Trip Reports

Trip Report: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Backpacking

Photograph of the 2017 total solar eclipse seen through the trees of the Mark Twain National Forest near the Berryman / Ozark trail in MIssouri

We went eclipse backpacking on the Ozark Trail. The eclipse was more popular than I anticipated. My plan had been to wait until seven days before the event and pick a destination. I picked seven days because the weather forecast would be more reliable. Unfortunately, waiting that late meant that everything was already booked (and […]

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A short hike and some hammock gear testing

The weather this weekend has been wonderful (especially considering it is still February). However, we’ve not had a chance to get away backpacking as we had commitments in town on Saturday. Today we went on a short hike at Busiek, hiking a little over three miles with around 700ft of elevation climbed.  Remaining true to our recent experiences, […]

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Trip Report: Backpacking on the Hercules Glades Pees Hollow Trail

The next couple of months are going to be very busy for us, and opportunities for getting out hiking or backpacking will be limited. The prospect of a spell of warm Ozarks winter weather gave us a chance to squeeze in a midweek backpacking trip. We rearranged our work schedules and took off to Hercules […]

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Short Hike on the Yellow Trail at Busiek

The Yellow Trail at Busiek State Forest

We decided to fit in a quick hike at Busiek this weekend. We were originally planning on going backpacking at Hercules Glades, but life (this time in the form of pet-sitting for friends) threw a spanner into that plan. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to test some of the new backpacking gear we’ve bought, […]

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If wishes were ponies

I’d have a whole lot of pack horses by now. This time last year (2015) we thought we were getting back into our hiking / backpacking stride, and we lost it. After about three hikes we stopped. Lots of work came in and we both spent most of the year tied to our desks and […]

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Another Short Hike at Busiek

We’re still working on getting back in condition. Today, we wanted to increase the distance and elevation climbed while, not getting too wet and muddy, and not driving too far. We settled on hiking the complete Silver Trail at Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area.

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An Afternoon Hike at Compton Hollow Conservation Center

I have a confession. We stopped hiking in 2013, it wasn’t deliberate. First we missed our ‘annual’ Spring Break backpacking trip, then we both got tied up with work. I abandoned my semi-retired state, and getting out just faded away. No backpacking, almost no hiking, kayaking or fishing. It all stopped. We made an attempt […]

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Late Afternoon Paddle on the James River Above Lake Springfield

paddling on the James Rive in the late afternoon

I decided to ignore the temperatures in the high nineties and take the kayaks and our youngest daughter out for a short run on the James River. The plan was to put in at the Southwood Access point, go up river and drop back down-river and take-out at Lake Springfield.

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Hercules Glades Wilderness – Pees Hollow Trail Day Hike

We’ve not been getting out enough of late so we grabbed a chance on Saturday to see some fall color and hike the Pees Hollow Trail at Hercules Glades Wilderness.

The Pees Hollow Trail runs north from the Hercules Tower Trailhead off of Highway 125.

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Trip Report: Bell Mountain Wilderness – March 2012

Eager to find a new sort of ground to cover, we turned our attention to the St. Francois Mountain area for our Spring Break trip. The St. Francois Mountains are an ancient granite mountain range that stands, literally, as an island in the limestone and dolomite former sea beds that are the Ozarks Plateau.

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Trip report: Backpacking in Hercules Glades – September 2012

Taking advantage of a long weekend, we took Lanie with us on a three day backpacking trip to Hercules Glades. Our plan was to map some of the western trails with the GPS, try to find the Spring we think Rock Spring Trail is named after, and show Lanie the falls.

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Trip report: Memorial Day weekend backpacking at Hercules Glades Wilderness

Memorial Day weekend 2011. We took advantage of the long weekend to go backpacking at Hercules Glades Wilderness and spent three nights in the wilderness.

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Two nights camping at Big Bay Campground, Table Rock Lake, Missouri

We braved the 100°F plus temps to spend some time by Table Rock lake. What we found were hot sunny days, a lot of forgetfulness, rain filled nights, and a villainous squirrel…

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Trip report: Two days solo backpacking in Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area

With a couple of spare days I decided to fit in a quick solo backpacking trip. To save on gas I stayed close to Springfield, backpacking around Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area. I found a second cemetery and an abandoned vehicle I didn’t know were there.

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Trip report: Three days backpacking in the Piney Creek Wilderness – June 2012

Photograph of an MSR Mutha Hubba Tent without Flysheet camped at the mouth of Piney Creek and Buck Hollow

School’s out for the summer, so there’s no school run to worry about. Lanie’s staying with her grandparents for a few days. The big kids are old enough to be left home alone. What better opportunity to get in a few days backpacking?

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Trip report: Backpacking at Piney Creek Wilderness – April 2012

A girl, woman, and man sitting on a log for a picture during a spring backpacking trip in Piney Creek Wilderness in the southern Missouri Ozarks.

One of the more problematic aspects of an outdoor-loving lifestyle is that you have to either find someone to take your kids while you go play or you have to bring your kids with you. We finally have two kids old enough to leave at home. But our youngest is still a bit young so we’ve been working on getting her interested in the idea of going on backpacking trips with us

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Sac River Trail – March 26, 2012

Strike while the iron is hot, they say. The weather was perfect and we just got back from a week’s backpacking trip to the St. Francois Mountains. We were eager to get a move on! Plus, the 12yo and 16yo wanted to get some exercise. Directly after school we filled water bottles and piled into […]

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Trip report: Backpacking the Berryman Trail – 2011

Man and woman wearing backpacks while hiking the Berryman Trail in Mark Twain National Forest.

With the kids away for Spring Break with their father for a week we decided it was time for our next backpacking trip. The children had to be dropped off and picked up from St Louis, so that focused our attention on the Berryman Trail. Some people do this trail in a day, bikes do […]

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Trip report: Backpacking the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness – February 2011

This was our second backpacking trip and we’d picked the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness as our destination. We were still learning – especially about finding a spot to camp and reducing the weight of our packs, we’ll always be learning something. The weather was rather dreary but we enjoyed ourselves.

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Trip report: backpacking at Hercules Glades Wilderness – December 2010

Our first backpacking experience The kids were with their dad in Chicago. The forecast was for unseasonably warm temperatures. We had backpacking gear we’d not fully tried out yet. It had been nearly six weeks since our last camping trip. It was time. We were ready to go on our first backpacking trip!

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Trip report: Hercules Glades day hike with MDC

Hikers stopped for lunch at the Long Creek Falls, Hercules Glades Wilderness

We wanted to backpack in the Hercules Glades Wilderness, but we’d never been there. We decided to reconnoiter the Wilderness first, in preparation for our first ever backpacking trip. We found out that  MDC’s Springfield Nature Center was organizing a ‘Hiking Club’ trip to Hercules Glades, so we signed up to go. The group is limited […]

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