August 22, 2022.Hercules Glades Wilderness, Pilot Trail around a quarter mile east of Lower Pilot Knob

Hercules Glades Wilderness, Pilot Trail around a quarter mile east of Lower Pilot Knob

Pilot (Tower) Trail, Hercules Glades Wilderness. Around a quarter mile east of Lower Pilot Knob. Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Nearly noon and here I am heading east on the Pilot (Tower) Trail. In two-and-a-half hours I need to be back at the trailhead to meet up with Ginger.

Fortunately, unlike on my last hike here, my heart wasn’t in AFIB. I’d been taking extra care to avoid that; drinking lots and trying to keep cool. I even packed out an additional liter of water so I’d have extra on the trail. I’ve hiked these trails a lot of times now. That meant I had a pretty good idea of how much time I needed, though I’d left a little later than I’d planned (surprise!). I keep a trail journal, so I can tell you the following.

About five minutes after taking this picture I was at the Devil’s Den West trail Junction. by 12:22 p.m. I was at ‘Twin Falls Creek, where I stopped for lunch for 25 minutes. At 1:12 p.m. I was at the Cedars (Middle) Trail Junction, and at 1:55 p.m. I’d made it back to the (in)famous Pole (Pete) Hollow Trail junction. Which had me nicely lined up for a 2:30 finish.

The last section of the trail going east is comprised of four climbs, and in the heat, I felt it. I regularly stopped to give my heart a chance to slow down (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it), and still surprised myself by arriving at 2:20 p.m. beating Ginger to the car. Knowing that she had a tougher climb, I got the car and more importantly, the AC going ready for her arrival. She arrived just after 2:30 p.m., hike over.

Final Thoughts

According to the GPS, this trip was slightly shorter at 6.2 miles each way. My average moving speed is 2.4 miles per hour. And average speed overall varied between 1.6 and 1.8 mph. Not bad considering I stopped for lunch on both hikes.

  • Once again I chose not to take Deet or a bug repellent, and I deeply regretted it. The ticks and chiggers were fearsome and plentiful. I counted 30 bites (and then gave up) on part of one of my legs alone. I really ought to have learned this lesson by now.
  • I had good (work) reasons for wanting to be where I had Internet access and cell coverage. But, I need to learn to keep my phone in airplane mode when I am out. Watching YouTube in the wilderness does not give me the break I want (or need) away from digital life
  • I need to revisit my reasons for not taking my camera on these trips. Or I need to use my cellphone camera more deliberately. However, its failure to capture the sunset was most annoying.
  • All the gear worked well, I’ve no complaints there.
  • Foodwise, M&Ms provide trail chocolate, and don’t melt in the heat. Result! I liked my new trail mix, and that will be replacing my almonds and raisins.
  • Three days is not enough. I need more time in the woods to just sit, think, and journal.


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