Mar. 6, 2017
Well, I woke up today expecting it to be wet and kinda gloomy out but was pleased to see otherwise. Unfortunately, the night was pretty rough for me. My mattress has sprung a leak and was deflating as I slept. It got rather cold on the ground and I would blow it up only to wake an hour or two later back on the cold earth. Despite the poor nights’ sleep, I still woke feeling pretty good. I did accidentally kill my walking stick while packing up, though it only took 30 minutes of walking to find a suitable replacement.
Today was quite nice for sights and the morning was warm but it quickly turned overcast and the temperature began to drop. I planned for a short 9 mile day so I would have plenty of time to prepare for the storm coming. The day started with a climb through a rock labyrinth (definitely an exaggeration but it was cool all the same) and I passed many smaller waterfalls. I passed a memorial for Paul A. Marinoni who helped maintain, and was quite influential to, the current appreciation of the Ozarks. There was also a large bluff face that I was tempted try and climb but seeing how I was avoiding a storm and have no experience climbing, I decided to take a pass this time.
The weather didn’t feel like it was getting any warmer as I was climbing up and on the shaded side if the mountain. I, once again, had another Deja Vu mile where I could swear I passed by the same numbered marker twice. I hiked until about 2:00 and was even rewarded with a small patch of blue sky and sunshine. And a salamander in much the same state as the snake yesterday!
Just across the creek, two college kids are camped. They’re Jackson and Allison on spring break from school in Michigan. These two were kind enough to let me know that I am, indeed, not crazy. According to the guidebook, they’re renumbering parts of the trail so I really did pass the same marker number twice. We talked for a bit and they seemed relieved to know that I’ve had no incidents with bears so far. The weather is getting a bit rougher now but I have my tent and my fire so bring it on, Mother Nature!