Day Three – Camped above the Eleven Point River to the Whites Creek crossing on the North Loop

I stopped at Bliss Spring to top up my water, I carried out two liters, my one-liter pouch and one liter of unfiltered water in my dirty water pouch. I was banking on getting water for the night from Whites Creek, near the crossing.

Water sorted, I had some snacks and headed off on the North Loop. I missed the trail almost immediately. I Realized my mistake and was soon back on the trail on the long climb up from the spring to the ridge on the south of the hollow. Near the top of the ridge I lost the trail, and that was the story for the rest of the hike. The trail was difficult to spot and mostly buried in leaves.

Around four, I arrived at the steep descent down to Whites Creek. Peering over the drop-off, it didn’t look good. I couldn’t see any water in the creek. The pool I thought was fed by a spring was dry. I’d just have to make the two liters of water I had last the night and the hike back to the car.

I set up camp where I camped in March last year. In March 2023 I had the opposite problem, too much water. Following a series of storms, Whites Creek was running too high for me to safely cross!

2023: I’ll wait this one out, Whites Creek Crossing. Irish Wilderness, on the trail to Bliss Spring — I estimated the water to be four feet deep, but actually it was only around three feet. Having decided not to attempt the crossing, it was time to find a place to stop for the night. I should have taken some video to show how fast the creek was running. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I felt very tired after the hike, my back wasn’t too bad, but my feet were sore in places (new, not broken in huaraches, on this trip). I was obviously nowhere near as fit as I thought I was, and the climbs were hard. The continual bushwhacking wasn’t helping either.

My pack had been misbehaving, the left shoulder strap was continually slipping off my shoulder, no matter what adjustments I made to the various straps. I’ll admit I was getting pretty annoyed with it. The slipping strap was another reason why I didn’t fill up fully with water.

As I sat in my hammock it slowly dawned on me that my heart was playing up (AFIB). Time to take some pills and rest up. The good news was I only had three-and-a-half miles to go in the morning. I regretted not taking on a full load of water, as dehydration is one of the things that (I think) causes my heart to play up.

Apart from my watch’s heart monitor alarm going off a couple of times it was a quiet night.