Ozark Trail Ride – Day 3

David and Scottie Sunday Morning

The next morning was, well there’s no other word for it, CHILLY. We built a roaring fire and tried to warm up enough for a last ride on the bikes before heading home. There were several trails near the campsite that we hadn’t explored, so we finally suited up and headed south on Johnson County Road 5861 from Highway 123, which was a beautiful ride right beside Big Piney Creek. Well, at least, until we came to the end of the road, which literally terminated by running directly into the creek. It wasn’t even clear if the road continued around the bend or not.

End of the Road

So, we turned around and headed back to Highway 123 and got some pics underneath the one-lane bridge we had stopped on the night before to look at the stars.

David and Scottie Under the One-Lane Bridge

Still not ready to leave, we headed north on County Road 5861 (right beside the bridge), which turned out to be one of the best rides of the weekend. We quickly came to some higher ground with much better creek crossings than the road that ran south. David got soaked crossing the creek here, but it made for a fantastic picture.

David Crossing a Creek and Getting Soaked

Scottie’s lighter bike made crossing these creeks look easy. Or maybe he’s just better at it…  🙂

Scottie Makes a Run at the Creek

For several miles, the road just meanders beside Big Piney Creek, with high rock walls on one side, dripping waterfalls from time to time, and the full creek on the other side. It was gorgeous.

County Road 5861

You could even ride underneath one of the waterfalls.

Scottie Under the Waterfall

Eventually, we turned right and followed followed Forest Road 1202 up into the hills, which presented some beautiful views of Big Piney Creek as it slithered through the valley below.


The weather was warmer and sunnier than any of the previous days, and we all would have loved to have been able to ride the rest of the day, but real life beckoned us back, out of the wilderness, away from the falling leaves, and into the cruel arms of responsibility and schedules.

OK, going home wasn’t that bad, but we all had a wonderful time, and we were already making plans to come back as soon as possible, even if the leaves were already gone.

Found this thread via search engine? See all of the photos of the trip, or review Day 1 or Day 2.

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