Backpacking River to River (a section) 3/23-3/25

So my 2 daughters and I spend 3 days/2 nights on a short backpacking excursion. In past years we’ve done some back-country canoeing trips in the BWCA (starting here) for 4-6 days at a time. We started at midday on Thursday in intermittent rain, temp about 45.

trip start

This is us at the observation trail at the “Garden of the Gods” in Shawnee National Forest.

We hiked until about 4:30 and stopped at a riverside just past Herod. The rain stopped after about an hour and a half or so. We had prepared quickly because the kids were on spring break, so we just had freeze dried dinners.

We were serenaded to sleep by a small number of coyotes which must have been not far away. They didn’t bother us that night or the next day.

We got up at about 7, with the sun and broke camp and started walking about 9. We walked through the “One Horse Gap” and some interesting rock formations and small caves. This day we noticed our map differed from the markings and trail guides. This would be a problem the next day. After a second crossing of “Little Lusk Creek” we camped for the night.

The next morning we got greeted by rain, or at least drizzle. We thought we had about 6-7 miles out so we skipped breakfast (snacking as we started on bars, nuts and fruit as we walked and shortly thereafter got confused by signs and lost the trail. This made our day about 11 miles not 7. Two pictures of our travel that day follow:


We passed lots of large exposed rock formations

Streams are obstacles for hikers

The stream crossings were not ones you could do by walking on logs or stones without getting wet`

The main purpose of this trip was to test out some new equipment. Rain gear worked fine. Packs were fine. We forgot a few things and the pack bladders for water (we had one) will be gotten for all of us for our next trip. We need to condition ourselves to walking a little better (at least I do, at 55 I can’t just pick up and walk 10 miles a day after holding a sedentary job. Swimming uses enough different muscles that I’m going to have to get ready for May).

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