We made a quick stop at one of our favorite barns on Hwy 23 just south of Turner Bend Store. Then, it was on to Turner Bend, one of the vendors who will be carrying my trail guide.
Hiker-dog and I were on a mission to find a driving route that would put a videographer close to a scenic area without a long hike. The morning was cool and clear, perfect for driving rough roads, but I was finding it hard to get down Hwy 215 because of the beautiful reflections on the still water of the Mulberry River.
The light caught my eye and demanded that I take a few photos and slide around on some slick river rock. The water was low enough that we walked upstream on the partially dry riverbed. Hiker-dog had the advantage and never missed a step.
While walking the rocky bottom of Mulberry River, I felt like I was visiting a forbidden land, remembering the power of rushing water I’ve seen in this valley during wetter seasons.
After some bumpy driving and walking, we finally entered our targeted destination by an alternate route. I made note that this access route would also be useful for trail maintainers needing to work the area.
The Marinoni Scenic Area is beautiful in all seasons, but I’d never seen Briar Creek so quiet. There were random pockets of water but none moving. The early morning sunshine had not found its way into the valley so we had a cool walk along the quiet trail as leaves fell around us.
If your ego is getting enlarged, sitting at the base of an Ozarks bluff is a great way to remind yourself of the insignificance of daily problems and annoyances. It’s also a good place to pick up a tick as I discovered a few minutes later. It’s always nice when you find a tick from its crawling rather than its itching.
There was nothing particularly astounding about this morning spent walking a dry riverbed and the woods to the north, but I left in a much better state. Any day in the Ozarks is a good day, ticks and all! “Hey, come over here Hiker-dog. We need to check your underside.”