Saturday, June 28, 2014

I've Been to the Mountain Top

Even though hiking in the remote mountains of Missouri during a hot and humid summer day can literally kill you, as I once learned, it does a soul and a body good to get out of the suburbs.

Bell Mountain Wilderness is in Iron County, Missouri, and is one of the most remote spots in the state.  As you can see from the photos below, nothing man made is visible from the summit.  I walked about 12 miles and saw no one.  The path is rugged, rocky and not well maintained.

But it was a lot more fun than the internet!

The trail is not marked.  At one point it splits.  If you don't have a map, you don't know what to do.  If you're trying to get back to your car, you take the path on the left and you'll be there in about an hour.  If you take the path on the right, you'll walk for two hours and end up back at this exact spot.

I stayed at the summit until it looked like lighting might become an issue.

One of the many glades along the way.  Glades are mini-deserts that spring up in the Ozarks on the sides of hills.  Lots of lizards can be found in glades.

A shallow pond off the path where I enjoyed a nice swim.

View from the summit.  Bell Mountain is the second highest peak in Missouri.

The trail is not maintained at all, and sometimes simply disappears into the brush.

Orange fungus was plentiful on this hike.

This is some sort of mushroom.  Or a mini-space ship.

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