that they would all get wet if they continued on. 

The climb up to the caved in area with ropes is fun and challenging and many stop at that point and wished they had followed the others up but that's ok.  My first look at that was "are they crazy"  Yet everyone including the ladies in the group was going up there and I wasn't about to wear that chicken crown.  HA!  We don't encourage chicken crown talk.  It's up to the person if they go or not.  I am at times that person that says I am Mr.  Safety and will stand my safe ground.  What we speak into peoples lives is important. Let's be remembered for encouraging them and building them up.  Our advisory the devil is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  I don't want to be on his team  doing that.  I want to hear "Well done"  from my Lord and King Jesus!

Click on a picture for a larger view.

It's important to "Live the Adventure"

Preparation for backpack

Pullled up tight

What did I forget?

Wow 43 pounds!