Well, it's about time. After a year of acquiring gear and researching, we've finally gone on our first backpacking trip! We didn't want to do anything too scary and long, nor go very far away from home in case something happened, so we found the perfect place: Pigeon Roost Trail in Hobbs State Park, a 40-minute drive from home, and only 9 or so miles in total.
My pack carried a sleeping bag and pillow, inflatable sleeping pad, 3L water bladder, a Jetboil cooking system and fuel, food, trowel, headlamp, warm clothes, first aid kit, Nalgene, and rain jacket. Goodness that was a lot.
Caleb's pack had basically the same things, except instead of cooking systems and food, he carried the tent!
We couldn't head out until Caleb got off work, so we reached the trailhead at around 5:15 pm.
For the next hour and 20 minutes (around 4 miles!) we hiked up and down and around a trail that is called moderate for a reason. Though it isn't technically a long trail as far as backpacking goes, it is crazy hilly. After about 30 minutes we were super hungry (we had sandwiches overlooking Beaver Lake. Very peaceful).
|Our dinner spot|
|Me and our view|
After dinner, we soldiered on to find the campgrounds. Though it was sad that all the leaves were still off the trees, it offered a fantastic view of Beaver Lake as we hiked past it. A little less than 1/2 a mile away from the campgrounds, we stopped by a little beach that was working on showing off the sunset.
|It felt good to sit. And to not have extra weight on my back.|
After that brief rest, we found the campsite and even managed to secure an area all to ourselves. There were plenty others out camping, but with five separate camping sites with a few tent pads each, it wasn't too hard to have a private area.
When we finally reached our campsite, the sun still hadn't set. That was our goal for the first day, so mission accomplished! With the tent and sleeping bags set up in dusky daylight, we were set for the evening without feeling rushed.
We lit up a fire and sat on the logs surrounding it talking under the stars for the next hour or so and went to bed at around 9. We were dead. But being that tired didn't mean that we slept well! After a fitful sleep, we woke up in the morning to the sounds of a Red-bellied Woodpecker knocking on a tree right beside our tent.
|Caleb at night|
|Caleb in the morning|
We then tore everything down and hiked out the last four or so miles back to the trailhead and our car. It was possibly the most grueling walking I have ever done. Everything from my left hip to my knees to my ankles hurt, the front of my shoulders and my hips were bruised, and it felt like I could never catch my breath.
It was fantastic.
Now we can say that we've done it, and that we have our first trip under our belt! It's two days later and we are still sore all over, and that's how we know we worked hard. We had so much fun, and can't wait to go do it again. Okay, actually we can wait a little bit.