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OHT Day 7

It has now been 2 days since it rained 3 inches in 24 hours. But the creeks are still so swollen with muddy water that they’re nearly impassable. Some of them are downright scary and they have pushed me to revise my plans. The Ozark Highlands Trail is anywhere from 165 to 254 miles in length. It is a trail in progress, with more trail being finished and moved off the roads along it’s route. I had originally planned on going for the speed record on the trail after hiking the trail’s entire length first. BUT, after some of these treacherous water crossings I have revised my plan. I feel comfortable with the deepest of crossings during the days, but the thought of managing some of these Fords at night seems reckless. So, I am simply going to enjoy backpacking out here and maybe tack in a few more miles at the end of the trip.

It was a comfortable night but a brisk morning and I didn’t dally making coffee before starting forward I planned to spend the day contemplating if going for the FKT/Speed record of the Ozark Highlands Trail felt possible and safe. But, 8 miles into the day when I arrived at the Buffalo River and Richland Creek it was pretty obvious that I should not charge through 50 mile days with many miles in the dark. I met Craig, a fellow backpacker I have corresponded with and he has actually sent me gear, right before the crossing and he said he had gotten a ride across with a canoe. When I got there I realized I did/should not want to swim across. So I waited. The water was fierce deep and cold, so I waited. Two hours later a boat finally gave me a ride and I was on my way further East, at a casual and enjoyable pace!

Today I saw an elk herd in the Richland Valley by the Buffalo River and was surprised that the massive animals were in this area.

Buddha had left me a bucket with a resupply in it at Highway 7, and at the end of the Day, I arrived at it. It had more food than I could carry, so for 30 minutes, I feasted on the contents. Finally, as dark was coming I packed up the food and hiked onward, further toward the eastern terminus of the Ozark Highlands Trail.

Buffalo river on the Ozark highland trail
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