I woke up early with great excitement to go hiking. Not only was this my first hike in Arizona it was my first hike with fellow #Omniten-ers Dave of WildernessDave.com and Heidi of bananabuzzbomb.com. I have known both of these fine folks for awhile through social media, I had met Dave on our #omniten Rogue River trip, but this was my first time meeting Heidi. This was my first hike with them and from the Twitter chatter it was going to fun.
We all started watching the weather earlier in the week and decided that we would not let the rain stop us. Arizona ended up having record rainfall that started on Thursday and we were hiking that following Saturday. It continued to rain with very strong winds as I drove out to our meeting spot.
I pulled in to the First Water road turn off and Dave and Heidi pulled in very shortly after. As Dave and I were discussing whether or not to take both vehicles all the way back to the trail head my Jeep decided to play a nice little prank on me. I am not sure if the wind blew the door shut or if I shut it but either way my Jeep proceeded to lock the doors with the keys in the ignition and running.
Photo Credit Hedi – bananabuzzbomb.com
As Dave and I were discussing which window would be cheaper to replace if knocked out a ranger drives past. We wave him over and ask if he has anything to help unlock the Jeep. He had lent out some of his tools not to long prior and they never returned. He did however have two wedges. Using the wedges and some creative thinking on Dave’s part we managed to get the door unlocked. This whole ordeal only set up back about 20 minutes.
Back on the road we headed down to the trail head and got our stuff together and headed off into the rain. The first bit of the trail was flat which was a nice starter section to allow us to chat and to find our pace. The mountains were glowing green a green I had never seen before. We hiked a little further and came across our first obstacle. A quick moving but shallow runoff stream. We all crossed without any problems. My Columbia Master of Faster Shoes kept my feet nice and dry.
The rain had let up and the wind died down creating perfect hiking weather. We managed to get in a few more miles before we hit Boulder Creek. As we got closer to Boulder creek we noticed in the distance a series of waterfalls. We were hoping to get over there and check them out. As we came round a bend we found that Boulder Creek was not a creek but instead a raging creek.
The swollen Boulder Creek
We found a shallow place to cross however it was still almost knee deep in places. There was no avoiding getting your feet wet so we all just stepped in and safely crossed. The water was chilly and moving quickly. Heidi and I both said that we had gotten a little bit disorientated by the quick moving water and the light colored rocks in places. Once across we duped out our shoes and headed up the mountain to check out the awesome water falls. We found a nice little place to stop to have lunch and Dave says “Anyone care for a hot beverage?” as he pulls out his JetBoil.
Hot Beverages provided by “Adventure Dave” of the “Adventure Dave Experience”
Always time for a product plug.
Out view from our lunch spot.
We enjoyed a fantastic snack of Epic Bars, Backpacker Pucks, Coffee, Cider and other goodies. Dave goes scrambling up the mountain to take a closer look at he waterfalls. Heidi and I decided to pass on this little adventure. A few minutes later he yells saying that we have to come up and join him. Heidi and I both were a little leery about climbing up, but we were very happy we did in the end.
Looking back at our lunch spot and Boulder Creek
ts always a good time for gear testing #tryingstuff!!
A close view of the waterfall.
We scrambled back down picked up our gear and headed back towards Boulder Creek. The water levels had gone down some but the water was still moving quickly. We crossed the creek again without any issues. Overall it was a fantastic day with great people.
In order for you to have happy trails you gotta get out and hike.
Chad his wife Sara and their son. Photo from the Bring Chad Rogers home Facebook page.
After the events of the past week. I wanted to remind everyone to be safe out there when hiking, biking, running, walking, or really any outdoor activities. One needs to especially careful when doing these activities alone.
On Monday a runner named Chad Rogers went out for a run from his house in Liberty MO and never returned. A huge community outpouring and search began early Tuesday and continued until late Thursday night. A Facebook page and twitter account were created. We learned mid afternoon on Friday that there had been a body found in a porta potty at a construction site near a Liberty Middle School. The police have not confirmed that it is Chads body at this time and there has not been an announcement of a cause of death either. To find out updates please visit Kansas City news channels here and here as well as the Facebook page here. Lots of questions are still unanswered. (more…)
This post is written by Ernie Allison, a bird watcher who usually doesn’t mind squirrels, but has finally caved and gotten a squirrel proof bird feeder. He’ll let the aggressive creatures stick to the nuts he leaves by the trees.
