Monday, January 21, 2013

Piney Creek Wilderness (Photo Intensive)

This past weekend, my friends Brian D., Darren G. and I camped out in Cape Fair, Missouri and day-hiked Piney Creek Wilderness, close to Shell Knob. My dog Maggie and Darren's dog Ida joined in the fun.

Friday, on the way down, we stopped for some health food at E's Inn in Republic, Missouri. Can't start a camping weekend on an empty stomach.

Stopped at E's Inn on the way out of town.

We got down to Brian's church friend's property in Cape Fair about 7:30-8pm. Got a fire going and relaxed a bit. Here I am playing with my new Mora camp toy... I mean knife.

New Mora camp knife

Breakfast Saturday morning.

Darren, Brian and I

Newly built camp box in action

Then time to hit the trail, about 15-20 minutes drive from camp.

trail marker

starting out

Hiking a ridge

Mossy tree

rough trail

Honeylocust tree Hawthorne

The dogs had a blast. Ida (white) and Maggie (black).

Ida and Maggie

Piney Creek creek

Checking out ice formations along the creek.

Darren and Ida


Ice formations

Me, Darren and Brian

The creek emptied out onto a dry area of lake bed. Since Table Rock Lake was down quite a bit, it left an open stretch of frozen muddy bog land.

creek/lake bed


Darren and Brian


I couldn't get a decent shot of the two bald eagles overhead, but I did manage to capture the daytime moon over the hillside.

Moon over the hillside

Darrena and Brian

Creek on a receded lakebed

Lunch, lakeside.

Me and Brian

Me, Brian and Darren

Not quite "leave no trace", but...

Left for the next to discover

Lots of muscle shells in the area.

Muscle shell

Darren, high and dry, me, not quite so much. The ground was only solid in the shade. I found that out the hard way.

Darren, high and dry

My muddy feet

Old chairs, a possible eagle nest and a horseshoe in a hawthorne tree.


Possible eagle nest. We was two flying nearby.

Thrown shoe

I got to test out my iPhone's macro lens attachment a bit.

Pine needles

Small rattling bell-shaped seeds

Grain of some kind

Not sure what this is

Berries, probably poisonous, since they were still available. The trail in the lowlands was pretty nice, but really went vertical on the way out. We followed the Lake Trail down, then the Firetower Trail out.




The wee Maggie

Darren and dogs


Just before the trail's end, we came across some possible homestead or other building remnants. What looked like a cistern or cellar.


Leftover from a homestead


Darren and the firetower,under the moon.

Firetower and the moon


Piney Creek Signage

Then back to camp and dinner. I broke out some homebrew cider and Brian heated up beef barley stew he made earlier in the week. We sat around the Caveman TV BS-ing.

Homebrew cider and caveman TV

Beef barley soup

Caveman TV

Up Sunday morning for some relaxing fireside and breakfast. Since we were so close to town, we took our time breaking camp and getting around.

There's a dog in there somewhere

There she is!


in camp

Sunday brunch


All-in-all, a great trip. Nothing too difficult, but we're all in our 40's now and two of us have desk jobs. Just happy to be outside. I know I was tired and nearly useless when I got home and the dog spent the rest of the day like this, curled on the couch.

Maggie, crashed on the couch when we got home. Dog-tired.

Thanks again to Brian D. and Darren G. (and Ida dog) for heading off the woods, once again. We've been doing this for almost or about 15 years. Hopefully we'll be doing it for another 15.

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