By Stephen D. Bowling
Hiking in January is always fun. Mother nature always enjoys messing with new hikers and reminding Sheltowe Trace Challengers who is in charge. During the weekend, we saw snow, rain, sleet, wind, clouds, fog, and finally some sun. Despite several delays in the shuttle process, the hikers were delivered to the trail, and all were on their way before 10:00 a.m.
Hikers followed their own pace and all made it to Camp Barbour before nine. The usual camp procedures included tent/hammock setup, some food preparation, meeting new friends, and warming near the fire. Saturday night was filled with good conversation around the fire, great trail magic from Sallie and others, and a general good time by all. Be aware that you cannot believe all of the stories that you will hear around that fire ring.
Sunday morning found ice on our tents and sections of the trail as temperatures at camp dropped to 18 degrees. Hikers were up and out shortly after daylight. The trail took hikers across Hawk Creek and followed the old roadbed to the 49er Diner.
Regardless of your hike experience, Hike One was a definite challenge. The hike was long and difficult. The climbs were steep and continuous. Many “old hats” felt the aches and pains of a 28 -mile January Hike and so will you. Just be aware that you will get your hiking legs and things will get much easier. Stick in there and tough it out. Between now and the next hike, go through your gear and get lighter for February. Your legs and back will thank you.
Here are some images from Team Heron’s hike weekend on January 14-15.
Hike One was tough but hang in there. Soak those feet and treat what hurts. Hike Two has many sites to see and remember that you are gaining those trials legs. Rest and recharge. We have a lot of hiking to do before the Gathering in December.
© 2022 Stephen D. Bowling