Ozark Trail (OT) – Last Minute Hiking Trip

I’ve been talking about doing some hiking BEFORE the AT Thru Hike because I’ve a virgin hiker (never done an overnight hiking trip where you are backcountry camping).  It’s been something I thought was important for various reasons — checkout my gear, no reachback for help, on your own, checkout my pack weight, see what it’s like to be “on trail”, and on and on and on!

After much debating with myself and my wonderful wife, I decided to go for it for a few days on the Ozark Trail.

The Ozark Trail is a nice trail in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri which includes 12 section hikes and also has a thru hike plan.  The website is great for planning a day, weekend or thru hike along the trail with it many maps, trail ot_section_mapplanner and forums.  At first, I thought No Big Deal, I can easily do 48 miles over a 4 day period.  Little did I know!  That plan would allow me to finish the Courtois section and then figure out a way to get back to my car without calling the wife to pick me up.

Since the wife was planning a trip over the weekend, I decided “why not” go hiking instead of just hanging out at home (the RV).  I figured I could do an out and back hike so that I wouldn’t need any support over the weekend, my wife wasn’t too crazy with the idea since she would be unavailable in case I needed help (she knows me all too well since things don’t normally turn out like planned).

However, I didn’t let this “lack of support” deter me from heading out.  After a LONG 4 hour drive in dense fog on ot_foggy_morningFriday morning, I made it to the trail head — or at least what I thought was the trailhead for the OT.     While this photo is blurry, it shows the dense fog I had to travel in for 4 hours before making it to the OT and begin my hike.

After braving the driving conditions, I arrived a the Ozark Trail northern trailhead with beautiful weather…sunny skies inviting me to take the hike.

However, after a long morning drive to get here, it was a late start at 1 pm with a lot of miles to get to my first destination of Bass Creek Resort — 12 miles in a few hours!  Since it’s getting dark sooner, I need to beat feet.

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