It’s been a few weeks now, so I’m finally getting around to posting some pics from Ian and I’s hiking trip. As you may recall, we opted to stay in Missouri this year and backpack on the Ozark Trail. The mountain we planned to climb was Stegall Mountain, which at 1,348′ was nowhere near the magnitude of previous climbs. However, 25 miles with 40 pound backpacks combined with the ups and downs of the trail made for an equally challenging trip. Not to mention the forecast was for severe thunderstorms all weekend.

I didn’t get any great photos of some of the cool features we saw, mainly due to hazy midday lighting conditions and the fact that I was too tired to go climbing around looking for the best angles. Nevertheless, we saw a lot of great scenery without having to travel very far!

Ozark Trail Powder Mill TrailheadPacked up and ready to head out on the trail. We started at the Powder Mill Trail Head.

current riverWe hiked the “Current River Section” of the trail, although aside from this crossing, we really never even saw the Current River. On a side note, I am very fascinated by the beautiful teal colored streams and rivers of the Ozarks. I’ve seen lots of rivers all over the world, some very clear ones, but nothing that compares with the deep teal colored streams so common throughout the Ozarks. I am not sure what causes this, but I like it a lot!

ryan mccoy klepzig millI took entirely too much photography gear and food. Better safe and exhausted than hungry and needing a tripod I guess.

klepzig millThis area is called Klepzig Mill and was one of my favorite spots along the trail.

ian cahill klepzig millWe enjoyed lunch at this nice overlook of Klepzig Mill.

buzzard mountain shut insHere is a clear pool of water below another series of rapids and waterfalls called Buzzard Mountain Shut-Ins.

buzzard mountain shut insBuzzard Mountain Shut-Ins

ozark trail shortleaf pineI like this area because it contains a lot of pine forest. Most of the trail was Oak, Hickory, and Pine mix, however this mile or so was mostly just Pine, so it smelled really nice!

rocky creek ryan mccoyWe opted not to carry 2 days worth of water and instead got water from this clear creek and purified it. It tasted quite nice, maybe better than the tap water we brought!

rocky falls missouriRocky Falls, another cool area along the Ozark Trail. This was actually a spur off the main trail, but well worth the side trip.

ozark trail stegall mountainThe trail started getting steeper as we made our way up Stegall Mountain. A massive t-storm hit us as we were approaching the summit so we were unable to safely explore the area and enjoy the view. Had the weather been more cooperative we would have enjoyed this view…
Thanks to Ozark Bill for allowing me to use his photo from a more successful trip up Stegall.

ozark trail eagles nest hammockWe hiked back down a ways where lightning would be less of a risk and setup “camp”, which consisted of a couple rainproof hammocks. Actually worked out very nicely and we stayed nice and dry even though it rained non-stop for about 15 hours!

buzzard mountain shut-insMore shut-ins as we made our way back the next morning.

klepzig millCrossing was a bit more of a challenge on the return trip due to the rains the night before. I hopped across but Ian was a bit nervous at first.

klepzig millCrossing here Ian almost completely lost it. Somehow we both managed to get to the other side ‘mostly’ dry. From that point on I didn’t really take any photos because I was too tired…

So in summary, while being less exotic than previous trips, it was still a great time and we saw some great scenery here at home!