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  1. #21
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Great trip! It was my first time out to RRG and we had a wonderful time. It was a good hike and an even better hang that night. My many, many thanks to Big E for a great trip! The Gorge is a place of amazing beauty, I love it! Big E is going to write the full trip report, which should be in the next day or 2. I took a few pictures while we were there of an overlook view, Big E and myself at Hidden Arch, our campsite and Big E on the hike out the next morning. More to follow from Big E himself.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  2. #22
    Member Big E's Avatar
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    Big E and Hooch's Excellent Adventure

    Well, we survived the heat and had a good trip! Seriously, it was HOT!! We originally planned on hiking in to Indian Staircase for the evening, but given the forecast of 105+ heat index, and the possibility of no water up there, we decided to hike down Buck Trail to a spot that someone else on the forum mentioned where we could be close to water and hopefully cooler temps for the evening.

    We met at the Shell station (a little late ) and hit the trailhead around 3 pm or so. Koomer Ridge Trail was fairly level and and easy stroll down to Hidden Arch Trailhead. Hidden Arch Trial is about a 1 mile loop from Koomer Ridge Trail down to a nice arch and then back up to Koomer Ridge trail. There were a few nice views before the steps down to the Arch. The hike back up was steep, but short enough not to cross into the "strenuous" category! After a little huffin' and puffin' we were back at Koomer Ridge Trail for a water break and then off again.

    Koomer Ridge Trail to Buck Trail goes along Koomer Ridge, but with the dense foliage, there are really no views at this time of the year. The trail is well marked and what little blow down there was had well trodden pass arounds. There was a short stretch where the underbrush had almost grown over the trail, but it is only a few meters long. We passed the nice little camp on the right just prior to the Buck Trailhead.

    Buck Trail down is a fairly steep trail (one you just salivate over climbing back up ). We got to the bottom and found the campsite exactly as described here, a nice little spot with stone benches and a fire ring and room enough for a couple of hammocks. The temp was about 20 degrees cooler from the top of Buck Trail, so that was a HUGE relief.

    On a down note, we discovered that some idiot(s) had deffecated all over the perimeter of the campsite, and failed to dig catholes or even make an attempt at covering up their TP, etc. I am not a LNT Nazi, but come on, at least get off into the woods and dig a cathole!!!

    After getting the hammocks up and the camp situated we decided to do a little geocaching. I had previously downloaded a few geocaches in RRG and we happened to be hanging about a 1/4 from one on Buck Trail. We set off for Hooch's first geocache find. We soon discovered that we had to climb almost all the way up to Pinch Em Tight trail to find the Buck Trail geocache. I left a Bank OC ballpoint pen and took a set of earplugs. It was fun, but, I learned a valuable lesson about changing into the dry sleeping tee shirt and then doing more hiking gotta make a note not to do that again. By the time we climbed up to the cache and back to camp I felt like I had been swimming. The humidity must have been near 100%.

    After a nice little dinner (Hooch had tuna salad and crackers while I had a Mountain House Chicken Terriaki that I shared a bit of with him) we got situated for bedding down as it was getting to dusk down in the canopy.

    Glad I had the earplugs!!!

    Had a great nights sleep, despite getting up at 3 am to pitch the rainfly due to spotting some lightning in the distance. No rain came down, but better safe than sorry!.

    Had a little breakfast and packed up (some were a little quicker due to the ultra light philosophy!!!!! ) and tackled the climb back out. We thought about hiking a loop out via Pinch Em Tight to Rough Trail back to Koomer Ridge, but again, the heat scared us off of that idea. The climb out led to a lot of huffin' and puffin' but no heart attacks, so all was good. Seriously, climbing out of Buck Trail in either direction is a strenuous little hike. It isn't terribly long, but it will get the heart pumping!!

    On a personal note it was great to me Hooch and get to know him a bit and I look forward to the next group hang so I can get to know more of you.

