The OHT Part 2: Day 1

Mar. 4, 2017

It feels great to be back on the trail. My pack might weigh me down but my spirit lifts me more. I had a bit later start than intended. Completely my fault. I forgot to grab my spare fuel canister and I (rightfully) didn’t trust how much I had left. I tried finding some along the way but all the little towns only sold propane. We had to drive an extra 20 miles out-of-the-way to a Walmart where I begrudgingly bought a much too large canister of fuel. Beats running out though.

By noon I had bid my dad farewell, borrowed a scrap of paper off a young couple, dropped my info into the registration box and was back to doing what it is we hikers do: Walking. It wasn’t long before I had my first water crossing. This one was slick and deep. And cold. Painfully so, actually, but I overcame it and frightened some nearby deer with my fearsome victory whoop!

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This section of the trail really is something else! There’s an awesome creek that runs along most of it and there are shallow caves and waterfalls everywhere! It did get a little steep and at one point I actually had to scramble up on all fours but I found it pretty fun. I found a nice walking stick while stopped for my lunch. Couscous with dehydrated tomatoes, peppers, and carrots, plus seasoning. My dad’s really been going ham with the dehydrator.

I picked out a campsite 11 miles in and set on after lunch. As I was getting to my location I came to a creek and lost the trail. I looked up one way. Then I looked the other…

Is that… way up there? Oh, someone’s really funny. Well, I made it without slipping until I reached the other side. At least I avoided the water. I was surprised to see another hiker camped up at the same site. We got to talking and I set up close-by. His name was Slow Camp Mike due to him taking his time setting up and breaking down camp. I can dig it. We got a little fire going and talked trails, gear, nature, all sorts of things until it got too late for us. 8:00 pm, I believe. Haha! I stayed up a bit to do some reading but was soon fast asleep. It was a nice first day.

 

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