I’ve not had a chance to draw breath this year. Work has been super busy, plus the weather and catching up with chores at home have managed to keep me off the trails.
I wasn’t going to be able to get away this weekend either because I do some things on social media for work that I cannot schedule in advance. Ginger volunteered to do them for me so I could get away. It was nearly six-thirty when I left home, with a one hour and fifteen-minute drive and then a couple of hours hiking ahead of me, it was going to be a night hike with a promise of rain.
I was on the trail by seven forty-five, about half an hour before dusk. After hiking for under an hour it was pitch black and very foggy, but at least no rain. Despite the fog, I saw two deer, a rabbit, and my first lightning bug of the year. I also heard some peepers (frogs). The lack of visibility didn’t seem to slow me down too much, I arrived at my campsite in just under two hours. Setting up camp, I was most dismayed to find I’d left my camp chair at home. Oh well, three nights of sitting and eating in the hammock it will have to be.
It rained a lot overnight, but I was snug, dry, and warm. The forecast is for warm-ish days, cool nights, and more than enough rain. I’m staying out for a total of three nights. I would have liked to be out longer, but I have to be back in Springfield to pick up a rental vehicle Monday afternoon and then drive up to Lee’s Summit for a meeting. No extended trips for me at the moment.
So far I’m pretty pleased with this setup. It fits on my pack hip belt well, and I’ve worked out a way to fix the holster to the ridgeline of my hammock. The holster has the retention release on it so the Sig is not going to go anywhere.
The only thing I’m not so keen about with the Sig is its single-action trigger. This means if you carry the gun with a round in the chamber, which I do, the hammer is always cocked. It’s still safe, there’s the safety (and holster) stopping it from being fired. But I prefer the Beretta’s double-action trigger, which you carry with the hammer down. I thought about this a lot before getting the Sig. The difference is mainly psychological. As it turns out, after years of carrying the Beretta ‘locked & loaded,’ I have no problem carrying the Sig with the hammer cocked.
I spent the morning waiting for the rain to clear and contemplating the scenery. Hiking back to the trail, I passed by the falls and both falls were running, it’s been cold, so there was no cold shower today. I took a picture of the falls last time I was here, so I didn’t stop and just carried on hiking.
My plan for the day is to camp at ‘Deep Hollow’ an easy hike of just over three miles. Ginger says, quite rightly, I’m getting predictable with my trips. The truth is with limited time, a return deadline, and wanting to get at least a few miles in while keeping away from people, Hercules Glades is my best bet.
I followed a spur trail that I’ve passed by often and wondered where it might lead, and it brought me to this scenic view. My best guess was that ‘Spring Hollow‘ was in front of me. A quick check on the GPS showed I was right.
I had to climb up on a boulder to get this picture and the best of the view.
Behind me was a big fire ring. Unfortunately along with the fire ring, there was a huge discarded blue canvas tarp. Far too big and heavy for me to even consider carrying it out. I’m guessing someone brought it in not thinking about how much weight it would gain when it got wet, and so abandoned it. Maybe they plan to come back. Who knows? What I do know is that the tarp is an eyesore.
It rained through most of the night and into the morning. It was supposed to warm up today, but that didn’t materialize. I wanted to get a few miles in and be in a good position to get back to the trailhead before noon the next day. My plan was to hike down to Long Creek via the Devi’s Den Trail and then cut back up to the Pilot Trail via either the Glades Trail or the Cedars Trail, do some exploring up ‘Twin Falls Creek’ and find a new place to camp. That would give me a seven or eight-mile hike for the day.
It started raining while I was stopped for lunch in the Devil’s Den (about three miles into my day’s hike), just off of the Rock Spring Trail (Long Creek Trail). While I was eating lunch — standing because of the lack of a camp chair — three hikers came by, which was another incentive to get off the popular Rock Spring Trail as quickly as possible. I decided to take the shorter route via the Glades Trail back to my old stomping ground, ‘Twin Falls Creek’.
Sticking with the plan I explored up ‘Twin Falls Creek’, but my efforts didn’t uncover any nicer camping spots than I’ve already found. I ended up back at the campsite I used on Friday night. Oh well, I did try to find another campsite.
The spring turkey hunting season opened this morning which explains my snazzy hat. Not that anyone should be taking a potshot while I’m hiking on the trail, but I am camped well away from the trail. Beyond the 200 yards distance you are supposed to be before discharging a firearm.
I’m standing where I hang my hammock, which gives some idea of the lie of the land here. One day I’ll remember to look at the lens and not the phone’s screen. Le sigh.
It was dark when I hiked in on Friday so I took my customary photograph of the cairn at the junction of the Pilot and Pole Hollow trails on the way out.
Now to get back to Springfield and pick up a rental car and drive to Kansas City this afternoon.
Three nights, and 18-ish miles. That’ll do.