My original plan for today was to hike part of the southern loop of the Whites Creek Trail and stop for the night near one of the big pools that form on Whites Creek. Then I’d have an easy three or four-mile hike out on Monday – easy except that part of the trail has most of the elevation gain!
Yesterday afternoon, through the wonders of my Garmin InReach satellite communicator, I got a message from Ginger letting me know that the kids were going to descend on us for dinner Monday afternoon. Knowing that the car would be needed in Springfield to get the necessary vittles, and my help would be appreciated, I had two choices. I could either hike out a day early or make a very early start Monday so I would be home early enough to help. Irish Wilderness is 138 miles, and two-and-a-half hours from home. Five miles hiking would take three hours, so to arrive at midday, I’d need to be on the trail by six-thirty in the morning and to do that, I’d need to be up between five and five-thirty.
I didn’t like the sound of that, so I decided I’d hike the seven-and-a-half miles back to the trailhead today. In the rain. Because, as luck would have it today is forecast to be this trip’s rainy day, which was another reason why I originally only planned on going two or three miles today.
So, here I am at twenty past ten (that’s an early start for me!) on a Sunday morning, already on the trail, at the wilderness sign-in point on the spur trail leading to the Whites Creek Float Camp, making my way back to the Whites Creek Trail. It doesn’t look like the registration point has been tended to in quite a while.
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