My wife had taken a week vacation but I couldn't get the whole week off so I took the end of the week off so I could join her where she finally decided to go. Well, she went to Myrtle Beach and I wasn't going to drive 8 hours(Thursday) to get down there to spend one day(Friday) before having to drive back(Saturday).
I figured I could use this time to go hike the Old Loggers Path. I have been out there 3 times before and never finished the whole trail.
First trip I blew out my knee coming down a hill. Second time I was with the boys and we got rained out from hiking one day so we were behind schedule and would of ran out of food so we stopped at the same place I made it the first time. Third time we were doing great until we realized that some people had to get home early the next day so we called it and just camped, yup you guessed it, at the same place I made it before.
So I was determined to finish this 27.1 mile loop trail. I made my final decision to go Wednesday night. When I got up on Thursday I got everything together and headed to the trail head. Listening to the weather report for up there they were calling for scattered showers Thursday through Saturday.
I arrived at the trail head at about 2:30 and started getting my pack all together, in my car because it was raining hard. At about 3:00 I finally headed out onto the trail. Yes, it was still raining. I guess they scattered all the rain on where I was. I hiked 3.7 miles and stopped for dinner and to dry out some. I set up my tarp and proceeded to eat and relax and decided to spend the night there. So I strung up my hammock and laid there listening to the rain fall on the tarp and woods around me. The soothing sound of the rain had me asleep by 7. I got up at 2:30 and it had stopped raining. I went back to sleep and woke at 6 am. Long night sleep was great knowing I had a 12 mile day planned.
After a quick breakfast I headed out. The day couldn't of been better, 70's, no rain, overcast with occasional breaks of sun. I took breaks on the overlooks to dry out my feet and take a nap about an hour after lunch. I finished the first half around 6pm. So I had hiked for about 11 hours and did 12 miles. I took a bunch of breaks and enjoyed the scenery. I didn't want to just rush through and say I hiked the trail but didn't experience it.
Ate dinner and was in my hammock by 7:00 but didn't fall asleep until about 10:00. Why? I don't know. I just listened to the sounds of a pitch black forest. I couldn't even see my hand with it touching my nose.
I woke up at 6 but rolled over and went back to sleep until 7. Ate breakfast and packed up and headed out around 8. Made it passed where I always stopped and kept on going. The day was again a nice day to hike, 80's with patchy clouds and bright sun. I ran into the only other 2 hikers I saw the whole trip before making the 1.6 mile climb to Sharp Top Vista and the best views on the trail.
For some reason I had thought the southern section was only 8 miles. So after hiking what I figured was about 8 miles I was getting excited about finishing when I came across a sign saying I had 3.8 miles to go. Yeah, wind out of my sails. Water was low, I was tired, knees and feet hurt. I ended up stopping, eating something, and rested my body for a bit before heading out. I hiked on, down to about 12oz of water left before I came across a stream and was able to refill my water and douse myself with water to cool down.
I started the final push with about a mile and a half to go after I got the water and I pushed myself to do it with out stopping even though my knees were screaming for me to stop. At 6pm, I was in my car heading home. First stop, a store for some Advil.
So after 3 failed attempts, I finally finished the Old Loggers Path. And I was happy!
Hammock: DIY Asym, DIY underquilt, 30 deg down sleeping bag as top quilt.
Tarp: 12x10 DIY cat cut.