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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Irish Wilderness Day One — Camp Five Pond Trailhead to Fiddler Spring

Irish Wilderness Day One — Camp Five Pond Trailhead to Fiddler Spring — It was a loverly warm afternoon. At two pm I had to stop and get rid of some layers, have a bite to eat, and a drink. The South Loop was easy to follow, until, that is, I dropped down to Whites Creek, where it had been washed out in several places. But that’s par for the course. Two-minute read

Evidence of Busy Beavers on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Evidence of Busy Beavers on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. They’ve been very busy, and at the moment, it looks more like wanton destruction than a lodge building exercise. Video: 34 seconds

New notice boards and a registration point at Camp Five Pond

New notice boards and a registration point at Camp Five Pond. And a warning about not taking maps or a GPS. +1

Ready to get on the trail

Ready to get on the trail — I’m planning on spending four days hiking the Whites Creek Trail. This time I’m starting with the South Loop (I don’t know why they call it a loop it is not. But hey!).

At the Camp Five Pond Trailhead

At the Camp Five Pond Trailhead — It’s good to be back. It might be a challenging trip, it’s very early in the season so the trail is going to be difficult to follow. I’m hiking the trail backwards — clockwise, leaving the eight-mile, possibly water-less, section for the last two days.

Journal: Four days hiking the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, March 2023

Journal: Four days hiking the Whites Creek Trail, Irish Wilderness, March 2023.  I plan on spending four days hiking the 20-mile loop of the Whites Creek Trail in Irish Wilderness. I’m hoping there will be a bit of a view from the trail’s only scenic overlook. A recent storm that passed through the area may make the trail a tad tricky. We’ll see. Trip write-up: Ten-minute read, +53

Haven’t I been here before?

Haven’t I been here before? Whites Creek Trail Loop Completed.

Trees, trees, and more trees

Trees, trees, and more trees — And hidden in this picture is an old forest road.

Lunch time snooze in the sun

Lunch time snooze in the sun — albeit a very watery sun. Can you see my glasses? No? Neither could I. It took me a lot of searching to find them.

The geology is a bit different on the south loop

The geology seems a bit different on the south loop. Note the rocks in this picture. Also note the blue blaze. You are not supposed to have blazes in a wilderness, but to save money rescuing lost people, there appear to be some exceptions. But the quality and positioning of the blazes is so poor and erratic, it is just annoying. Well, it annoys me!

Pool on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness

Pool on Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness.

Cat briar’s revenge

Cat briar’s revenge — I got myself into a huge patch of them on the third day, and this is the result. It is also why I am resisting being put on aggressive anticoagulants.