Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blume, Barbercheck, Bag Taum Sauk!

Paul and W attempt to escape gravity at Highpoint #4

Together with Paul Barbercheck, W traveled to the Claybaugh Creek trail head for an attempt on the imposing Taum Sauk mountain. The ascent began at 9 a.m. and wound its way along the Ozark Trail up and down through hills for an impressive 4000 feet cumulative up/down of climbing. Although it was possible to drive directly to the summit, W preferred the hike, as the actual journey matters as much as the destination. There was absolutely nobody on the trail, and W was glad that he had brought a GPS and compass, as the trail was very faint in places. W & Paul lost the trail twice on their way, once due to a larger trail that was taken mistakenly, and the second time due to a tree that had fallen in an area where the trail was already very faint. Hiking conditions were perfect, with beautiful fall foliage and abundant broccoli-green moss lining the trail.   More photos here.  Eventually after 7 miles, state highpoint #4 was history.  This was actually the second time to Taum Sauk for W, the first time was five or six years before, when WNMR and Grandpa Mark drove there.

Paul & W also took a side hike to Mina Sauk Falls, which are the highest waterfalls in Missouri, but the water flow was a mere trickle. Owing to the superb views, it was still worth visiting.

Hours later, Paul and W returned to the car, completing a 16 mile day hike.

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