As a grandparent, I do what I can to spoil my grandkids without them becoming spoiled. I like to treat them to adventures and give them gifts, but I don’t want them to feel like they act badly and still get what they want. (more…)
In a couple weeks, 25 young adventurers, hikers, climbers, and outdoor lovers will take part in an extraordinary project to raise funds for Epic Experience, a camp in Colorado that provides outdoor experiences to inspire and empower cancer fighters and survivors. Each of us have been tasked with taking on a daring and audacious project known as #Adventure4Life. The goal of this project is to raise $25,000 with every cent going towards the camp. Each adventurer will raise $1,000 through their own unique project which ranges from hikers to kayakers and climbers demonstrating the best of their abilities. (more…)
John Muir Trail Updates
It has been a while since I have sent out a newsletter and thought it was a good time to do so. As June quickly comes to an end and July 8th quickly approaches. On July 8th I will be flying from Kansas City to Seattle Washington where I will meet up with Paul Osborn aka @bcoutdoor (on Twitter). We will be driving from Seattle to Merced California and then hopping a shuttle to Yosemite National Park. The morning of the 9th we will be setting out on our 2013 John Muir Trail thru-hike. We have our permits, food drops, and route all set. We are going out a few days earlier than the rest of the crew to hike twenty or so miles to the Tuolumne Meadows area. I am sad to say that David Creech aka @DavidECreech (on twitter) has been forced to back out of the trip due to a injury. A huge disappointment to all of us. He and his wife are going to try to meet up with us on the trail. Everything depends on what the doctors allow him to do. I hope we do get to see him out there but at the same time he needs to get that foot healed so that he can attend the Columiba #omniten Rouge River adventure.
In late April I announced that I had been honored with being chosen as one of 10 bloggers by Columbia to take part in an epic adventure sponsored by Columbia Sportswear. If you missed that announcement you can read it here. The #omniten crew recently found out that we are being sent to Oregon to go white water rafting on the Rogue River to do some gear testing. We will be doing this in mid to late August so keep on the lookout for more #omniten posts and keep up with what is going on by following the #omniten hashtag on twitter.
Other Outdoor News
Recently I launched a new project called Social Media Outdoors. A blog in which I share tips tricks and information about social media as it pertains to the outdoor sector. I have a passion for both social media and the outdoors and felt that blogging about social media on Hiking The Trail was not what my readers would want and instead created the new site. If you are a blogger or have an interest in social media please check it out. To keep up with my posts you can also follow Social Media Outdoors on Twitter and Facebook.
Getting lost is not always a bad thing. There are some times where getting lost can be very dangerous and not recommended however some times getting lost can be good. There are two types of getting lost while on the trail. The first type is that of getting turned around or unable to find the correct trail. The second is getting lost in your head.
How is getting lost on the trail good? Even if you just hike the wrong way down the trail or end up somewhere your not supposed to be keeps you on your toes. So many times while hiking long distances you just point yourself in a direction and go. Face down eyes to the trail just in front of you pounding out the miles. Getting lost reminds you that you are indeed on an adventure and that everything does not always go as planned. The trail has its own agenda for you and will do whatever it can to ruin or destroy the plans you had made. This creates a love hate relationship with the trail. You love the trail but you hate the fact you know it will change your plans.
These types of changes, distractions, or sidetracks do not have to be bad. Many of them if looked at as positive events they can be an amazing part of your story. If you choose to look at them in a negative way then they will drag you down. If we were to take a poll and ask people who have hiked on any of the long distance trails if they have ever gone the wrong way you will find a high percentage have. More often than not they are lost inside their head when they miss a blaze or get turned around after stopping for a break. Other cases of getting lost can be the cause of fatigue or dehydration. Often times after getting lost or turned around can be laughed off. Other times serious emergencies happen and people get pulled off the mountains.
