Friday Fave: Overnighter on the Art Loeb

Quad Burnin', Toe Jammin', Poodle Wastin', Ball Bustin' Overnighter....BAM!

 

Trail:   Art Loeb Section 1, out-n-back to just past Butter Gap

Dates Hiked:  Aug 25-26, 2016

Distance: 9 miles each way

Elevation: 2,400 feet (more or less)

 

We started out by celebrating the fact that we really weren't seeing anyone on this trail.  Soon enough we realized there was a reason for that.

It's long.  It's dry.  It's HARD.  And there's really no scenery to speak of unless you want to climb and extra 500 feet to Cedar Rock.

We didn't.

Because we were toast.

But every day you get to spend moving through rhododendron tunnels and laurel mazes and galax oceans is a good day.

Every day you get to spend walking and dreaming and celebrating your badassery is a good day.

It was a good two days in spite of the challenge.

Or maybe because of it.

Bottom line, this is a GREAT hike for training for an Appalachian Trail thru-hike because it is EXACTLY like a typical day on the trail would be. 

For me, this was a bit of a shakedown hike where I was testing out some new gear--my Lightheart Gear Solo tent; my Klymit sleeping pad; some freezer bag recipes and my new cookset configuration.

All went well with no major snags or snafus.  

 Thank God all went well, or else we might have been staying here at the Butter Gap Inn.

Thank God all went well, or else we might have been staying here at the Butter Gap Inn.

I'm rethinking my plan to leave my camp chair at home.  I'm not sure I want to just make do with the Therm-a-Rest Z-lite seat.

I really love my chair.

The question is, is it worth the extra weight?  Will it make my time on the trail more enjoyable or will it make me miserable from a pack that's heavier than it needs to be?

These are questions that will be solved over the coming months.

Meanwhile, I'm collecting training hikes from New Hampshire, where we'll be hiking during the month of September and where I'll get to keep testing and tweaking my gear before settling on a final gear list for the spring.

 

I'm curious, what do you bring to the wilderness that is totally superfluous but that still makes you happy and heightens your experience?  

Leave a comment and let us know...how do you bring the fun?

 I love how this root looks like there's a reptile emerging from the base of the tree.

I love how this root looks like there's a reptile emerging from the base of the tree.