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 to pick things up again in October 2014, but cold weather set in.
Any nascent plans we had for a backpacking trip in December failed completely when we both got the ‘flu.
A forecast of 55°F, and the fact that we are both completely and utterly out of condition and in desperate need of the exercise prompted us to try and get out today. We picked an easy target, Compton Hollow Conservation Area, and went on a very straightforward hike of just over 2.6 miles and 400’ of elevation.
The going was, as we expected, muddy. Unexpectedly there was still a lot of ice around in the shaded spots on the eastern side. I enjoyed it – especially squishing through the mud in my huaraches. Unfortunately Ginger doesn’t like the mud and she soon found it a bit tiresome.
This is only my second real hike in my latest huaraches, and while I like them a lot, they are just a little bit too thin for my liking. I prefer a tad less ground feel and a little bit more insulation. I’m always being asked if my feet get cold. They do on occasion – you cannot walk through frozen mud or water without getting a bit cold. But, I soon dry off and they get warm again. So much so this afternoon that I welcomed a muddier bit of trail to cool me down a bit. I think pictures of how muddy and dirty I get put people off huaraches. Today I just found a clean puddle and washed the mud off – okay the ice in puddle made for a cold wash but it was easy to get clean. Ginger didn’t have the same option with her trail shoes which were very heavy with mud.
Pictures of our Compton Hollow hike
You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
Getting to Compton Hollow
If you don’t like driving on gravel roads the best approach is via Hwy KK and Compton Hollow Rd. It’s blacktop all the way to the first trail head and only a few hundred yards of gravel road to the second trail head.
Didn’t know about this place. Will be on my list now. Thanks Gary, Glad you 2 are back!
It’s a nice area without much elevation. Most of the trails are very broad. It’s good as a gentle re-introduction! Checking back on my posts I see it is one of the first we visited on almost exactly the same date four years ago.
Can you camp here? If yes, have you?
Yes, you can wild (primitive) camp here, there are no camping facilities. Here’s the MDC website: http://mdc7.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=6527 We’ve not backpacked here as the area is quite small and we prefer to get a bit further away from things. There’s not a lot of water to be found, so you’ll have to carry it in. It would be good for a initial backpacking try-out. Don’t forget to check the hunting seasons before you go.