It was just above freezing when I started on the 3.5-mile hike back to the trailhead, and the wind was blowing hard. I’ve no idea what the wind chill factor was. Cold. I wore my waterproof jacket as a wind-block over my down jacket. Once I got moving, I had to remove the down jacket as I was overheating. My ears, though, were cold (as Ginger likes to point out, “That’s because they are big.”). Not wanting to take the time to dig into my pack for a beanie, I used a buff I keep in my pocket to protect them from the wind. Not particularly fashionable, but then I when have I been fashionable? The temperature was 41°F (5°C) when I arrived back at the trailhead, just before half-past-twelve.
Despite the problems (of my own making), my last trip of 2020 had been good, and it taught me some lessons that will hopefully help me stay safe in 2021. I hiked the 3.5 out miles in under two hours.
- 26.3 miles hiked
- 2,172 ft of elevation
- I’d hiked the Blair Ridge Trail, my last un-hiked Hercules Glades Trail, and
- I’d found a source of water on the western edge of the wilderness.
2020 Backpacking Year Summary
That brought my annual total to 28 nights, 216 miles, and 20,500 ft of elevation. Not an overly impressive set of figures, but considering the year’s events, not too bad either. I exceeded my nights out goal of 24 nights, and I missed my mileage goal of 240 miles by just 24 miles. I visited six wildernesses in fifteen trips and completed hiking all of the trails in four of them. My first trip was January 5-7 and my last December 26-29. To do this I drove some 2,116 miles. That’s over 40 hours of driving. No wonder Dance Monkey is stuck in my head.
Despite everything, it’s been a good year. I’ll take that.Copyright © 2020 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.