Jan 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm #1254064
Companion forum thread to:Jan 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm #1562198
Fantastic! That was the best trip report I have read in a great while. When can we expect another article? You definitely have the writing talent. Great job!Jan 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm #1562220
Thank you, Lucas. Superb report. You've sparked an interest to check out the Katy Trail. Your writing is very engaging.Jan 13, 2010 at 3:35 am #1562249
Very cool! I love hearing about trails that were completely unknown to me.
Night five must have been quite the test of your willpower. A bean supper and bonfire? Oh man…. tough decision to leave that behind :)Jan 13, 2010 at 10:36 am #1562329
@jeepingetowahLocale: South Central
What do you carry your water in when you stock up? Did you rely solely on fresh potable water? Or did you use a means of purification?Jan 13, 2010 at 11:46 am #1562360
Thanks for all the kind words. I really learned a lot on this hike. We can talk ourselves blue on the forums, but getting out there is the best way to learn. Short hikes close to home really capture the opportunity to teach oneself more.
Ken, I'm cooking up something as we speak. I hope the boss(wife) gives me clearance for another week away.
You are right Ryan, that was a tough choice. Doug, the proprietor of the B&B is a standup guy and I really wanted to stay and talk. However, my steadfast refusal to change my schedule kept me from staying. I still kind of regret not staying there. I promised to come back and stay at the B&B and hike up on the bluffs there.
I didn't carry a filter. I did bring iodine tabs for emergency use, but there was potable water(water is off Nov. through March) at trailheads and the communities w/ services. I had a 1L Aquafina bottle and a 2L Platypus. I pretty much carried a liter at a time. Temps were cool so I consumed about 1L per 10 miles hiked and would base my supply on availability down trail. I did try to chug a liter when I stopped for more though.Jan 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm #1562398
@moetjenLocale: Pacific NW
Nice report, Lucas, and great photos. I biked most of the Katy a few years back and did the B&B thing, knowing I'd rather camp but going with the friend flow. Thanks for the inspiration to do more out, less online, and explore close to home!Jan 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm #1562406
@trevor83Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Great trip report. I really like your writing style. Thank you for sharing your experience.Jan 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm #1562463
"I still kind of regret not staying there. I promised to come back and stay at the B&B and hike up on the bluffs there."
I've been in that situation more times than I care to admit. Being a very schedule-oriented hiker does that. But I think it has its other rewards.Jan 14, 2010 at 1:46 am #1562580
Excellent writing Lucas. I've been playing with the idea of biking the Katy, and your report has me convinced now to do it. You definately have a flair for writing. Looking forward to your next backpack/writing adventure.Jan 14, 2010 at 7:14 am #1562637
I've been in the "planning to bike the Katy" camp for years now. I just never got my bike equipment up to the level I wanted to trek with. I was sitting around mulling over hikes in the area and the light bulb hit. Why I hadn't considered it before I don't know. Stare at the page too long and you miss the important data.
Get out there soon, the bugs and humidity in the warmer weather will make the camping a little less comfy. March is a little windy and wet in MO, but April can bring sunny days and cool nights. I'm hesitant to make any conjecture on weather at this point with the rugged winter(relative to recent history) we've had so far. Thanks again for reading.Jan 15, 2010 at 9:19 am #1563071
@rhausamLocale: Salt Lake City, Utah area
This is a great trip report! As others have commented, I really enjoyed your writing. Plus, you're talking about home country for me. I grew up in Sedalia. In fact, we were just there for a couple of weeks around Christmas, and I recently posted this about our time there and my own much briefer afternoon walk on the Katy (http://robhausam.info/blog/?p=7). I've thought for a while about the possibilities of a long trip on the Katy, but since I live out west now it's not all that convenient for me, and I haven't done it. I'm glad that you did and that you let us all know about it!
RobJan 15, 2010 at 10:50 am #1563099
Small little world we live in Robert. I was stationed at Whiteman for 3 years and never set foot on the Katy. I think we tend to put off those trips close to home and next thing you know we've moved and the cycle starts over again! I really liked the section of trail between Sedalia and Pilot Grove. I had never been in that area. I hope you didn't encounter the crazy dog near the eastern trailhead in town. I left it out of the report, but it was interesting walking up on this dog that was jumping to the top of an 8 ft. fence. Unfortunately, he was on MY side of the fence. I just gave him the old look away and don't make eye contact move and he totally left me alone. Although he did bark at me and follow me for 1/2 block or so. I should have left it in there, since it went w/ the Harassed by Animals theme that developed. Glad you enjoyed it.Jan 18, 2010 at 7:55 am #1563865
Very engaging trip report Lucas and an impressive accomplishment…..that is a lot of miles every day. Did you find sleeping by the trail in misc. places (not campgrounds)
kinda of spooky or unnerving at all ? I spend a week on the Tahoe Rim Trail this last summer and most nights slept by myself in the weeds by the trail (I was on the east side of the Lake)…the campgrounds never lined up with where I was at when it was getting late. On the East side of the TRT, all the mtn bikers & trail runners disappear at night and you are by yourself, not knowing if you picked a bad spot re: large animals or whatever. So I found it stressful….I kept telling myself that on the PCT, hikers often comboy camp BUT I kept remembering that they are often with at least one other person and sometimes several.
