August 20 - Piney Creek Wilderness

The hike this morning (9 miles in all) was more eventful than usual. After hiking for an hour in the dark (part of which was on a wrong trail – hey, it had to end somewhere!), I ended up at the point where Piney Creek ran into Table Rock Lake. This was where I had really wanted to be anyway, so I composed the picture below (a blended image). The only problem I had was that once I stopped hiking, I was immediately swarmed by horseflies. I must have looked pretty funny as I randomly flailed my arms trying to keep them off of me. They drove me away before the sun came up (the color would have bee a little bit richer than what I’ve pictured here, but not by much – it wasn't a very spectacular sunrise).

Piney Creek before sunrise

Later on in the morning, when I was not intending to take any more pictures, I ran across a section of trail with some pretty nice flowers, so I had to stop.

False Dragonhead (2-image panorama)

I don't know what this one is! (Update 8-24-05 Don Kurz identified this as one of the 17 species of beggar's lice here in Missouri - who knew they had any redeeming value!)

Ouch – with the heat and humidity, I bonked pretty bad while climbing the last big hill on the way out. I just had no energy, wasn’t recovering from the exertion of climbing and had to rest quite a few times. This has only happened to me once before, and about the only thing you can do is grit it out. It was pretty miserable, though – can’t wait until cooler weather.


  1. Hey! You need to pace yourself, I still want to accompany you on one of these sunless hikes. In the cooler weather of course.

  2. Sounds good to me! When the weather is cooler, you don't have to get up so darn early!


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