Monday, September 5, 2016

Practice Hikes Alone and With Friends

...and how I do my log entries.

So I need to get out on the trail every once and awhile.  Most of the times, I take a quick day hike, over the mountains, on the A.T. and on unblazed trails.  I like to explore the area.  I had promised a few volunteers that I would plan a short trip on the A.T. in the area near the Museum.  My first planned trip had to be cancelled due to my Spring back issues, but I finally got it rescheduled for late August.  Ten days before the trip, I found myself up in PA with some free time in between appointments, so I decided to take a scouting trip.  I wanted to test my back and check the water sources for the upcoming trip.  I also wanted to get a pack on my back and my feet on the trail.

Here are my log entries (with photos added) that I recorded in my paper notebook and on my phone during the trips.  I have posted these on our Hike Facebook Page (Adventures of EarthTone and LoGear), but didn't post either until I was back within Wi-Fi coverage.  There's not too much signal out on South Mountain, but I wanted to practice my logging and try different things.  

I have been doing my logs like this for awhile.  I think I saw a similar format described and attributed to Earl Shaffer and it looked like it had the information I liked to collect, so I adopted it for my own use.  I changed a couple things and added a few others.

First there is the 1 through 8 entries.  Basic data like date, day, weather, temp, start and stop times, mileage, where I stop and any events that struck my fancy along the way that I would like to remember later.

After that is the log area where I expand on the day's happenings and try to recap the day.  The last section are a few idea I have picked up from other hikers along the way or thought of myself.  Simply stated they are Flora, Fauna, Sound, Smell, View of the Day (VOD), High and Hope.  Thinking about things to add as entries for each of these keeps me looking around and enjoying my time out there.  

The first four are pretty easy.  What kind of interesting vegetation did you see?  Did you see any animals, bugs or other critters?  Was there a particular sound that drew your attention and made you take note?  Any smells that wafted through your nostrils that left an impression?  I have funs filling in these little fields as the day passes.

After that there is the View of the Day (VOD), which doesn't have to be a Vista.  Looking at a small bug sitting in the forest under a log can easily qualify as a VOD.  Pretty much anything can.  

The last two I heard about from a Class of 2015 Hiker who I met in an EMS in Annapolis.  She mentioned that her and her tramily would gather together at the end of each hiking day and discuss the day.  The would each take a turn telling about their High Point of the day and there Hope for the future.  I thought it cute enough to try out, so it is now a part of my log.  I'm not sure how comfortable I will be discussing this with other hikers, but who knows. I do it for me.  

So here are my logs.  The first hike was on August 14th and 15th.  Yes, I use a Shire Calendar to record my dates.  Just one of those weird things I like to do.  I came across a way to create a working Shire Calendar from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings World about a decade or two ago and I still like to play with it.  I will probably explain more about it in a later post.  

Log 1

Did a practice hike to scout next week's hike, test the back, check the water sources and to get a trail fix. Check, check and check.

Day 1
1. Date: Wedmath 23rd
2. Day: Hevensday
3. Morning temp: 85+ at 1400 when started
4. Weather: Hot sunny. Rain in evening
5. Time start: 1400
6. Time stop and miles: 10 1853
7. End point: Birch Run shelter
8. Events: deer, Pam


Larry dropped me off in Caledonia parking lot. Headed up the hill. Was tough, but felt good. Met Jim at Quarry Gap. More uphill after that, then pretty level up on the flat. Dropped down to Milesburn cabin and got more water. Met Pam who was in Museum a couple weeks ago and I had given her some directions. Talked a bit then headed back up to the flat. Nice easy hike to Birch Run. Was checking out a potential campsite and it got real dark as a storm blew over the flat. It was surreal. It only lasted 10 minutes and no rain fell. Saw 5 deer including a doe and two youngins. One bleated to its mom before darting across the trail. One sobo hiker here at shelter. Ate dinner at table while it sprinkled. Will head over to the tarp soon. A good day. Back feels good, but I'm still soaking wet from sweat.
Flora: huckleberries
Huckleberries at the powerline.  Ready to be eaten
Fauna: 5 deer
Mama Doe and her young'ins

Sound: bleat of fawn
Smell: sulfur smell of Birch Run water
View of the Day (VOD): powerline view
Powerline view
High: bleat of fawn asking mother what to do.
Hope: a dry night in the tarp and cool morning.

