Overdue Followup Visit with Dr. Kessler and a New Trail for Hiker-dog!

Rock City Trail

Rock City Trail

Last week I joked with coworkers that I had an appointment with Dr. Kessler. I told them this doctor can cure all that ails me. “Dr. Kessler” is Mount Kessler and it had been several months since my first visit. It was time for a follow-up appointment. Today’s ten-mile prescription was exactly what I needed!

Hiker-dog joined me for her first visit on Mount Kessler. She was excited to explore the new terrain.

A regional park is being built close to the trailhead. It will include softball fields, soccer fields and much more. The trails get steady use now, but will probably see even higher use in the future as features are added to the area. The trailhead has been repositioned, but this was an improvement over the last time I visited and only adds about 0.3 of a mile in length.

Present trailhead for Mount Kessler

Mount Kessler trailhead

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The trail was easier to follow and less muddy this time. The trail skirts a hayfield before beginning the climb up the mountain.

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This is a trail of contrast. Just three miles into the hike, I was in Rock City, a maze of rock formations.

Rock City

Rock City

At about the time we were exploring the Rock City section, I noticed how dry the drainages were. Hiker didn’t seem stressed, but I began to look forward to getting her to a small pond up on the Trent Trail. When we finally arrived, she took great joy in repeated trips into the pool. She seemed to enjoy the murky water and drank heartily.

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Hiker was revived and ready to go…and a little green with duckweed from her dip in the pond.

Waiting for direction…

Waiting for direction…

Hiker is used to trail junctions and sometimes looks at me for a cue. While I paused at trail markers to make notes as we hiked down the mountain, I wondered what she thought of this series of trails with so many junctions.

We both left the trail feeling good after our treatment from “Dr. Kessler.” In the interest of our physical and mental health, we scheduled another appointment for this winter.

For driving directions, go to my first report, Mount Kessler, A Treasure in the Ozarks 

Hiker never sat down during our early morning drive to Mount Kessler. She rarely stood on our drive back home. Nap time!

Riding in the Jeep

Riding in the Jeep

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