There were several times while on the AT I had to reassess the situation and my bearings before heading off on the trail again because the trail looked identical to the trail I had been hiking on causing deja vu moments. “I just crossed this bridge…. no I think its another one… just keep going eventually you will find a blaze….” One thing I will say is if you ever feel you have missed a blaze on a trail or think you have gone off trail look behind you. More times than not I would miss a blaze in front of me and turn around and there was one right behind me. Another fun tip about trail hiking is that you should always turn the direction you turned into the camp to continue on the trail. For example if you turned left to get to the campsite or shelter turn left onto the trail when you are ready to leave. Unless you are headed back in the direction you came.
The deja vu moments for myself were typically caused by day dreaming or getting lost inside my head. On long distance hikes you begin to hike the trails of your mind while hiking the trail. As you put one foot in front of the other the monotony of doing the same task eight hours each day causes you to begin to think about anything and everything. You think about your past your future and everything in-between. There are some points where you slip away from it all and then return. Its very similar to driving the same route often enough that you blink and you have some how missed a whole section of the road and you are now many miles away from where you started. In the beginning you will be very worried of where you are placing your feet so you are constantly thinking about where to place your feet but eventually you will get lost and then hit a root or rock and you will be instantly brought back to the trail. Getting lost in your mind is a great thing. Helps you clear out the clutter. That is in my opinion one of the greatest things about hiking is to get away from it all and clear out your head.
What do you do if you find yourself getting lost on the trail? What is your best or funniest getting lost story?
When planning to go on an backpacking adventure for several months or even several weeks you have to take everything you own and find most near and dear with you. All of that must be placed in your backpack. The challenge is that you can only take what is necessary, what fits, and does not weight a ton. When doing this I began to find that many of my possessions became trivial or not needed and found having less stuff made not only moving easier but my life felt less cluttered. While finding out what was most important to me possessions wise I began to look at things differently. I started to do the same thing with memories emotions and the like. Things that bothered me in the past became trivial and let go. In doing so a clean feeling began to appear. A feeling that plants must feel after a nice gentle rain passes through. (more…)
The weekend of May 10th, an old college friend and myself headed a few hours east of Kansas city to Knob Noster State Park. The goal of the weekend was to hang out, catch up, test some gear, and have fun. The weather could not have been better for the weekend. Low forties for the lows and high sixties to low seventies for the highs. Perfect temperatures for tent camping. We left my place around noon and picked up a few last minute items and grabbed lunch before heading out of town.
The park was relatively empty when we arrived with a few RVs and spots taken for the weekend. We arrived set up camp and headed out for a quick hike before dinner. The hike was a nice one and a half mile loop and was a perfect warmup for the weekend. The trail ended at the park office and as we walked through the campground to our site in the back the entire place had filled up almost completely while we were out hiking. We built a fire had dinner and just chatted the rest of the evening.
I had heard of Knob Noster the town and had visited Whiteman Air Force base, but this was my first time to the park. Overall its a great park and I recommend going if you are in the area. It is quite small and only has a handful of trail to hike. We grabbed some maps from one of the trail heads, but they ended up being incorrect and the longest trail was 6 miles.
View of the trail.
Testing tents. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 (on left) and Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 (on right)
The first night I opted to test out the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent. I will not spoil my thoughts on the tent but it was easy to set both of the Big Agnes Fly Creek tents and they are quality shelters. The other gear that I tested the next day was the RIBZ Front Pack. We hiked several trails and were able to get in about 8 miles that day. There is not a whole lot to do at Knob Noster state park if you go there to hike. It is great for folks who camp in RVs or campers because its quiet and allows you to just enjoy whatever you RV folks do. A great weekend catching up and testing gear. Also did some research on possible locations for other hiking and camping trips later in the summer.
Ribz Front Pack
There are several ponds to fish in at Knob Noster State Park
To view more photos of the weekend please check out the Knob Noster Photo Gallery.