Tag: backpacking

Smoky Mountain Seven

October 11, 2014 It was the end of the day. We sat around the fire in Spence Field Shelter talking about yet another great backpacking trip . . . and we waited for the bear. Tomorrow we would descend from the misty mountains to our vehicles parked in Cades Cove, then head for home. That is, if we survived the night. We had arrived three days before on Sunday night. Monday we began the day by hiking a few warm-up miles near Newfound Gap. I appreciated this chance to work out some of the bugs. …

A Golden Ticket Encore

June 16, 2014 In the “Golden Ticket,” I told you about my continuing quest for the perfect sleep while backpacking. (That was two blogs back and needs to be read first to make any sense of this one.) My air mattress has to be light enough to pack for several days or weeks. Maybe even months—who knows? But it also has to be comfortable and, most importantly, wide enough for both my elbows. The fact is, I never did actually use my new birthday Klymit Static V sleeping pad. Shortly after trying it out on …

Hiking For Poppie—Part One

January 18, 2014 It was an unusually mild December day, perfect weather for a walk down those lonely back roads. We weren’t hunters, and we trusted our bright colors to alert the people with rifles that we were not deer, either. I listened as my hiking partner, Andrew Purdy (aka Yogi), detailed our mission to a curious gent in that rural part of southeast Ohio. The man sat on his porch enjoying the Indian summer day. He rarely saw hikers happen by. Yogi explained that he was on leave from the Navy and was hiking …

Everything (Mostly) in Its Place

December 23, 2013 My brain reached its saturation point fifteen years ago; unfortunately, it was about five years before my retirement date. Lesson plans, parent activities in the evenings, organizing the yearly Mary Ingles Festival in town—my plate was piled so high that I couldn’t keep track of everything in the heap. So I did what Bonnie does to maintain her sanity: I made a to-do list. I recoiled at the idea at first. It seemed much more adventurous just to deal with life as it happened. But I could see that I couldn’t put …

Four-Season Backpacking Trip to Buckeye TrailFest 2013

  September 3, 2013 It was a diverse group of hikers shuttled by our trail angels to point 9 of the Bedford section of the Buckeye Trail. Bob had hiked the entire AT twice. On the greener end of the scale, it was Paula’s first backpacking trip; she had borrowed some nice gear from a neighbor. The rest of us fell somewhere in between. The first day was glorious and all off-road. We camped at Squaw Rock Shelter in South Chagrin Reservation after a

Sweet Sounds of the BT

July 31, 2013 Once again I drove my car to Mary Thurston State Park in McClure, beat but boasting 15 miles hiked on the BT for the day. Not to mention the 15 miles biked to get back to the car. A few years ago I would have had trouble with just one of the day’s trips. The trail was pounding me into shape, and I felt great. I was only 50 miles from completing the entire loop. I settled into my lawn chair and watched the sun paint elegant, vibrant colors onto the evening …