Distractions – A couple of weeks before Christmas the dryer broke down. We were just about to have the utility room, painted, so Ginger decided that she’d pop out and buy a new dryer and washer for the freshly painted room. And that’s when the work began. Two-minute read, +1

Gary and Ginger, Christmas Day, 2021 – Like the shirt? I was wearing it, plus shorts, in honor of the unseasonably hot weather we were having. +1

Essential Supplies – What the Brit abroad needs.

Fronds and bottles – Testing my new cell phone’s camera in the dark. +3

Gear Closet update – Still plenty left to do. Bottom shelf and kick space, shelf fronts, and … doors to make.

Back at the trailhead – Trip over, and a modest 19.15 miles hiked and 2,000 ft. of elevation climbed. Time for a shower and a beard trim! And, of course, some end of trip thoughts. Two-minute read

Another backpacking fashion show – Not. Here I am all packed up, ready to head back to the trailhead and showing off what the well-dressed backpacker is wearing nowadays. One-minute read

Reptilian – I don’t know what this type of rock is called, but it is very reptilian in appearance.

Day Four. Camped in open oak woodland – It was the warmest night so far, so a good night not to have set the tarp. +3

Four-thirty and it’s starting to get dark – it’s a problem with camping in hollows- The sun is still catching the top of the hill opposite. There’s rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but I decided not to set my tarp tonight. I wanted to fall asleep enjoying the stars from the comfort of my hammock. I love that chair, but it is one of the most dangerous pieces of gear I own… Two-minute read, +1

Seven Miles – and just under a mile to go before I set up camp for the night – I ended up hiking a total of 7.76 miles with 730 ft. of elevation gained.

Fall color on the Pilot Trail (heading east) – Hercules Glades Wilderness.

Hercules Glades Wilderness from the Pole Hollow Trail – Looking east. Two-minute read, +1

Lunch break by Long Creek – The Falls on Long Creek are a popular destination, so I normally stop a couple of hundred yards or so further downstream to keep away from people. Two-minute read, +2

Long Creek, Hercules Glades Wilderness, Fall 2021 #2 – Wide angle view.

Long Creek, Hercules Glades Wilderness, Fall 2021 #1 – I set myself a deadline of 2 p.m. to arrive at Long Creek. If I made it by then, I’d stop for lunch at The Falls. Otherwise, I’d carry straight on and head up the creek and the Pole Hollow Trail, to head for my campsite for the night.

On The Devil’s Den East (Upper Pilot) Trail – The fall light is wonderful. However, I need a blaze orange cap or a blaze orange hatband, because the low angle of the light makes it impossible to see where I’m going at times. Plus a bonus stereo image version! +1

On the Devil’s Den East (Upper Pilot) Trail. Hercules Glades Wilderness – The Devil’s Den East (Upper Pilot) Trail joins the Pilot (Tower) and Rock Spring (Long Creek) Trails. Arriving at the Rock Spring Trail at what we’ve dubbed ‘Sheep Frog Pond.’

Gary at the Devil’s Den East (Upper Pilot) cairn – I’m just about to take the Devil’s Den East (Upper Pilot) Trail over to Rock Spring Trail, and head down to Long Creek and The Falls. Plus some notes on yesterday’s hike and and encounter with some deer. Two-minute read

Gary at the Pole (Pete) Hollow cairn, Hercules Glades Wilderness.

Fall Trail – Heading west on the Pilot (Tower) Trail. Hercules Glades Wilderness.

Spring – I am always on the lookout for reliable springs we can camp near. Hopefully, this one keeps running all year round.

Camped near the Pees Hollow Trail, Hercules Glades Wilderness.

Day Two. Morning tea in bed. +1

Fire Tower at the Tower Trailhead, plus a nearby find. +1

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