Feb 20, 2022Day One. Back on the trail

My first trip out since November – maybe that’s why my hat is looking a little neglected. Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Work — at work and on the house — and the weather has been keeping me off the trails since November. After such a long break, I once again couldn’t make up my mind, whether to try and pile on the miles or just go sit in the woods.

I’d taken a couple of (well earned) comp days, but because I was working on Saturday, I couldn’t get away until Sunday, and quite late in the day at that. I can’t remember what the delay was, but I do know, that as I was driving to the trailhead, I was thinking I might need to cut my planned six-mile hike short if I didn’t want to be setting up camp in the dark.

I decided to review the situation when I got to the ‘Twin Falls Creek’ crossing which is slightly over halfway to my planned destination of “Deep Hollow’ on the western edge of the wilderness.

The weather was forecast to be 61°F today, and low forties overnight. A wonderful 69°F was forecast for Monday, and again low forties overnight with a lot of rain and potential thunderstorms heading in. Tuesday was set to remain rainy in the early morning drying off with a high of 57°F. I was anticipating a hike out in the rain. Nothing new about that. And I was looking forward to giving my new tarp a good run out in some wet weather — that’s what I bought it for! My only constraint was that I had to be home early in the afternoon for Ginger to get to her pottery class.

I arrived around 1:30 p.m. and I stopped for a chat with a guy camped at the trailhead. We lamented the tragic decline of the Weather Underground phone app since it had been taken over by IBM.

Daylight was burning, so I hurried on. The sun was shining, and it felt hotter than I expected. It was great to be back on the trail. I met one couple on the trail shortly before the Pole Hollow Carn.

Guess where? Yes, back at the Pole Hollow Cairn. Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I met another And another couple soon after I passed cairn. They were the last people I was going to see on this trip. The chap was wearing a tartan kilt, and I was feeling overdressing in my long pants. He’s the first kilt wearer I’ve met on the trails. It’s good to know there’s at least one other person venturing out in a kilt. I should have taken a picture! His parting comment was ‘You’re brave,’ referring to my huaraches. A prophetic statement as it turned out.

It was lucky I bumped into them when I did, a few minutes later and they would have encountered me in the middle of a trailside clothing change. It was far too hot, and I needed to lose my base layer top and switch to my hiking kilt. Though it would have been good to have been wearing my kilt when I met them.

I arrived at ‘Twin Falls Creek’ at 3:30 p.m. I was going to stop for lunch, but I decided to grab some water and keep going, eating summer sausage and cheese on the trail. If I moved quickly I ought to be able to get to my campsite around 5 p.m. thirty minutes before sunset.

Stopped for a snack – A peanut Snickers. Tasted like a Reese’s cup to me. Over an hour later and I’ve still not sorted out my hat. Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

By 4p.m. I was at the Devil’s Den West trail junction, and onto the lesser-traveled trail leading behind Lower Pilot Knob, and a bit further on, where I’d be taking an old disused forest trail north before bushwhacking to my campsite.

Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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