• Gary and Ginger at the Pole Hollow Cairn

    Gary and Ginger at the Pole Hollow Cairn. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    I know how to treat Ginger to a good time, 🙂 I made sure she had plenty of exercise, time to relax, and her own room with a forest view.

    Gary and Ginger at the Pole Hollow Cairn. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show Ginger her rock on the Pole Hollow Cairn, and of course, there’s the Pole Hollow selfie that must be taken. Ginger is never one to miss the chance to ham things up, and there are several outtakes.

    It’s been a long time since we last went backpacking together, just over three years. In that time the fabric in our now ten-plus-year-old tents has started to degrade and get sticky. I did a lot of research seeking a replacement that would work as a single or two-person tent, and one that hopefully would last a lot longer than our deteriorating MSR Mutha Hubba and Sierra Designs Lightning XT 1 tents have.

    The girls have indicated that they’d like to come out backpacking with me, and Ginger wants to get out more. The time was right, and we bought an ultralight Zpacks Duplex tent that weighs in at a minuscule 24oz. Much lighter than my hammock set-up. I might have to try ground-dwelling again.

    Our plan for the weekend is very simple. Hike in around three-and-a-half miles, set up camp, do nothing for a day and a half, and then hike back out. The weather should be good, 80°F daytime temps and 66°F nighttime. There’s some rain forecast for Saturday night and Sunday. No problem, and I’m certainly no stranger to hiking out in the rain.

    The only problem I had on the hike in, was lending Ginger my pair of carbon fiber trekking poles to try out. I never got them back!

  • Gary and Ginger at the Pole Hollow Cairn

    Gary and Ginger at the Pole Hollow Cairn – I know how to treat Ginger to a good time, I made sure she had plenty of exercise, time to relax, and her own room with a forest view. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus

    Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
    Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Ginger’s new tent

    Ginger’s new tent – we splurged a lot of cash on an ultralight (24oz) Dyneema tent. Now Ginger or the kids can come out with me. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
    Ginger’s new tent – we splurged a lot of cash on an ultralight (24oz) Dyneema tent. Now Ginger or the kids can come out with me. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Saturday evening, camped on ‘Ant Hill’

    Camped on ‘Ant Hill’ Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    We called this place ‘Ant Hill’ because of the huge number of carpenter ants. We couldn’t decide if the ants killed the trees or they moved in because the trees died.

    We had a very relaxing day with nothing much done except sitting around talking and enjoying the woods and sunshine. When the forecast rain arrived, it was just a very light sprinkle, but that was enough for us to shift our seats under my tarp, which I had already set up in porch mode just in case it rained.

    Arriving yesterday evening, we had first tried to set up camp in one of my usual sites on the edge of ‘Twin Falls Hollow,’ but the ground wasn’t flat enough. Some searching around found this spot a couple of hundred yards west. We were lucky and found a small spring nearby, so we didn’t need to slog all the way down the hill and back up again to get water.

  • Sunday Morning at ‘Ant Hill’

    Camped on ‘Ant Hill’ – So named (by us) because of the huge numbers of carpenter ants. We couldn’t decide if the ants killed the trees or they moved in because the trees died. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    We put most of our gear away after breakfast, leaving the tarp up in case it rained — it did, but only a few sprinkles. We sat around chatting and looking at the trees until noon, when we packed away the last of our gear and headed back to the trailhead.

    No pictures of us because we were slopping around in comfortable clothes, and I couldn’t be bothered.

  • Small spring and creek near ‘Ant Hill’

    Small Creek near ‘Ant Hill.’ Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    The spring we found can be seen right at the bottom of the frame. The water was pouring out of a small one to one-and-a-half-inch hole in the bank. How well the spring holds up in dry weather will have to be seen.

    Looking down the ravine, I saw evidence of how intrusive ‘first world’ trash can be. There was a highly reflective helium balloon caught in the scrub. You can’t see it in the pictures because I ensured it wasn’t in the shot.

    Spring – The water was rushing out of a tiny 1″-1.5″ hole (center frame where the weed is collecting). It was putting out several gallons per minute. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Ginger disappearing around a corner on the Pilot (Tower) Trail

    Ginger on the trail. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Fire ring and campsite

    Fire ring and campsite – someone is making themselves at home. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    I showed Ginger a little scenic overlook on a hidden trail (no pictures). It looks like someone has been making themselves a nice little home from home here, just off the short trail leading to the overlook. There was lots of firewood stacked neatly, and the fire ring had been used recently.

  • View to the southeast from the Pilot Trail, and the hike out

    View across Hercules Glades from the Pilot (Tower) Trail. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    We had a nice gentle hike out — albeit uphill most of the way. Going slow suited me as Ginger had requisitioned my hiking poles again. We were all packed up and ready to go by 12:20, the hike started with the bushwhack back to the main trail, after that it was business as usual. We finished our hike shortly after three. There was just one family camping at the trailhead, and apart from the six people on horseback we encountered on our hike in, we didn’t see anyone during our visit. As you can guess, that suits us fine.

    There are no end of hike pictures because it rained hard for twenty of our final thirty minutes hiking. We each had a change of clothes in the car, so we didn’t bother with waterproofs and were soaked to the skin. In the 80°F temperatures it was quite nice to be cooled down a bit.

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