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Wedding anniversary backpacking at Devils Backbone Wilderness (365:050)

Wedding anniversary backpacking at Devils Backbone Wilderness by Gary Allman
Wedding anniversary backpacking at Devils Backbone Wilderness. Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Tonight we get to sleep in the woods and tomorrow it’s our second wedding anniversary.

We got away from Springfield on time, picking up Lanie from her sleepover on the way out. At the grandparents I helped Jim load a large steel house sign into his pick-up before we headed off for the last fifty miles or so to our destination; the Devils Backbone Wilderness area.

Over the past week, we’ve checked the maps and pictures of the wilderness we found online. We had a rough plan of action, starting at the Collins Ridge trailhead. There were no other vehicles in the parking lot, checking the registration log, it appeared no one had entered the wilderness from here for a while.

We had a good hike along the Devils Backbone down into Mary Hollow. Ginger particularly liked all the pine trees at the start of the hike. The Devils Backbone was quite impressive with a significant drop off on each side, which is where I took today’s picture. The point where the trail drops into Mary Hollow is incorrectly marked on the map (it comes out about an eighth of a mile to the east of where it is shown), which caused us a bit of backtracking while we looked for the trail to McGarr Spring. We found the trail but couldn’t find the spring, there was evidence of water but there was none running.

We decided to camp further down the Hollow towards the North Fork river, so that we could pick up water in the morning. The trail was very easy walking being mainly soft dirt. It would have suited my Vibram Five Fingers which I hadn’t brought along. My Mark II huaraches worked well, but as expected weren’t tough enough for the trip, so after a couple of repairs, I gave up and resorted to trainers for hiking and flip-flops around camp. In total, we hiked about 4.25 miles today.

The overnight temperatures dropped into the mid-forties, but we were nice and snug.

Today’s alternate shots & extras

Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.