Thursday, September 08, 2005

13.5 miles on the Lone Star Trail

Ah, Labor Day. A day to relax, kick back, and say goodbye to summer (outside of Texas anyway!). Or, if you are an adventurer it means getting up at 4:30am to go hiking, and we all know there's nothing quite as relaxing as a 13.5 mile hike through the woods. In this case, it was a stretch of the Lone Star Trail known as the Little Lake Creek loop. If you like beautiful pine trees, Spanish bayonet plants, and crab spiders, this is the trail for you.

I caught up with Clark at 5:30am and less than an hour later we were walking into the Sam Houston National Forest. Five minutes after that we were trying to figure out what to do about the really big German Shepard-ish dog standing on the path fifty feet ahead of us. It was too far away to poke with a stick, so we settled on waving our sticks an yelling. It decided we were large, fierce monsters and slunk away. Untagged dogs are becoming a real nuisance in the woods around here. Note to self, CCW!

Okay, time for another great tip from Merriwether: if you are hiking bring a hammock! Trust me, after walking for three hours spending thirty minutes gently swaying in a hammock eating gorp and drinking Gatorade is pure heaven. Clark and I picked up compact, nylon "Traveler's Hammocks" at Gander Mountain and they were probably the best $16 we'd spent on any of our gear. These fold up into a tiny pouch, were a snap to put up, and it held my 200+ lbs without flinching. We also discovered an extra benefit. They wicked away our sweat and quickly evaporated it, greatly cooling us down. SWEET! Dump your tent, give your camp chair away, and get a hammock.

It took us about eight hours to do the Little Lake Creek/Pole Creek loop, though we ended up hanging out in the hammocks several times. They were just too convienent and comfy! The trail was well marked most of the time with blazes every 100 ft or less. A few blazes were missing, but that just added to the fun. I had forgotten the map back in Clark's truck, but getting lost would have been hard to do. hiking straight towards any compass point would put us on a known road in under two hours. I may have forgotten the map, but I did have FOUR compasses on me. An adventurer knows, "One is none, two is one".

There are several permanent creeks along the way where drinking water can be obtained (be sure to treat it!). Mosquitoes were almost nonexistant, birds were everywhere including woodpeckers, as were spiders (and their friggin webs!). It was a great hike.

And now for the pictures.


Striking terror into wild dogs everywhere (hopefully)...

Kicking back on Labor Day.

I liked this tree.

Another cool tree.

Unnamed creek.

Off the beaten path.

Adventure! Excitement! Falling asleep in the woods!


oliana0 said...

Okay, you stopped too soon on the pattern forming.

Are four compasses two or three?

My hand is completely healed, no scar. It took about a month for the peeling to stop, but now, it's all happy. Thanks for your help!

Merriwether the Adventurer said...

Four compasses is just my normal paranoia.

You don't want to know how many blades or fire sources I had on me...

Oops, are fire sources a touchy subject? :-O

Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun-ishing you. ;-) I'm glad the hand is better!