Journal: Four days hiking the Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness, December 2023

Journal: Four days hiking the Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness, December 2023. I spent four days on a hike of the 16-mile loop of the Big Piney Trail in Paddy Creek Wilderness. This is a follow-up to my trip back in May. Trip write-up: Ten-minute read, +38

Paddy Creek — Day Four

Paddy Creek — Day Four.

What? No end of hike selfie?

What? No end of hike selfie? Nope. So, this will have to do. It’s a scenic overlook on Little Paddy Creek, taken on my hike out.

Snake on the Trail

Snake on the Trail — I was not expecting to find snakes out in December, so I’m glad I spotted this one. We’ve not positively ID’d it yet. It doesn’t look dangerous, but when it got fed up with me watching it, it coiled ready to strike and it had a diamond shaped head. But it didn’t have viperous eyes. +1

My quilt got a little frosty

My quilt got a little frosty, though according to my notes it was only 30°F. +1

Paddy Creek — Day Three

Paddy Creek — Day Three.

What is that I spy up on the ridge?

What is that I spy up on the ridge? Well, I’ll be … I’d just crossed Big Paddy Creek, and I was taking advantage of the lack of Foliage to try and find the Scenic overlook, and there it is — center frame. +1

Looking down Big Paddy Creek

Looking down Big Paddy Creek — not a lot of water flowing. No surprises there.

A selfie for the folks back home

A selfie for the folks back home — I actually had some cell service here!

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail — Looking Northwest

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail — Looking Northwest.

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail — Looking Southeast

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail — Looking Southeast.

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail

Scenic overlook on the Big Piney Trail — This view was the reason for my trip. I’d seen this vista in the spring, and I wanted to come back and see it in winter. I’m glad I did.

Making lunch

Making lunch — That’s the objective of this trip achieved, I’m at the Big Paddy Creek Scenic Overlook. It is time to make lunch and enjoy the view.

Signs of civilization

Signs of civilization — The yucca plants appear wherever there used to be an old homestead. Backpacking the Big Piney Trail, December 2023.

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness — Not that it is easy to see the frost in this picture, but it is there!

Running Repairs

Running Repairs — I’ve always had a plan for dealing with broken shoes on the trail. But … that plan reckoned on the toe post breaking not the side posts. I did a bit of head scratching before I came up with this solution which lasted me the ten-plus miles I needed to hike to get back to the car.

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness — The temperature dropped to 19°F (-7°C) overnight. The predicted low was 28°F. Once again I was glad I changed my mind and packed my bigger and heavier 10°F quilts. +3

Paddy Creek — Day Two

Paddy Creek — Day Two.

Spring with pools

Spring with pools — I camped a short distance downstream from here where the hollow widened out letting me set up my hammock well away from the water sources.

Not where I expected to be, not what I expected to find, and some minor problems along the way

Not where I expected to be, not what I expected to find, and some minor problems along the way — Finally I found a spring with lots of water. Three-minute read, +1

Don’t take a step back …

Don’t take a step back …

Have a go at spotting my hammock

Have a go at spotting my hammock — You should just be able to make it out. Center frame on the skyline!

Hammock Camping in Paddy Creek Wilderness

Hammock Camping in Paddy Creek Wilderness — As it is going to be a short day in terms of mileage, I don’t have to rush to get on the trail. I took the time to light up my Firebox Nano stove for my morning coffee, breakfast, and a follow-up cuppa tea.

Morning view from my hammock

Morning view from my hammock — Day Two, Camped in Paddy Creek Wilderness.

Paddy Creek — Day One

Paddy Creek — Day One