...was able to do 40 miles (round trip) of the 72 mile Smoky section of the AT. We hiked it over three days. Very high winds (60-80 mph) and snow made it difficult to hike at the speeds we wanted to hike at, and we decided it was wise to turn around about 20 miles into the trail. The original intent was to thru hike the 72 mile trail, though. I feel like we made the best decision, but it was also disappointing to not hike everything we intended on hiking, as well.
Josh has written 20 entries about this goal
...hiking the 72 mile section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Smokey Mountain National Park this month. It’s part of the training that I am doing for the AT as a whole. Bill, a good friend of mine is going to do this section with me. We are leaving Christmas day to drive to the trail head and plan to start hiking Monday, 12/26/2011. The goal is to finish up the hike Thursday evening (12/29/2011) and then to drive to the ocean/beach in Charleston, South Carolina for the New Years holiday weekend.
This trip will also allow me to test out some of the ultralight backpacking gear that I have bought in the last few months, as well as test out the dehydrated meals that I’m planning on making for the AT.
...a 12 mile trail yesterday. Afterwards, I drove by several other trail heads in the Hoosier National Forest and picked up some trail maps. Now I have four other trails to hike soon ranging from 6 miles to 16 miles. Good times.
I did an overnight backpacking trip on the German Ridge Trail in the Hoosier National Forest this passed weekend (4/2/2011 & 4/3/2011). Hiked 14 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday. The trail was continuously uphill then downhill (not very many flat spots on the trail). I have three blisters on my feet and my legs are sore, but it was a good time. The weather was great. Good company (9 of us from the hiking Meetup that I belong to went). Great camping spot near a creek. Great campfire. I needed a good dose of nature.
...I spent 35 days in a row sleeping in a tent. It was a wonderful experience. I miss sleeping outside.
I recently took a trip to The Garden of the Gods wilderness area in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. It was a beautiful area. The camping and company were excellent, as well. It’s definitely a place I plan to visit again.
...I slept in a tent in the backyard of the house I’m currently staying at. It apparently got down to 17 degrees last night (I thought it wasn’t supposed to get as cold, which is why I did it last night and not the night before). I woke up several times and had to readjust my sleeping bag, but overall I stayed pretty warm and didn’t sleep too badly. I really enjoy being outside… something about being there helps give me peace.
...I went on a camping/hiking trip at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. It’s on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. It was such a beautiful area. I went with the Louisville Hiking Meetup. I made some new friends and it was a very peaceful time. I camped Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday we hiked somewhere between 13-15 miles… and I got to see a black bear. :) I needed this time out in nature.
...for a backpacking trip with the Louisville Hiking Meetup. I’m leaving around noon on Friday, November 12th to drive to the Red River Gorge. We’re meeting up there at 3:00 pm. We’re going to hike eight miles Friday afternoon/evening. 11 more on Saturday… and then finishing it up on Sunday with about four miles. It’s a beautiful area… I’ve always loved it there, but I haven’t got to go in several years… and the last two trips there were complete disasters due to the people I had with me. This time it’ll be great because I’ll be there with people who like nature/hiking, too… fellow tree hugging nature freaks. I’ve met a few of the people I’m going with, and it seems like a cool crowd. Can’t wait. :)
...buying the equipment that I need to start backpacking. Some of it is gear that I already purchased a few years ago when I thought about getting into backpacking. Some things I already had from caving.
So far I’ve got:
A backpack (bought it yesterday… a GoLite).
A sleeping bag and pad (Big Agnes… bought it last week)
Water purifier (had this for several years… it’s a Katadyn)
Stove (had for several years… MSR)
Cook pots (had for several years… MRS)
Boots (had for several years… Five Ten)
Head Lamp (had for a LONG time… for caving… Petzl).
I still need to get a tent. I’m going to get it sometime in the next few weeks… I’m going to get a two person Big Agnes Seedhouse. I want a two person tent so I could take someone with me backpacking.
After I get the tent, all the big stuff will be bought… then I just need to get some little things and better clothing.
I”m excited. :)
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