Journal: Four days solo backpacking on the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, Clockwise, January 2024

Journal: Four days solo backpacking on the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, clockwise, January 2024.  A break in the weather means I’m off on a four-day hike of the Whites Creek Trail, South and North Loops at Irish Wilderness.  Trip write-up: Eight-minute read, +39

Day Four & Trip Summary — Whites Creek Trail North Loop. Whites Creek Crossing to the Camp Five Pond Trailhead

Day Four & Trip Summary — Whites Creek Trail, North Loop. Whites Creek Crossing to the Camp Five Pond trailhead.

Loop finished

Loop Finished — And I’ll admit the trail kicked my butt. I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was, and my heart deciding to throw a wobbly at the end of day three didn’t help.

There’s a trail there somewhere

There’s a trail there somewhere — The trail can be very hard to follow (for me anyway). The signs are so faint that if I look away, I can lose it.

Unintended trail markers

Unintended trail markers. Sometimes when you cannot see the trail you just have to look around for a downed tree that has been cleared.

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension.

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

All this bushwhacking is taking its toll on my feet and legs

All this bushwhacking is scratching up my feet and legs.

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri.

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024 — I survived the night! 🙂 but my heart was still in AFIB. I had enough water for breakfast (12oz), a cup of something hot (10oz), and about 4oz for the trail.

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

Day Three – Camped above the Eleven Point River to the Whites Creek crossing on the North Loop. A hard day, and some health concerns. Two-minute read

Eleven Point River, scenic overlook

Eleven Point River, scenic overlook — And the only scenic overlook on the Whites Creek Trail. You had better enjoy it! The trail along the top of the bluff is a tad sketchy in places, but it is fine here, though you need a head for heights to step out on the overlook.

Gear all packed

Gear all packed — Irish Wilderness, Missouri. February 2024.

My winter backpacking gear ready to be packed away

My winter backpacking gear ready to be packed away — Well, I already had a lot of my stuff laid out on my ground sheet while I was playing “Hunt the glasses,” so why not?

Hammock Camping in Irish Wilderness, lost & found, and a bad back

Hammock Camping in Irish Wilderness, lost & found, and a bad back — I have managed to lose, and subsequently find three items of gear on my hike so far. But in looking for the lost gear I’ve crocked up my back. Two-minute read.

Camp at first light, Irish Wilderness

Camp at first light, Irish Wilderness — The pre-dawn light got me out of bed to enjoy the sunrise.

Looking down the Eleven Point River covered in mist

Looking down the Eleven Point River covered in mist — The pre-dawn light got me out of bed to enjoy the sunrise.

Looking up the Eleven Point River covered in mist

Looking up the Eleven Point River covered in mist — The pre-dawn light got me out of bed to enjoy the sunrise.

Day Three — First Light, Irish Wilderness

Day Three — First Light, Irish Wilderness — The pre-dawn light got me out of bed to enjoy the sunrise.

Irish Wilderness Day Two — Fiddler Spring to the end of a ridge overlooking the Eleven Point River

Irish Wilderness Day Two — Fiddler Spring to the end of a ridge overlooking the Eleven Point River.

Eleven Point River view from my campsite — looking south

Eleven Point River view from my campsite — looking south — I camped about half a mile from here back in March 2023. I thought this location might offer better views. It did.

Eleven Point River view from my campsite — looking north

Eleven Point River view from my campsite — looking north — I camped about half a mile from here back in March 2023. I thought this location might offer better views. It did.

Appearances can be deceptive

Appearances can be deceptive — A quarter of a mile upstream the creek was dry. I had to backtrack a little way to get water for lunch and to stock up with water for the afternoon and night. There wasn’t going to be any water where I planned to stop.

At the Float Camp Junction of the Whites Creek Trail

At the Float Camp Junction of the Whites Creek Trail — I was last here in March 2023.

An hour later, Whites Creek Cave

An hour later, Whites Creek Cave — The unofficial trail came out exactly where I expected. I’d hiked the top part of it on my last visit, and obviously missed where it turned to go down to Fiddler Spring. The main Whites Creek Trail was easy to follow, until it wasn’t.