9 October – 16 October
Hitch Four had the crew continuing to survey the Ozark Trail North Fork section, where they encountered the first trail users since August—a backpacking group from the St. Louis area and sponsored by the American Youth Hostel Association. The trail in this section is not officially mapped by the Forest Service, so the survey work here is serving dual purpose.
The crew set a new record of 5.48 miles of trail surveyed in one day. Nice work! In total, the crew finished surveying the North Fork section of the Ozark Trail, from the Pomona Trailhead through the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness, and began surveying the Ridge Runner Trail. That equates to a grand total of 25.9 miles of trail surveyed.
Within the week, leaves have colored out significantly, temperatures have dropped, and the leaf litter on the forest floor is beginning to build. The crew has been busy baking pumpkin pies and has their jack-o-lanterns waiting to go under the knife…