Lone Star Hiking Trail 2015

Solo Thru Hike of the Lone Star Hiking Trail – 12/28/2014 – 1/2/2015 (Entry #3)

Journal Entry #3: Monday, December 29, 2014

Hike Plan #2: – Stubblefield Campground to Phelps Hiker Camp- 18.73 miles

Weather: Overcast with drizzle, 41 degrees

What an exciting day!!!! Can you see how the blazes direct hikers to turn right in the picture above? Kinda cool! Anyways, after many creek crossings with no bridges or logs to use to help cross, I also had to cross a lake spillway in a private neighborhood that the LSHT passes through. Now as you can see from the picture above, this spillway is fed from a lake that then dumps below into about 10 feet of rushing water. The guide book warns hikers of this crossing that it is very very mossy and slippery so to be careful. Temp showed to be 39 degrees so taking off my boots/socks and rolling up my pants just didn’t sound appealing but I had to get across so I did what I had to do….took my pack off (a great relief for a second) and removed my boots and socks, tied them to my pack and then grabbed my trekking poles, got my pack back on and made the slow crossing…I knew looking that if I fell and slid into the water below, my hike would probably be over as everything would be soaked and could take days to dry. As I began to cross, I notice a home owner standing at his patio door watching me. The guide book also says that hikers are not encouraged to linger there or hang out for any extended length of time so I wasn’t sure if this guy was watching to make sure that I wasn’t going to hang for a while or maybe he wanted to see me fall in, etc…he never came out to say hi so I guessed he was watching to see if i would fall in face or feet first…maybe even taking bets with his wife also in the house. Ha! Well, in your face sir, I made it and even sat and ate my gorp and a snickers bar for a minute after I got my boots on just in spite! But I guess the last laugh was on me as it took the next 3 miles for my feet to unfreeze after walking through that crazy cold slimy water. A positive of this fact was since I don’t get a shower for 6 days, at least my feet got a bath. Hahaha! 

I saw a hiker today at mile 36, the first person I have seen on the trail as of yet. He said he started on Thursday hiking but he only had a tiny day pack so not sure if he is slap packing or doing it assisted. If my projection was correct then, he would be done tomorrow afternoon if he was doing my mileage which puts him doing the same routes and day loads I was doing. I have to admit his small day pack looked very appealing, but with the drizzle we didn’t chat much except he asked if there was any good water ahead for filtering. The conversation lasted all of 3 minutes….knowing what I know now, I would have asked him a lot more questions about what he had experienced thus far….oh well! I would find out for myself soon enough! 🙂 Honestly, some of the things coming up that I didn’t know about was probably for the best anyways as they would have just made me anxious. I do know I brought too many pieces of clothes. 2 pair of zip off pants was fine but one clean shirt per day was too much and I should have known better as you can wear shirts for 2-3 days easy especially hiking solo (no one to smell you and complain). Plus with the cool temps, it wasn’t like I was sweating profusely in them… if anything they were getting washed by the rain…I should have remembered this point.

LST19

(The picture above is at the beginning of the I45 road walk.) As I entered camp at mile marker 38.3, I started to doubt myself thinking maybe 20 miles back to back was too much out of the shoot with a full pack as I wasn’t eating much so my food load wasn’t reducing as fast I thought it would be. Nothing was more beautiful today than as I turned the corner and saw the blaze with a blue tent sketched on it indicating a primitive camp was there! Phelps Hiker Camp…no frills, no luxuries, just a semi flat place to put my tent in a bed of wet pine needles and leaves. But the great thing about camping in the pines is that they provide an extra soft padding under your tent, wet or not. The first thing I always do is get my shelter up, then worry about food. In this case that was a good thing as the drizzle continued but at least my gear and tent was put up before it came down too hard…again. I love that moment when the tent is up, I have gone to the bathroom and it is time to make food…sitting in the quiet with the only sound of my stove heating water….something so powerful in having fire in the backcountry…having everything you need to survive on your back and knowing that you are doing it. Then as I was eating my dehydrated chicken and noodles with my 2 tortillas, my quiet ended for a brief moment as 3 shots rang out through the forest and birds scattered in the trees….ahhh! Thats right, I am amidst hunters. I had almost forgotten. I wasn’t bothered and even felt kinda reassured somehow hearing the shots. 

Brian had his temporary spinal cord stimulator put in yesterday so checked on him quickly on text as he seems to like to have minor surgeries when I am out of town, but mom came to watch the boys and his dad took him to the hospital. He sounded ok and pain seem to be under control. I continuously pray his pain will only be a memory…so far God has other plans for Brian and his pain that i know nothing about it seems. We just keep moving forward I guess…

As for tomorrow, according to my data book, there is a washed out bridge at mile 48 that if the creek is flowing too strongly, I may not be able to cross and may have to turn around..at least that is what the book says…but the author doesn’t know me well then. I won’t hike 48 miles just to turn around…so with all this rain, we will just see what it looks like and pray that I get a brilliant idea as to what to do when I get there. I usually work well under pressure. On that note, time for bed….tomorrow is only 13 miles so hopefully a nice day with warm sun shining on my face and easy walking….of course that sounds kinda boring, huh so maybe not!

“When one is alone at night in the depths of these woods, the stillness is at once awful and sublime. Every leaf seems to speak.” JM

 

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