    On a gear note, this was my first hike with the light pack. I ended up skin out with a 3 day pack (including food and 2 liters of water) around 18 pounds. I have to tell you all that I was amazed at how much difference it made! I had hiked these trails back in early June with my son's scout troop carrying about 40 pounds and it was brutal. Carrying the lighter load I felt much faster up the hills and ready to put on some big mileage. Another big change was switching to New Balance 810s from my Asola GTX. My feet felt great, no twisted ankles and I felt like I could go on forever. I picked up Hooch's pack once to assist him under a blow down and I could not believe that I used to carry that kind of weight a couple of months ago.

    All in all a great trip!! If anyone would like the GPS tracks, let me know. I also wondered if we couldn't create a members only discussion where we could all post GPS coordinates for cool spots we find for all members to enjoy. I would not want to let the general public have them so that we could keep them all pristine as possible, but it would be nice to have a little repository of great hanging spots all over the country. Any thoughts on that?
    Last edited by Big E; 08-26-2007 at 16:41.

  3. #23
    slowhike's Avatar
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    sounds like a great trip! (except for the idiots that didn't know how to dig a cat hole )
    surely hooch didn't cause you to were the ear plugs
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #24
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    Great trip! It was my first time out to RRG and we had a wonderful time. It was a good hike and an even better hang that night. My many, many thanks to Big E for a great trip! The Gorge is a place of amazing beauty, I love it! Big E is going to write the full trip report, which should be in the next day or 2. I took a few pictures while we were there of an overlook view, Big E and myself at Hidden Arch, our campsite and Big E on the hike out the next morning. More to follow from Big E himself.
    hooch... is that andy in your avatar?
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #25
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    sounds like a great trip! (except for the idiots that didn't know how to dig a cat hole )
    surely hooch didn't cause you to were the ear plugs
    Clearly the man was hearing things. So I tend to snore a little, no big deal. All in all a great hang!

    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    hooch... is that andy in your avatar?
    Yep, my favorite character from my favorite movie. Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.

    Adding to what Big E said in his trip report, it was a great hike, a great hang and an all around wonderful experience. Our campsite was just perfect, excepting the aforementioned spots of human waste/toilet paper. Like Big E, I'm not one of those LNT lunatics, but there is such a thing as camping decorum. Aside from that, we had a great hanging spot, room for a few more hammocks if we wanted to make a group hang out of that site. Ther were 2 creeks that converged at the site with the most wonderfully cool clear drinking water, after proper treatment of course. What a wonderful, cool treat! Also, it's a great place to leave water bottles and hydration bladders to stay nice and cold through the night.

    On a personal note, it was an absolute pleasure to meet Big E, one of our newest members. I couldn't have asked for a better hiking partner for the trip. It's funny how good company can make a good trip just that much more enjoyable. Thanks for the lesson in geocaching, that was a lot of fun after we got cooled back down. I can see that an investment in a GPS is in my future. I leaned a lot from my new gram-counting friend, I hope we can do it again sometime soon.
    Last edited by Hooch; 08-27-2007 at 07:13.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  6. #26
    Hooch's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about going to the Gorge again this coming Friday night. I know it's Labor Day weekend and the trails will probably be crowded, but I'm willing to give it a go. Anyone up for it with me? I'll have to leave at a decent hour Saturday, have to work Sat night. If anyone is interested, drop me a message here or PM me.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  7. #27
    Member Big E's Avatar
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    I actually think that the earplugs kept me from waking [I]myself[I] up during the night!!

    It was a pleasant trip, and yes, good company makes every trip more enjoyable and the company on this trip was excellent.

    Hooch, I am not able to head over this weekend, too much stuff going on here.

  8. #28
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big E View Post
    I actually think that the earplugs kept me from waking [I]myself[I] up during the night!!

    It was a pleasant trip, and yes, good company makes every trip more enjoyable and the company on this trip was excellent.

    Hooch, I am not able to head over this weekend, too much stuff going on here.
    No sweat man, take care of the home front first. I'll catch up with you another time, hopefully when it's a bit cooler.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  9. #29
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    RRG hang

    Sounds like you guys had a great trip. Let me know if you put together another hang in RRG. It's one of my favorite places to hike.

  10. #30
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    The bottom of Buck Trail is one of my favorite spots in the RRG. It's really a beautiful little spot with the streams and the rock walls. The hike out in either direction is tough, with 400-500 ft of elevation gain in a little more than .5 mile.

    It would be a great spot for a small gathering.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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