Because of health and family issues, 2022 was a difficult hiking season for me. Thankfully, I was able to make a couple of hikes. Here are my five favorite pictures from my 2022 hiking adventures!
#5 Hercules Glades Falls
In January I hiked for two days in the Hercules Glades Wilderness. I followed the Tower Trail and one of the drop off trails down to the falls area.
It was different hiking this area in colder weather. The last time I was here I had to bail early because it was 94 degrees with 80% humidity.
This trip I had to be careful not to fall on the ice that covered the trails.
This is a photo of the falls on Long Creek. They were beautifully draped in ice.
#4 Crossing the Buffalo River
In October we hiked the Ozark Highlands / Buffalo River Trail about 45 miles from Woolum Crossing to Dillard’s Ferry.
This is part of our group preparing to cross the treacherous ankle-deep water! What makes this photo special to me is that six months earlier, I had to alter the end point of a hike because this crossing was 8 feet deep!
The section from Woolum to Dillard’s Ferry was one of my favorite sections of the OHT.
I hope to finish the last section soon!
#3 A Burger at the Ozark Café
For years as we traveled to hike in the Buffalo River area, I heard people talk about the famous Ozark Café in Jasper AR.
Built in 1909 this café is a popular stop for hungry hikers, canoers, and bikers. Though it is not an actual trail town, it was between trails for me.
I was excited about eating here, and I was not disappointed. Yes, it was as good as it looked!
If you have the chance to eat here, make sure you take some time to walk around the town. The square has several antique and thrift shops that are worth a look.
#2 A Hike with my Granddaughter
On a beautiful February day, my oldest granddaughter suggested we go hike through the Springfield Nature Center.
It was a special day with a very special person!
I did wear my day pack so technically it was a backpacking trip.
#1 Campfire at Hercules Glades
Normally, I don’t build fires when I backpack. But this hike was an exception. When I hiked in late Friday night, the weather report said it would get as low as 24 degrees.
When I arrived at my campsite, the cold was quick to set in. Since there was a nice fire pit, I decided to build a fire.
Impressed with my survival skills, I was soon enjoying the warmth of a roaring fire. I found plenty of downed wood, so I kept the fire going for several hours.
About 10:00 I decided to turn in. Though my sleeping bag was warm, with only my nose exposed, I felt the temperature was getting low.
In the morning my thermometer registered 12 degrees!
On our OHT hike in October, we came across a massive blowdown on the trail. The only way around it was up a steep hill and around the root ball.
As I started down the hill, I reached out to steady myself on a small tree which cracked and gave way.
I did a slow-motion fall, landing flat on my face sprawling down the hill.
As I got up, my friend began yelling, “Bad snake, bad snake!” I had fallen right on top of the copperhead in the picture.
Fortunately, I was lying flat on top of it, so it was not able to bite me!