A warm break in the weather sent us scurrying out to get some miles on the trail, this time we opted for Busiek’s Orange Trail.
Tuesday the whole area was under a few inches of snow and the temperatures were dropping to -5°F at night, and not rising above the mid-twenties during the day. By Friday the temperatures had jumped up and on Sunday it was nearly 70°F, and all the snow had disappeared.
The Orange Trail is not one we do often because, quite frankly the long walk along the creek flood plain isn’t very challenging hiking-wise. Because a lot of the trail running alongside the creek has been graveled it’s not the most comfortable of hiking surfaces either. We decided to go clockwise around the trail to complete the lower flatter part of the trail first.
The main climb of the trail wasn’t too arduous — obviously I’ve improved a bit since last week’s hike, I managed the main portion of the climb without stopping. Though I did have to stop at the top to get my breath back.
Coming back down, the new-ish switchbacks on the trail go past some very nice seeps and I was hoping that the snow-melt might have set them running. As it turned out, I was to be disappointed. Even though the lower portions of the trail were quite muddy and soft in places, the seeps were almost bone dry.
As is often the case at Busiek we didn’t see a lot of wildlife, a couple of armadillos and a few birds. Wild life aside, we did get to meet and chat to some Ozark Marble Hunters — Marble hunting is a great idea to encourage people out. We spotted some of the marbles earlier in our hike, but at that time didn’t know that they were part of a hunt. Just as well we didn’t carry them off! They were gone when we came back. Ozark Marble Hunters on Facebook.
The total hike was a smidge under six miles. Google Earth says nearly 1,000′ of elevation — that’s a wild overestimation 4-500′ maybe?