Section 5 of the OHT: The Sound of Wind and Water
Journal Entry: Day 19, 10-23-17: Great Sunny day. Got some water then packed up after coffee and instant breakfast powder as creamer. Headed out late in the afternoon. Tried to push straight through to Hurricane Creek, but ended up on mountaintop around sunset. The red light of a lowering sun told me time was up. Saw two meteors. One was incredibly bright and tore apart into blue and white flames overhead. Thought I heard an impact in the distance a short while later. It is hunting season, but I’ll just pretend that sound was a meteor impact.
I had hiked 11 miles from Cedar Creek and my late start kept me from getting to the creek that day. Despite the trees surrounding the area there was only one decent hammock spot. While lying in the hammock and watching the stars the meteor that tore apart into flames was a beautiful sight. It lit up the night in a spray of blue and white flames. I was ready to get some sleep and enjoy the next full day at Hurricane Creek.
The next day was a short two mile hike downhill. I arrived at the flowing waters of Hurricane Creek. I crossed the creek jumping over boulders and across fallen trees. I put down my pack and watched the sun come up and enter the valley with a fresh cup of coffee and some instant Cream of Wheat. It was a beautiful sunny day.
I set up an office by a rock that allowed me to have a desk while sitting in half lotus on my rugged yoga mat now stitched with pine leaves, burs, and dead leaves. I laid out the solar charger and started charging my batteries for the gopro and camera while I explored the area. I jumped across boulders along the creek and played in the morning sun. I wrote in the journal and read more of “Secret Tactics” collected by Kazumi Tabata.
Munen: Freedom from All Thoughts
I had my fun in the sun and was ready to hike down to the next campsite which wasn’t far. So I decided just to carry the solar shower bag filled with water. It was a longer hike than I expected when carrying my pack and switching arms to carry the four liters of water.
It was a great day. I had to make it to the next Post Office before the weekend or I would be stuck with very little food until the next Monday. I still had a ways to go. Otherwise I would have stayed for another day. I enjoyed every moment I could while I was there.
I took my trail mascot around the area to keep watch and we played in the waterfalls.
The Adventures of Tom Shanks and Spalding the Friendly Face-Hugger
To get my food drop I needed to make it to the Pelsor(Sand Gap) Post Office near Fairview. The post office would close by 12:30 on Friday. It was late on Wednesday and I still had a ways to go. I met two older men as I was packing up. They were old friends just getting out for a weekend hike away from the wives with some whiskey. They took their load off and got water at the creek as I packed up. I shared my story and they gave me instant coffee bags. I had just run out. Those coffee bags were a treasure, especially when I woke up freezing in the fetal position with frozen water in my bottles two days later.
There have been too many funerals. I am thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve known and to those who have gone. In Memory of: Matt Musteen, Melody Lane, Lauren Reynolds, Caleb “Jib” Shaner, Cliff Jones, Nikki Young, Holly Pederson
Next Installment: The hike to FairView
Check out johnozmore.com for artwork, sculptures, writing, and photography from the author or to purchase the Dark Fantasy novel, “The Blood of Winter” from Amazon available in paperback and Kindle versions.
Ebook versions of the Dark Fantasy, “The Blood of Winter” are also available for Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scrib’d, Angus & Robertson.
If you want to find out more information about the OHT you can check out the Ozark Highlands Trail Association website at ozarkhighlandstrail.com. They have some basic information and tips as well as any changes in the trail such as reroutes from landslides and other information that may change the trail experience. You can also check out ultralightbackpacker.com for some really great tips, advice, and recipes for any thru-hike whether you decide to go ultra-light or want to loaf it and take your time. Check back for more stories and photos from the trail.