I've never met Danny McMurphy, but I feel like I know him. Maybe because I've been running into him on the internet for years.

He's mostly known for his Missouri hiking website, which has been up continuously pretty much since the internet became the internet. I like his site precisely because it still has the vibe of the internet circa 1997, when there were a lot of sites like Danny's for a lot of parts of the country. Sadly, those sites--almost always put up by enthusiasts--seem to have fallen off the internet. Or off Google.

Another such site was Chuck's Backpacking Bonanza. For an account of what happened to it, see this page, and this one. Chuck's content moved here. Chuck's site was like Danny's, a good "where to go" resource, plus some content that reflected the personality of the site's creator.

Other Missouri backpacking and hiking sites have come and gone over the years. The most noticable loss was Scott Merritt's site, which featured much nicer photographs than I'll ever take. It was a shame to see it go.

Danny also started the motrails Yahoo group, and he maintains an extensive Flickr account. Between his web site, the yahoo group and his Flickr account, Danny has been the go-to internet resource for Missouri hiking since the internet was invented.

So I was quite surprised to happen upon a McMurphy-sponsored rest bench/deck combination along a trail at the Meremec Conservation Area:

I must have sat there for an hour. Ate my lunch, drank the Sprite which I had found in the river bottom, and read for a bit. It's odd, but I don't recall what I was reading.

Danny picked a nice spot for the bench/deck. There's a nice view through the trees: