Feb 20, 2022On the Pilot (Tower) Trail to the north of the Lower Pilot Knob

On the Pilot (Tower) Trail behind Lower Pilot Knob. Cheesy grin, but a least my hat’s sorted out now. Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Cheesy grin indeed. What I didn’t realize as I was taking this picture, was that in a couple of hundred yards I’d walk straight past the old forest road I need to take to get to my ‘Deep Hollow’ campsite. Oh well…

At least I had managed to give my hat some TLC before I took this picture. It’s looking a whole lot better now.

I’d overshot the forest road junction by several hundred yards when a glimpse of an old fire ring had me bushwhacking to take a closer look,and getting out my GPS to tag it’s location. That’s when I realized my navigational blunder.

Setting off in search of the missed junction, a normal person in this predicament would either use their GPS, or at least get out their compass so they can check what direction they are heading off in. Not me. I blithely hiked back up the trail, missing my turning point yet again.

After realizing I had made yet another navigational blunder, I finally got out the compass, turned around, and started looking for the tree and rock that marks the turn. Having found the junction, it was just a matter of hiking along the forest road until I was on top of the ridge where I needed to turn west. At that point, using the compass I headed off in the general direction of the campsite.

I’ve tried navigating in dense woodland using the GPS, but I’ve found that a compass works better. Especially when I’m bushwhacking. It’s a lot easier to take a bearing, pick a mark (a tree) fifty to one hundred yards or so away, walk to the tree, and then take another bearing. The trees are so thick that you can’t see much further than that.

I arrived at my campsite around five-thirty — just as the sun was going down. So I set up some lights (to make it easy to find my way back to the camp) and headed down to the nearby creek and spring to get water for the night.

Hike for the day done.

With my little accidental excursion up and down the trail, I’d hiked over seven miles in three-and-a-half hours. I’ll take that.

Copyright © 2022 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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