For those that think that Kansas is flat, well, when I got to this place the first thing I said was "you're not in Kansas any more!" Got to the trail head at 11:00. It's only 2 hours east of Wichita if you do the speed limit. The first thing you do is cross a 200 yard (park like) grassy area that takes you to a bridge that crosses a creek. The fun starts right away with a very steep 200 to 300 foot climb with numerous switch backs. As you look up, there are monstrous boulders at the top. As I looked east & west, I was thinking "How am I going to get up this thing without climbing gear?" As you get closer, you find a narrow passage way to squeeze through. It opens into a room with 30' walls 8' wide and 100' long. This place is COOL! This type of scenario continues for 1/2 mile or so.
Let me tell ya, I've been working out and doing hour hikes with my pack on with no problems. After just 15 mins. I was sucking wind big time! Good thing I was only carrying 52 lb. UL backpack I really need to lighten that thing up!
Anyway, this trail (blue) puts you through the tough stuff. There is another one (orange) on top of the hill that is less strenuous, which I took on the way back. The trail goes for 15 mile and I can't wait to go back and do more exploring.
I only went about 1 1/4 miles before I found the site that looked good for a camp site. I dropped off my gear and continued until I passed the 2 mile marker by another 1/2 mile, then turned around and headed back. It was time to play with my new toys! The scenery is fantastic. It overlooks a big lake, all kinds of wildlife, budding trees, coves ..... hard to describe it all.
I get back to camp and grab my new Claytor JH out of it's bag, or so I think. I guess someone thought I would much rather have a Mosquito Hammock instead! Not only that, but the thing only had one zipper, making it very hard to close when inside. Other than that, I had a warm sleep with my Alps Comfort pad and my 0 degree bag as a blanket. Actually, way too warm. I woke up a number of time sweating and feeling cramped up. Could use a little more space. Hope the JH is roomier than the Mosquito.
I also felt less organized. Couldn't figure out where to put my stuff if I need it in the middle of the night. To me it's way different then on the ground. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Well that's all for now, if you have any questions let me know!