Journal: Four days R&R in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024

Journal: Four days R&R in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024 — It’s been almost a month since I was last out on the trail on my trip to Irish Wilderness. I toyed briefly with a four-day hike of the Berryman Trail, but I settled on some downtime by the lake instead.  Trip write-up: Five-minute read, +15

Heading home

Heading Home — I remembered to take an end of hike selfie just before I left the trailhead parking lot. Two-minute read.

All packed up and ready to leave

All packed up and ready to leave — I toyed with the idea of leaving first thing in the morning, but a bitingly cold wind put me off that idea. It was very windy in the night, the trees flexing had the hammock bouncing around a bit. The temperature dropped to 24 degrees, I wasn’t toasty, but I was warm enough. Two-minute read, +1

Doe! A deer…

Doe! A deer… Despite being 1-200 yards upwind from me they heard me creeping down to a spot where I could grab a picture through the trees. It was nearly dark, and I had to use the max zoom on my phone, hence the very poor image.

The lake is low… It’s almost the lowest I’ve seen it

The lake is low… It’s almost the lowest I’ve seen it.

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake — Yup, another picture of one of my favorite spots.

Piney Creek Wilderness at Table Rock Lake, February 2024

A quick pan of the south shore from Piney Creek towards Table Rock Lake. Table Rock Lake is low. Almost the lowest I’ve seen it so far. On the good side, the change in lake level has caused all the silt to be washed out of the creek mouth. Video: 24-seconds.

Hammock Camping in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024

Hammock Camping in Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024.

‘Red Flag’ Warning — so I shall not be using my wood stove

‘Red Flag’ Warning — so I shall not be using my wood stove. High winds, dry conditions, and unseasonable temperatures have resulted in a ‘No fires’ advisory. And given how windy and dry it is, that makes sense.

Back at my home from home

Back at my home from home — Taking a selfie when I get to the lake has become another Piney Creek Tradition.

Lunch Stop

Stopped for Lunch by Piney Creek — I thought this was the spot we stopped for lunch on 11-11-2011, but it was probably the next creek crossing. +1

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

Fire ring at the bottom of the Tower Trail — Piney Creek Wilderness. I’m on the trail again, and this is the plan… +2

Journal: four days by the lake, Piney Creek Wilderness, July 2023

Four days by Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness, July 2023. It’s time I took a short break, watched the lake for a while, did some navel-gazing, and maybe some journaling. Trip write-up: five-minute read, +15

Trip over

Trip over — Three nights and four days by the lake. I left a day early as I didn’t fancy hiking out in the 90°F+ temps forecast for Monday. +1

Just sitting and watching

Just sitting and watching — That’s pretty much how I spent four days. The cup of tea was optional. +2

Noodles for lunch

Noodles for lunch.

Campfire

Campfire — It is very rare for me to have a campfire nowadays. But I’d collected the wood, so I might as well use it and keep the fire ring clean.

Sunset at Piney Creek Wilderness

Sunset at Piney Creek Wilderness. My neighbors are fishing the small bluff opposite their camp.

Camped near Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness

Camped near Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness. The forecast was for two to three days of rain, so I carried in a second tarp to have a dry area to sit and prepare meals. It sprinkled once for about half an hour. +1

Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness

Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness — I never tire of this view or taking pictures of it. Look closely; you can see that I had neighbors on this visit. Two fishermen camped at the entrance to Piney Creek. +2

On the lake trail at Piney Creek Wilderness

On the lake trail at Piney Creek Wilderness. It doesn’t look it, but that’s a 60-80 ft. climb.

Ready for the trail

Ready for the trail. Or, judging by the reflection in my sunglasses: “Car, dunny (a.k.a. vault toilet), arm and camera.” I’m planning on spending four nights and five days at my favorite camping spot by Table Rock Lake.

R&R by the lake

R&R by the lake — It’s time I took a short break, watched the lake for a while, did some navel-gazing, and maybe some journaling. The trouble is the weather has been beastly hot. It may be my imagination, but it certainly seems to be my experience that exercise combined with high temps triggers my AFIB. So, thoughts of taking a few days by the lake have been put on the back burner.

Another end-of-trip selfie

Another end-of-trip selfie – Time to drive home and return to “civilization.” It has been a good trip. Four days of lakeside solitude. Two-minute read, +3

It’s always good to see the car where I left it

It’s always good to see the car where I left it.