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End of hike selfie & Trip summary

I Hiked over twenty-two miles in two-and-a-half days. I’m happy with that.— Solo backpacking in Paddy Creek Wilderness, March 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I’ll let my trail journal do the talking…

1120 On the trail. Clear, Sunny, Windy! 70°F
1125 at the short cut jct. ECG inconclusive. I’m feeling good so I’m going for the 7 miles.
1205 Little Paddy Creek crossing
— Bear? tracks on the trail [Future Gary: No, it’s a dog.] I cannot be sure if it went through before or after my run through on Wednesday.
Two deer.
— filling up with water.
1241 Three Creeks short cut Jct carrying straight on.
1245 On the North Loop. 1 Deer.
1300 Trash can. Met two hikers + pack dog.
1312 at the turn off stock pond. Water & Snickers stop
1320 Back on the trail.
1421 at the falls. 5.3 miles so far. 3 hikers.
1445 on my way eta 1545?
1500 at the Nrth/Sth Trail Jct.
1525 at TH Flat Tire?

6.73 miles +757 -664 2.2 mph 1.6 mph

Overall I’d hiked 22.19 miles in 2½ days.

Unusually, there were several cars in the parking lot. It being a Friday afternoon probably helped. There was a group of Scouts at the registration point when I got there.

Gosh! There are cars in the trailhead parking lot! That makes a change. Solo backpacking in Paddy Creek Wilderness, March 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
Big Piney Trail, ‘Figure of eight’ route, starting counterclockwise from the Roby Trailhead. 40ft Contour lines.

What worked

  • My jury-rigged hiking pole made it out with no issues, though I discovered later that the middle section was also damaged beyond repair, so I have a new pole on order.
  • The Circadian Hammock is excellent, and possibly a long-term replacement for my Chameleon.
  • Bringing my winter under quilt.
  • The Bedrock Cairn Evo PRO Sandals were excellent. The main improvements over my Luna Sandals are:
    • Better grip on the soles.
    • A much grippier footbed.
    • They have a much more secure fastening system that doesn’t come loose on the trail.
    • They hold my feet much more securely.
    • Much easier to put on and take off.

      I only have two issues with the Bedrock Sandals so far:
      • The heal strap is not as well padded.
      • My foot seems to go over the side of the footbed at times.


  • I need to buy a portable tire inflator.
  • I must be more careful in picking my routes when bushwhacking.
  • At this point I’m not sure what I need to do to minimize the chance of AFIB. I’m exercising a lot more, one hour a day five days a week, 30 mins cardio & 30 mins strength. I’ve (almost) cut out alcohol entirely. I don’t think it’s really practical to do a lot more.

Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.