Being alone in an unknown area had me uneasy…….Jan 18, 2010 at 11:52 am #1563918
At times I did Bruce. For me, the preferred means of camping is well away from the trail, both for avoiding people traffic and finding better sites not trampled down. Unfortunately, privately owned land keeps the trail corridor rather narrow on the Katy and a cowboy camp adjacent to the trail is the most efficient means of camping, especially on the 30+ mile per day plan. Solo hiking can really mess with your mind. Although, the likelihood of having a negative encounter in the wilds is pretty slim, I think we are wired to be somewhat suspicious and paranoid when we are alone in the woods. I'm not going to let ego keep me from saying that I get freaked out occasionally. I think the more you expose yourself, the more comfortable it becomes. I just read Steven Rinella's book, American Buffalo. He is hunting in the backcountry in Alaska. On the way back to his camp he hears footsteps walking in the woods. He knows that there are grizzlies in the area too. A little later he looks up and ducks, shielding his head with his arm. He then looks and discovers that the moon had come over the ridge. Our own imaginations and psyche are our worst enemy on a long hike. Keeping a rational, levelheaded inner voice helps. Thanks for bringing this up. It gets lonely out there by yourself, but the confidence you build on your own is priceless.Jan 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1564068
I agree Lucas….when I go solo, I am more alive and energized and careful and soulful than when with a buddy or group…but after nightfalls…. I go on alert that interferes with sleep until late in the night when my vigilance system just gives up….curiously when I go with even 1 friend…I sleep well figuring I guess that they are alert (even though they may be snoring beside me)…..so solo I just love the daylight hours and dread the nighttime, when accompanied….daylight is good and night is no big deal. So in a way….going solo but camping at night around other folks is ideal for me. Interestingly Andy Skurka comments that he avoids being around campgrounds at night and Ray Jardine avoids them in part because the unknown of previous camper's habits re food, etc. Both of these of a course are very very experienced backpackers and both I think prefer the solitude at night…though Ray usual goes with his wife. I think they have done what you said…..done it so many times that they have the confidence. In contrast I have only slept alone in the wilderness (mostly North Cascades of WA) about
30 times over my 59 years. In rural areas like the Katy, I think my concern would be mostly deviant humans and agressive dogs….bears and cougars off the list.Jan 19, 2010 at 10:52 am #1564189
Bruce, your experience is a familiar one. I have more apprehension towards human sounds than anything. If I hear leaves in the woods, I'm not even worried about animals. However, I'm listening closely to see if I can make out two legs vs. four legs! My wife and I were on an overnighter over the summer. I was getting ready for bed, hanging the food bag, etc. and I heard a strange noise. I had never heard anything like it. Sort of a scream, bird-like sound. I just kind of ignored it and went about the business. We got settled in our tent for the night and a coyote lets out a howl just down the creek from our camp. I then realized that my dog was barking earlier and wanted in the tent for the night so she could lie down. Well, that coincided w/ the other strange noise. I pretty certain that the coyote was calling back to my dog's yips. I was immediately calmed knowing that a perfectly normal natural phenomena had been the cause of my unease. Of course, later a bunch of ATV's come riding through the woods in the dark making a bunch of racket. Turns out an ATV trail was right across the creek. I then fretted over being run over in my tent by someone riding through the woods in the dark. I prefer Wilderness areas for the lack of access by motorized vehicles. The National Forests around here allow way too much ATV traffic for my comfort.Jan 22, 2010 at 6:57 am #1565151
Missouri has another long trail. Handbuilt by volunteers and more.
Over 350 miles of trail and one section with 225 miles of nearly non-interupted sweet singletrack from Onadaga Cave on the Meremac River to the Eleven Point River in the South.
The Ozark Trail is broken into sections which allow for great section hiking. Free Maps! There is a trip planner available that also includes information for regional shuttles.
More Info Here: (Including Free Maps)
and here are some teaser photo's: http://ozarktrail.com/planner/photos.php
For further information post questions on the Ozark Trail Forum.
Team Trail Monster
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