Wilderness and trails

Time spent hiking and backpacking generally well away from the madding crowd.

Hike over, back at the trailhead – That’s my hike over, and it’s just before 4:15 p.m. Not bad, and still daylight. I should be home by 5:45 p.m. I completed today’s hike of six-plus miles in a little over three hours. I’ll take that.

Back at the Pole Hollow Cairn – It was too dark on the hike out Friday night for my obligatory Pole Hollow Cairn selfie, so I decided to slip one in on my return hike. +1

Nothing to see here, move on… View? there’s supposed to be a view… +2

All packed up and ready to head home – and it’s only six-and-a-half miles of fairly flat going.

Gear Damage – I tore my under quilt protector when I fell out of my hammock on my last trip. Despite spending half-an-hour looking for the damage at home, I didn’t find it. I’ve now made careful notes of where it is so I can repair it.

Improvised water filtering arrangements – This is what happens when you don’t use a packing list and pack in a hurry. I forgot to pack the 64oz water pouch I use for holding unfiltered water. The pouch screws onto the filter, squeeze it, and you have clean water. Fortunately, my 8oz squeezy washing bottle has the same fittings, so I used that instead.

Hot chocolate to start the day. +1

Camped above ‘Deep Hollow’ – Despite exploring for several miles yesterday, this appears to be the only place near a water source. Oh, and it rained (a lot) overnight.

Settled in for the night – somehow, despite arriving in daylight, I ended up setting up my hammock in the dark (again).

Bearing Tree & Land Survey Monument – Marking a corner of the Hercules Glades Wilderness. +1

Puffy jacket hood malfunction – What can I say? You would think I could dress myself by now. At least I didn’t fall out of my hammock this time.

First hike of 2021 – Camped at ‘Twin Falls Hollow’ – I didn’t start packing my gear until I finished work, and so it was dark when I left home. I started my hike at 7:40 p.m., there was some light from the risen half-moon and the sky was clear. Following the trail was easy, and I kept my headlamp on its lowest setting — which proved to be a mistake when I accidentally took the Cedars Trail in the dark. Two-minute read, +2

2020 Backpacking Year Summary – My annual total for 2020 was 28 nights, 216 miles, and 20,500 ft of elevation. Not an overly impressive set of figures, but considering the year’s events, not too bad either.

Final trip of 2020 over — Not the most flattering of pictures. A quick summary of my hike out. One-minute read.

Tales of stupidity — Camped overlooking ‘Twin Falls Hollow’ – This trip had been dogged by a series of stupid mistakes. My final mistake could easily have been fatal, but as is usually the case when I do something stupid, I was lucky and got away with it. Until possibly, one day I won’t. Five-minute read, +3

Gary at the Blair Ridge Trailhead – The hike from the Falls to the Blair Ridge Trailhead is supposed to be around three-and-a-half miles. I’d say it was nearer to three. It was a cold, dull, gray day, so no pictures. Anyway, it was just standard Ozarks ridge trail scenery. That’s my last unhiked trail in Hercules Glades completed. One-minute read, +3

Vertigo – Watch your step, it’s a fairly steep drop of around 100ft and a very narrow trail. I made sure I didn’t drop a hiking pole while taking a picture here.

Small Falls on Long Creek. +1

Meet the Flintstones – Looks like somewhere Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles might live. It’s another overhang campsite, but this one has more home comforts and a rock-edged path down to the creek where there is a wide pool. +2

Long Creek. Hercules Glades – Day Three – This is the spot nearest to my campsite and where I drew my water. What you can’t see in this picture are the frozen bits.

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