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Fire ring at the bottom of the Tower Trail — Piney Creek Wilderness

Campsite at the bottom of the Tower Trail. It’s looking a bit tidier, but why two kettles? And it looks like someone has lost their hat. Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I’m taking four days R&R by Table Rock Lake in Piney Creek Wilderness.

Kettle — there were two hanging in trees at the campsite at the end of the Tower Trail. I resisted the temptation to borrow one. Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

The two kettles at this campsite seem to be a bit excessive to me, but whatevs.

I may be suffering from kettle envy.

The Plan

I’m just going to hike in, sit by the lake and contemplate my navel for three days, and then hike back out.

The weather is going to be unseasonably hot with temps in the mid-seventies to mid-eighties for three of the four days. On the third night the temperatures will plummet to the low thirties overnight, followed by the mid-forties on my last day.

Hot and windy except on Wednesday when it is going to be cold and windy.

Rashly, I’ve taken the forecast at face value, and I’m gambling that the predicted overnight temps will not drop below 34 degrees.

I’ve packed my summer (forty-degree) quilts. For the cooler evenings I have both my down jackets, plus some base layer pants, and my snow pants. Apart from that, clothing-wise, I have a beanie, buff, shemagh (I always carry a buff and shemagh whatever the weather), shorts, my woolly toe socks, and finally both a long and short sleeved gym shirt. As a precaution I’ve also packed a sleeping bag liner, that should keep me warm if it drops to freezing. Because of the high winds and rain in the forecast I’ve packed my winter tarp (well, so I thought…) And that’s it.

My new Bedrock Cairn Evo Pro sandals arrived last week, and this is going to be their first outing. I’ve worn them around the house and for around six miles on the treadmill. So far, they are proving to be much better than the Lunas.

In fact, it was because of the new sandals I opted to hike down the Tower Trail and along the Piney Creek Trail to Table Rock Lake. The Tower trail has a really steep descent and a steep muddy 80-ish ft. climb. They handled both, and the subsequent creek crossings and bushwhacking impeccably.

Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.