Was planning on getting going early Friday morning, but I helped my dad gather a load of firewood so he wouldn't attempt it alone. Anyway, I arrived at the head of Fire Trail 3 and started my hike. I knew I had no time to make it as far as I wanted, so the whole way I was looking for potential good hang spots. I did pass up a few on the way but kept marching on. After intersecting the Plantation Trail I realized I forgot how rocky & rooty the trails up here are. I kept looking at some of the obstacles and remembered how I would just blow right over and through this stuff on my Mt. Bike.
It was starting to get windy, I knew we had a big storm on the way, but figured, I don't mind walking in the rain. I make it to the intersection of the Plantation & Allegheny Trail. I know a shelter is off this intersection so I headed to it to see if anyone was around. Empty. Perfect spot for a short break, snack, and water. After enjoying, I did a quick check of the weather. Tornado Warnings, High Wind and Severe weather warnings. Maybe I should stay in the shelter for the night, get a good night sleep, get started first thing in the morning. That's a plan, plus I know if I have to make an emergency exit from the trail system, I can hit the Allegheny Trail & head either back to the jeep, or down the hill to the Canaan Lodge.
So I start setting up the hammock inside the shelter. Hmmmm...Where are my tree straps? Thinking....thinking...HOME hanging on the tree I last used. Lucky I had some para cord, also found some, but I ended up finding a couple nails. Wrapped my fixed loop of the whoopie around a 2x4 then to the nail. Perfect. Fixed supper, had some coffee, hung the food bag, and relax. By this time the wind is really picking up, and I mean picking up good. So now we go into the internal argument system in my head between Caution and Adventure. Little something like this.
Between 6 & 7PM, cautious side said, I think we should get outta here, we have 2 hours of light left, plenty of time. Adventure side said what? You wuss, we are in a shelter for cryin out loud, plus if we leave now with the wind blowing the way it is, a tree or limb could be blown down on us. Cautious side, OK, head hung low. Argument continued throughout the night off & on waking me up, something like, I told you so, ah shut up, we are safe. 3AM, Cautious wakes up adventure, see, you heard that tree crack & fall also. Yeah. Argue some more. Wake up this morning bright & early, mainly because they are still arguing. Cautious side, see the wind is still blowing really hard, Adventure side, yeah so, we can make it all the way out and back to the shelter again before night fall. Cautious, yeah, but what if a tree, or limb falls down on your dumb self. Adventure side, yeah, that would hurt, possibly no adventure in future. Cautious side, so, you ready to beat feet. Adventure side, yeah, head hung low.
So here I sit in the comfort of home already. I took my emergency route I planned back, up the Allegheny Trail (also known as the Davis Trail) to the main fire road back to the vehicle. That wind was wicked up there last night & this morning. Iím glad Cautious side won this time. Sometimes adventure side doesnít use his head entirely. Thanking myself for passing up some fine spots on the way to the shelter also.
Fire Trail 3 Head, and my finger.
Fire Trail 3 - Plantation Trail Intersection
Yours Truly. Looking back toward the Blackwater Canyon. You can also see that heavy BG knife I carry. My brother got that for my birthday for me. So I carry it just for him.
One of many small creek crossings along the way. These usually run all summer, so water is hardly ever a problem.
Intersecting of the Plantation & Allegheny Trail.
Access to the shelter.
Back side of shelter. They built it with the normal wind direction in mind. Thank goodness.
Shelter. Fire Ring out front. Too windy this weekend for that.
Trail Register box.
Looking more like home.
The long road back to the Jeep this morning.