Monday, February 28, 2011

Backpacking the Lone Star Hiking Trail: Winter's Bayou Section

I went backpacking along a portion of the Lone Star Trail with my outdoor group this weekend.  The trail is marked with rectangular blazes on the trees, as in the above photo.  If it is tilted right or left, that is indicative of a change in direction.  There are many jeep trails, logging roads, etc. that cross the LSHT, so it's important to watch for these blazes.


Yes, I know it's dry under the bridge...but someone spent a lot of time and effort building it...and it was fun... 
 This section of the trail can become very muddy, so there are a lot of small wooden bridges along the way.  Most are constructed over ravines.  Others are placed to assist crossing areas that become boggy after a heavy rain.  The trail was exceptionally dry this weekend, though.  Even the bayou and pond was dry, so we had to carry all of our water.

We stuck pretty close together for the first 6 miles.  After we stopped for lunch and discussed where we thought we would stop for the night, we began each hiking at our own pace.  The two fastest hikers were quickly out of my view.  I passed the third hiker and was within view of her for awhile until she stepped off the trail to find a bush.  I kept going and sort of zoned out, alone and content with my own thoughts...until I looked up and realized there were no blazes on the trees.

What would Bear Grylls do?  But I don't want to take off my pants and bite the head off of a snake.  Guess I'll turn around and go back the way I came.

I think I was off the trail for close to half a mile.  That put me far behind the others.  I was trying to increase my pace to catch up with them, but eventually gave up on that.  I wanted a break.  I wanted to stop and adjust my pack but I was getting tired and was afraid I wouldn't be able to put it back on myself.  Then I came upon a bridge that was high enough off the ground to be a convenient little ledge I could use to make it easier, so I took my break.  I adjusted my pack, had a snack, and pulled out my cell phone to check the time.  4:30.  Sunset was supposed to be around 6:15.  I decided I would keep going until 5:30 and if I still hadn't caught up, I would stop where I was for the night.

I positioned my backpack so the shoulder straps would be directly behind me, sat on the edge of the bridge in front of it, slipped my arms in, then stood up.  Hooray!  I managed to get it back on.  35 pounds is awful heavy when you're getting tired.  Fortunately, once you get your pack adjusted correctly it's not too difficult to carry.

I continued on until I found the mile marker where we had agreed to stop.  I looked around and still didn't see my friends.  It still wasn't 5:30, so I stuck to my plan and kept going.  About 10 minutes later, I heard a very happy voice calling my name.  They had tried to call my cell phone but I didn't have a signal.  They became a little concerned when the woman I passed made it to camp before I did. 

I was never scared because I had food and water, I did have my tent, and there were people who knew I wasn't where I was supposed to be.  They would have walked the trails a little and notified the authorities if they didn't locate me.  I was annoyed, though, because I really didn't want to camp alone that night.  I was very happy when I finally caught up.

Could I have made the news?  Probably not.  What a boring story that would have been.  "We found her in her tent warm, dry, and fed."  Nobody would watch a survival show about that...     





 

12 comments:

Kelly said...

That's one reason it's good, though, to do stuff like this with companions.

Oilfield Trash said...

Well at least you had fun and were also prepared for it had anything have happened.

Brian Miller said...

ha. it def kept it interesting for you though...glad you found them though...hiked the peeks in the predawn dark yesterday so we could watch the sun set from the peek...was fun, but quite stiff today because of the pace we had to keep up the mountain to beat the sun

blueviolet said...

That is SCARY!!! To me, anyhow!

sage said...

Once, on the John Muir trail, I was separated from my hiking partner for 24 hours. We had agreed to meet at the last lake before a climb. He left before me at lunch and when I got there, he wasn't there. Thinking he must have gone over the summit, I camped and headed out early the next morning (and it turned out his "last lake" was two miles earlier. We got back together after I realized he was behind me and took a long nap by the trail. But we each had our own stove and both using bivy sacks. Sounds like you had fun.

Tempo said...

Very brave of you Jen, I'd have been worried for sure, I guess you'd be fairly safe out there in the wilderness though..probably safer than the city

John McElveen said...

"What would Bear Grylls do? But I don't want to take off my pants and bite the head off of a snake. Guess I'll turn around and go back the way I came."


YOU ARE AWESOME! I love all things outdoors and respect it greatly. As beautiful as it is--it will kill you without a thought!

You are good Girl!!

John

Miss Caitlin S. said...

adventures in the outdoors, haha, I love it!!

John McElveen said...

Hey Jen--I thought of you on my last post! (snicker). Err... Not that I want to see you pee, but of that's the kind of situation I could see you in! Turning around and saying,"Can I have some privacy please?!"

J

Rachel Cotterill said...

The little bridges do look fun :) I think it's better to wind up warm & safe rather than on the news......

outdoors like said...

hmm very nice

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