Day 2
1. Date: Wedmath 24th
2. Day: Seasday
3. Morning temp: 70
4. Weather: Nice
5. Time start: 0701
6. Time stop and miles: 1140 9.8
7. End point: PGFSP
8. Events: SOBOs, feet soak
Log: Up before 6. Made coffee and talked a bit. On the trail at 7. Nice easy hike to the end. Stopped at Toms Run to snack and get water. Soaked feet in creek at last bridge. Went straight to store and got ice cream and bacon cheeseburger.
Flora: mushrooms

Fauna: rabbit, butterfly

Sound: whiporwill in am. Cicadas
Smell: perfumy, flowery smell
VOD: mushroom
High: feet soak

Hope: tomorrow goes well
Hike over, back to work.
Our next hike was on August 24th, 25th and 26th.  From my almost ten people who were interested in hiking, a few of them had to drop out for various reasons and four of us were dropped off by Howard at Caledonia to make our way to Birch Run.  Me, Lisa (LoGear), Jen (Wander Woman) and Carolyn (Freckles).  Nan (Drag'n Fly) and Howard would meet us at Birch Run and Drag'n Fly would continue with us to our next stop.

Looking at my pictures, the only other hiker I took a picture of was LoGear.  I guess I need to work on that.  More people pictures.  Once again the weather was pretty good.  A little warm, but not too bad.

Log 2

We finally got out there for a quick three day hike from Caledonia to Pine Grove Furnace. Four of us started, then we were joined by a fifth, with two visitors bringing magic. It was great getting all the good advice from the veterans and working with our gear to continuously see what works and what doesn't
Here are my logs from the three day, 19.8 mile hile.

Day 1
1. Date: Halimath 3rd
2. Day: Starsday (1)
3. Morning temp: 77 @ 1230
4. Weather: Sunny, warm, nice
5. Time start: 1230
6. Time stop and miles: 1728, 10 miles
7. End point: Birch Run Shelter
8. Events: Jen fall

Log: Arrived just before Noon and Howard shuttled us down to Caledonia. On the trail at 1230. Stopped at Quarry Gap to eat lunch. Stopped to eat huckleberries at power line. Rested and got water at Milesburn Cabin. Arrived at shelter to find Howard. He brought beers. Nan walked in from Ship Rd. Had dinner and nice talk. Both Lisa and I had headaches. Hers wouldn't go away. Headed to hammock about 2045.

Flora: Rhododendron tunnel
Fauna: black spotted salamander. 

Sound: pleated wp
Smell: sobo hiker
View of the Day (Vod): almost one to west before Milesburn.
High: Beers
Hope: A good hike tomorrow
Our hammocks
Howard had shelter to himself
Girl's Camp
Bear pole with a nest in the middle

Day 2
1. Date: Halimath 4th
2. Day: Sunsday (2)
3. Morning temp: 70
4. Weather: Sunny, warm, nice
5. Time start: 0905
6. Time stop and miles: 1212, 6.2 miles
7. End point: Toms Run Shelter
8. Events: tired hill climbers

Log: Took our time getting started today. Made a fire to burn trash. Headed up the hill, said bye to Howard at Ship Rd. Hike went quick today. Saw a couple hikers going south. Two girls who looked like an REI ad and two guys with one looking like he was about to die and he had a lot of hill still to climb.
Just crossed Shippensburg Rd
Flora: roses at a memorial site
Fauna: ant train near shelter about 50 feet long.
Sound: whippoorwill
Smell: ben gay smell near forest mower
Vod: toms run creek
High: Michele's visit and more beers
Hope: good night's sleep

Day 3
1. Date: Halimath 5th
2. Day: Moonsday (3)
3. Morning temp: 70s
4. Weather: clear, warm
5. Time start: 0842
6. Time stop and miles: 1010, 3.6
7. End point: Pine Grove Furnace
8. Events: Rattlesnake

Log: Up at 0545 or so. Tinkered about as the dawn arrived. Packed up and hit the trail. Took blue blaze sunset trail then dynamite shed trail. I walked past a rattler and Lisa saw it. Got pics and video. Got back to park quickly and had a nice lunch.
I very nice hike.

Flora: Fern waiving in it's own personal breeze. Gourd growing by the road.

Fauna: Rattlesnake! Goldenrod spider
My first rattler in three years of searching.  Spotted by LoGear

Goldenrod Crab Spider hitched a ride down to the store
Sound: The snake's rattle blending in with the cicadas
Smell: skunk
Vod: A coiled rattler, shaking his tail.
High: Rattlesnake!
Hope: To get out there again soon.

EarthTone and LoGear

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