This weekend was supposed to be a Boy Scout backpacking trip to Bell Mountain, but that trip was rescheduled because of the cold and snow. Instead, my dad and I met Dr. Braude and David at the Osage Campsite in Greensfelder last night. My dad and I hiked in 8 miles from the northern end of the Green Rock at Rockwoods Reservation. We started our hike around 11 yesterday and headed south on the Green Rock. Barely half a mile into our hike, we both took off our fleeces. I was wearing just a baselayer and a long sleeved Under Armour shirt. The bright sun really warmed up the snowy day. There was around an inch of snow covering the hillsides. It was really pretty. Around the 2 mile mark, we met an older couple hiking a four mile out and back from Rockwoods. About five minutes later, we met a trail runner who wanted to run 18 miles that day. Just before crossing Melrose Road, we saw another trail runner. We crossed Melrose Road around 12:30; we were hiking at a steady 2 miles per hour with full packs on the snowy trail. We ate some lunch at Melrose before dropping into the Carr Creek valley and entering Greensfelder. We arrived at the Overlook Trail around 1:30 and we planned on meeting the Braudes at 3:00. We decided to hike the old Eagle Valley Trail. I wasn't expecting too much, but that trail turned out to be my favorite part of Greensfelder. The trail ran on the side of a hill in this long, beautiful glade area. There were near constant views of the hills on the other side of the valley. The glade ended right before the Mustang Trail. After that, we followed the old Eagle Valley back to the new Eagle Valley, and then hiked back to the Overlook Trail. We hiked up the steep, rocky hill to the overlook. We met the Braudes at the Osage Campsite right around 3:15. Total, we hiked about 8 miles on Saturday. They had started a small fire before we got there. As the sun was setting, we sawed more wood and set up our tents. Just before the sun set, we started up our stoves to cook our dinner. Both the Braudes and my dad had freeze dried Pad Thai; while I had Lasagna. Dr. Braude also found a pack of Idahoan Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Baby Red Mashed Potatoes that looked really good. Right after I added water to my freeze dried, I put my pot back on the stove. About a minute later, I poured some more water in it, but I burned a hole in the pot. This week, I'm going to ask the people at REI why it did that. Around 8, the moon rose in the East. It was a full moon, and it looked huge. The moon gave off so much light that it was casting shadows! I had never seen a moon shadow before; it was awesome. We hiked up to the Beulah Shelter in the moolight. After we got back, we let the fire die down. Around 9:00, we went to bed. The temperature was cold all day, but the sun warmed us during the day. We prepared for a cold night with a low forecasted in the single digits. I'm not sure how cold it really got, but it was cold. We woke up and had a small fire before hiking back out to Rockwoods. We took a couple of bushwhacking shortcuts and got back in about an hour and a half. On the way back into St. Louis, we had to stop by Krispy Kreme an get some doughnuts.
My dad hiking in Rockwoods
Me in Rockwoods
The two pictures above this are of the glade area on the old Eagle Valley. Even though that is the old Eagle Valley, it still has the sign posts on it.
Our snowy campsite
I finally found where the pictures from the ride at the Ranch on New Year's Day were.
Near the end of the 14 mile loop, there was a large log pile that you rode across. That was my first time ever riding one that was big. I put a foot down, but at least I didn't crash like some people. It was pretty fun though.
Here are the United Federation of Dirt Races I'll probably do this year:
March 14: Leadbelt XC. St. Joe Park
March 28: Mesa Lost Valley Luau
May 8: Greensfelder
June 12: Missouri State Championship. Castlewood
June 27 St.Charles County Parks
Aug 8: Trailblazer Blitz. Spanish Lake.
Aug 22: Cyclewerx Crankfest. Cape Girardeau, MO
Sept 25: Council Bluffs
Here are some of the Midwest Fat Tire Series Races too:
May 16th - Rhett's Run, Columbia MO
July 25th - Show Me State Games, Columbia MO
October 23rd - Berryman Epic, Steelville MO
Tonight, Luke and I went out to Hidden Valley for some night skiing. We both had a great time. For the first time I've ever been there, the snow wasn't slush; it was a combination of nice powder and ice. The "black diamonds" were the iciest, but even those weren't too bad. The night skiing was a lot more fun than I thought. I think I liked it even better at night than during the day, and once it was dark, the lines for the lifts got a shorter. Here are two pictures.
Today, we took a hike at LaBarque Creek Conservation Area in the snow. LaBarque Creek is one of the newest conservation areas; it was just opened two or three years ago. Previously, it had been a Nature Conservancy Area, but the area was acquired by the Missouri Department of Conservation in 2006. The MDC faced the challenge of preserving the natural beauty of the area, while allowing public access. LaBarque Creek has one of the best watersheds in the entire state of Missouri. There are 42 different fish species living in LaBarque Creek. There are sandstone canyons, piney ridgetops, and cedar studded glades in the rugged hills of the area.
There were about three to six inches of powdery snow blanketing the landscape. With our recent cold spell, we were expecting lots of frozen waterfalls, and we were rewarded with tons of icicle draped cliffs. On our four mile hike, we saw no one else. We hiked most of the trail, but did a little off-trail exploration to one of my favorite places in Missouri that is a secret.
My name is Ben. I love to read, hike, backpack, mountain bike, rock climb, and mountain bike race. Since there are so many great hikes in Missouri, I decided to make a website to describe them.
The Mountain Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29er. I've upgraded all the original parts, went 1x9 and dropped 5lbs from the stock bike.
My Road Bike
I have Willier Izoard for road riding and racing.
My CX Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Tricross
2010 Race Results
River Trails Mountain Bike Challenge (Kansas)
1st Junior 15-18
Tilles Park Crit
5th Juniors 10-18
5th Juniors 15-18
1st Juniors 15-18
2nd Juniors 15-18
2009 Mtb. Race Results
ICCC Castlewood Race
5th Beginner 19 and under
5th Beginner 19 and under
Burning at the Bluff
3rd in Burnin Virgins Category