With Saturday being Valentine's day I knew I couldn't do a weekend backpacking trip. But Hyrum had Friday off from school and I didn't have a class to teach or a seminar to attend so we headed off to spend Thursday night on a mountain.
Missouri is not the land of high mountains. In fact you can drive right to the top of Taum Sauk mountain, the highest mountain in Missouri, and look at this plaque. There is a campground near this spot where we spent the night.
Here is Hyrum enjoying a brief moment as the highest person in Missouri. (Actually he was the highest person in a several state region since there is nothing higher in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio.)
In a previous post I described hiking the trail that leads to the top from the Ketcherside trailhead. During that trip we hiked down to Mina Sauk falls, the highest waterfall in Missouri (132 foot drop in total) but I forgot my camera back at camp and so got no pictures. It didn't matter much because on that occasion there was no water. The falls only run after wet weather. We got quite a bit of rain on Wednesday so I thought we might get a nice view on Friday morning. We weren't disappointed.
The side of Taum Sauk where the falls are located (a little over a mile hike from the peak) is very rocky. The creek cascades down a rocky cliff but not in a straight line so there is no way to get a view of the entire falls without a helicopter. No picture from the ground really does them justice. Here is a shot from quite a ways back. But you can really only see the middle part very well. At the top of the picture you can catch a glimpse of the uppermost part of the fall.
Standing at the top this is the view you have looking down.
There are two trails from the peak to the falls and we took one going down and another coming back. The entire loop is just under 3 miles.
All in all we had a great time. Hyrum is a natural camper. Once his head hits that hammock he is asleep and doesn't stir til morning. Even with a comfortable hammmock and a quiet night (like we have in the winter) it's not that easy for me. I have to lie for quite a while before I can convince my body that it's okay to fall asleep even if I'm not in my bed at home. One of the difficulties of age I guess.