This Friday we're off to Southern MO for a couple days. It will be his first overnight backpacking trip and he's very excited about it. Today his mom is taking him out to buy some hiking boots and tonight and tomorrow night I will be doing an equipment check and shopping run for whatever we are lacking. This will be a fairly easy trip since he's only 8 and I don't quite know what he can handle in terms of mileage and difficulty. We're going to do a 15 mile there and back (7.5 miles one way). Here is a map I made using Google maps terrain feature and Paint Shop Pro. The red line is our trail... from the trail head parking lot to Rocky Falls where we'll camp Friday night, then return on Saturday.
Stegal Mountain has some very nice views of the surrounding landscape. About 15 years ago I took a trip where we actually camped at the top of Stegal and were rewarded by waking up to a phenomenal sunrise... the only catch is that there is no water at the top and we ended up running out of cooking water for breakfast and spent a thirsty morning going down to the nearest creek. Stegal is a decent hike up from either direction (the western summit is 480' above Kelly Hollow), but oddly enough, for me the toughest portion of the trip (I've been on this trail a few times) is going up the road from Roger's Creek to the parking lot at the trail head. You can see from the topo lines that it is more than 120' up and since it is a dirt road there are no switchbacks... just a very... very... steep hill. Of course the reward for climbing the hill is the car which makes it all worth it.
I am planning on taking the camera so hopefully I will be able to post some pics next week.