The weather over Thanksgiving weekend wasn't quite as lovely as Black Friday - rain was in the forecast for Saturday, and Sunday looked like it was going to be a total wash. There was some chatter in our trail group about timing, but most of the group ended up with commitments on Saturday morning, which looked like the better time frame to ride. Thankfully we don't mind small groups, so I headed out out to pick up one of the other ladies Saturday morning and we had a great time!
We went to the Moon Loop, a trail in Mark Twain National Forest. I hadn't been there before, but luckily the other rider had and was able to neatly navigate us to a (thankfully empty) parking lot and we set off. I would not want to attempt the parking lot if there was anyone else in it (I ended up needing to pull in, pull out onto the road, then sort of back into a slot), but we lucked out that it was empty. We got tacked quickly (bless her for tossing my saddle up, since that was still a bit of a struggle with my incisions), and headed off into the woods!
My experience with another Mark Twain trail (Dry Fork) was that it tended to be rocky and not well marked, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Moon Loop was the complete opposite! Minus some rocky creek areas (to be expected in our geological climate lol), it had lovely footing and the trail was easy to follow! We did around 7 miles, swapping the horses back and forth to lead, and running into one friendly cyclist who stepped off the trail to let us pass (then ran into us in the parking lot on the way out and wanted to talk our ears off lol).
Since it was just the two of us, we were efficient about both pick-up and drop-off, and I had her back home and then got back home myself with plenty of time to accomplish other things - the perfect day! I can't believe I hadn't heard of/been to that trail before, what a hidden gem! Although again, parking is probably an absolute nightmare if it's not empty (similar to Shooting Star). Would be much easier if I borrowed my mom's smaller rig!
|These hooligans felt it necessary to supervise me unloading the trailer lol.