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Our Annual New Year's Day Hike 2023

Every year my husband Kip and I find a new Adventure to hike. Sometimes he tells me where we will be going. Sometimes I don't find out til we are there.

This year we traveled down to Southern Missouri and the Mark Twain National Forest area.

We are always prepared with anything we might need when we hike. This year we started later than planned and we knew we would get to the Hercules Glade Waterfalls around sunset. Mother Nature was on fire that evening. It was about 4 miles to get there, and we travel slow because I am always stopping to take pictures. I want to remember every single thing about our day, and I know the tiny details will be big details one day. It was about 3 miles to hike out, so we went off trail to shave a mile off the way back. NOW........ Don't go off trail if you are not an experienced hiker, which we are. Kip also downloads our hike into his ALL-TRAILS app so no matter where we go, we can see where we need to be to get back to the car. I highly recommend getting that app on your cell phone. We also carry a battery pack so if we lose power we can recharge. *See link in next paragraph* Plus if we absolutely had to spend the night, we have all we need in my backpack.

My backpack is always full of snacks and coffee and things we might need on the hike. This year we ended up hiking out in the dark, so flashlights were a good idea. This is the second hike we have had in the dark and while I had good flashlights with me, I immediately ordered one with higher LUMENS (that is the power of the light) when we got home. I wished I had a little more light coverage. I purchased one at this LINK that had 2000 Lumens and was USB chargeable. I always carry a battery pack and did not want to always have to carry new batteries. Battery Pack at this LINK

Kip's backpack is loaded down with lots and lots of bottled water and Gatorade and our sparkling water we love.

I also carried a sweatshirt for my husband, a first aid kit (I will get into what is in my first aid kit & backpack in another blog post). I also carry a tiny American Flag. I love our country & one thing I had started doing quite a while ago was taking my tiny American Flag on all our hikes and taking a picture of her waving over this gorgeous land. Could it be classified as goofy? You betcha, but I will never be afraid of being goofy or patriotic. Flag at this LINK

At the end of the day, we enjoyed the BEST meal at one of our favorite restaurants in Branson, Missouri. See photo and see


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