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  1. #1
    ^shane^'s Avatar
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    Eagle Rock Loop - Sept 29-Oct 2

    Yeah, I know it's not Oct 2 yet, but some of the guys are still out on the trail and will finish tomorrow. Work made me come home early.

    We ended up with 10 guys getting together for a backpack on the Eagle Rock Loop in SW Arkansas. We had guys from all over the DFW area (Pat, Hampton, Keith, Jacob, Andy, Eves, Paul, and me), Missouri (Burningcedar), and Arkansas (Smokehouse).

    The group from DFW met Burningcedar at the Winding Stair trailhead Thursday afternoon and camped there Thursday evening. We had some non-hangers in the group, and I brought along my SBLH, netless SB, and WBBB for them to play around in Thursday evening. Burningcedar also had his DIY hammock and they tried it out to. Great design. Smokehouse joined us early Friday morning.

    Friday morning, we drove down FR106 to the Blaylock Creek trailhead and began the hike. 11 miles later, we had 4 big ups and downs behind us and had passed the Little Missouri Falls area. We all tried out Smokehouse's 11' hammock - still the flattest hammock lay I've ever tried out. Smokehouse is a hammock ambassador deluxe, and I think he converted a couple of my non-hanging buddies over to the dark side. We had a great evening around the campfire ring - no fire - just telling stories. It's pretty cool how a group of guys who just met can bond so quickly. Weather was PERFECT. Not too warm. Nothing but blue sky. Nice breeze. The creeks were low, but running, and water was never an issue.

    It cooled down nicely overnight to around 40 degrees Saturday morning. Our plan was to hike down to the winding stair area that day - a hike of about 9 miles. We moved quickly, and were back around at the Winding Stair parking area around 10:30am. That left just another mile and a half to the campsite. Weather was even better Saturday. Temps hovering in the 70s, a slight breeze, and nothing but blue sky. We walked by the Little Missouri River all day, so again, water was never an issue.

    We had a couple of guys with hurting knees, and they decided to stay at the trailhead. The rest of the group decided to hike another 3-4 miles past Winding Stair, either onto the Viles Branch or on to the Athens-Big Fork trail. I had planned on camping at Winding Stair with the group Saturday night and hiking back to my car at the WS trailhead early Sunday so I could get back home in time for a mid-day flight. Since the group decided to hike on, I decided to call it a trip, come home, and get some work done. There is always next year.

    I'll post some pics later. I hope David and Mike post some pictures, too. They took a lot more pictures that the rest of us. UncleMJM & Alan - you guys were missed. We'll plan on another trip to ERL next spring (and a possible long Colorado hike in 2013).

    Gear shout outs:
    TtTTG SBLH - Love my hammock. 'Nuf said.
    Hammockgear.com summer Phoenix & 3S Incubator - used the Phoenix the first night and the Incubator on the trail. Nothing but warm, downy goodness.
    ULA Catalyst - I can't stop saying "Wow!"

    Gear let down:
    My Keen Newport H2s finally died a wicked death. The right heel strap gave way on the third climb Friday. I stitched it back together with some para-cord and made it the rest of the way. Had to. My only other option was a pair of Crocs with no heel straps. I think I'm going to move on to actual trail runners now.
    "One of the best things you can do in this world is take a nap in the woods." ~ Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

    "While it may be a lot of work, the view is best from the summit." ~ an anonymous staff member of Philmont Scout Ranch

    Enjoy the day
    Shane

  2. #2
    Senior Member clb's Avatar
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    Shane,
    Thanks for the report, I was waiting for Mike to post something on BPA so I could get an idea about water in the ABF area Now I know!
    Leigh
    aka LookinUp

    He who would travel happily must travel light.
    Antoine de St. Exupery

  3. #3
    Senior Member Alan's Avatar
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    It totally sucks that I missed this trip with some great folks.

  4. #4
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    It totally sucks that I missed this trip with some great folks.
    Me too. As an act of penance I hiked some at Enchanted Rock then headed to Colorado Bend State Park to camp for the night then hiked around there Sunday morning. I couldn't swing the time off to make ERL but did get some time in the woods. Definately want to make if there one day.

  5. #5
    BurningCedar's Avatar
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    First of all -- thanks very much to Shane for setting this whole trip up. Even though I was one of the two "cripples" who skipped those last few miles, I had a really great time! And even better, I made some new hiking friends!

    I brought a new camera on this trip and took a total of 113 photos with it. But a lot of the photos were "just playin' around", out of focus, boring, etc. So I selected the top 27 photos and published them to Flickr.

    I hope everyone had as great a time as I did!
    David

    The road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
    -Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring

  6. #6
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    Here are a few pic's of the trip. It was great times and the weather and temps were perfect. All the hammockers went tarpless... wink

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1041111.../October22011#

  7. #7
    New Member Zac's Avatar
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    Looks like you all had a great time. Sorry I missed out. I will catch the next trip.

  8. #8
    ^shane^'s Avatar
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    Missed you and frank too. Would have been great to have a real crowd. NEXT YEAR!
    "One of the best things you can do in this world is take a nap in the woods." ~ Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

    "While it may be a lot of work, the view is best from the summit." ~ an anonymous staff member of Philmont Scout Ranch

    Enjoy the day
    Shane

  9. #9
    sturgeon's Avatar
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    Wow. Good pics of some beautiful and interesting country. Thank you!

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Very cool.
    I actually passed you guys on the trail going ccw on saturday just south/east of little missouri falls (I was solo)
    It was a great wekend to be out there. Great weather, no bugs, plenty of water, but not too much and awesome scenery.
    Nice pics too!

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