What a great weekend hike!!!
Well, My camera screwed up, so the only pics I have are the couple I took with my cell phone. But anyways after fighting with these feet of mine, I decided to just get out for a quick loop overnight. So I put new insoles (green superfeet http://amzn.to/1V9lAiK ) in my virtually new hiking shoes, grabbed my pack, and hoped for the best.
Parked the van around 3 or 4 pm on Friday afternoon where the FLT crosses the road near Diane's Crossings (GPS coordinates N42 19.036 W76 28.658), and hiked the Abbott Loop trail up to "The Pinnacles". I made camp a few hundred yards off the trail near "The Pinnacles". Camp was a Jacks R Better tarp, ENO doublenest hammock, with a AHE New River underquilt, an el-cheapo 45° super thin mummy bag, and a Snugpack Jungle Blanket. This kept me fairly warm up until the wind blew my tarp tie outs up and out of the ground. I woke up from the sound of the tarp thrashing in the wind. I noticed that there were some intermittent flurries. My guess is, that it was probably around 31 to 32°F. I was a little cold, and my feet were numb. After getting up to re stake everything I never did get completely warmed back up.
After I broke camp in the morning, I made my way back over to "The Pinnacles" to fire up the solostove, and cook breakfast. As the fire was going a trail runner and her dog buzzed by. Breakfast was a Mountain House scrambled eggs and bacon. I unsuccessfully used what heat was left in the solostove to try and get the blood flowing back into my toes again.
After breakfast I just relaxed and enjoyed the fresh air and wilderness for a while while the solostove cooled down. This is the downside of using a wood stove. Normally at least as far as I am concerned this is a good thing, but in this case I really wish that I had brought a canister stove.
An hour or so passed, and I re-packed and hit the trail. After a short distance I passed a bunch of hikers and their dogs on the way down the hill probably 3/4 of a mile from The Pinnacles. It was a hiking group, and it looked to be mostly older folks. Just a few miles in, and I started to regain the feeling in my feet, ahh the tingles.
Several more miles up the trail the orange blazes seemed to be non existent or very hard to spot due to blending in to the surrounding foliage. I found myself coming out on the road and the trail didn't seem to cross the road as shown on the map. So I went up the road a couple tenths of a mile, and then back to find where the trail actually crossed the road. (You can see this little detour in the GPS path). Ironically enough, it crossed maybe 20 yards or so from where I came out. Continuing on this next little segment it appeared that someone had recently re-blazed the trail and it was much better!!! A mile or so on, I passed a couple of backpackers and warned them of the disappearing blazes after the road crossing. I stopped at the intersection where the Abbott Loop trail meets the FLT, and read the note regarding the red pines, very interesting! I then continued on down the FLT. I passed a group of four backpackers along the way, and a couple more day hikers before getting back to the trail head and my Van. It was a very popular trail on Saturday morning. Just a few minutes after I was driving back home it started to rain.
Well, No doubt... it was a much needed release. The pain in the feet after was definitely worth it.
Here is the GPS path overlaid onto a google map.
Here are a couple of shots of the awesome view at the "Pinnacles".
This is one of my favorite trails that is fairly close to home. So stay tuned for future trip reports where I bring the family along. Hopefully the camera will be more coaperative next time.
As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment box below.