Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Backpacking

Some of our friends from law school came down from Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend to do some backpacking. The original plan was to hit Pisgah, and hike and camp for two nights. They left the route up to me, being a local and all, but of course I put it off until the last minute and really just picked a general area for us to hit. They asked for an all downhill route with nothing but pretty waterfalls along the way, and I told them no problem, happy to oblige. Well obviously, things didn't work out quite as planned, as is par for the course in Pisgah.

Everyone made it down here fine, and we headed into the forest after a nice breakfast on Saturday morning. We stopped for the obligatory photo ops at Looking Glass falls, and then headed up to the BRP. We took in the views and parked at the end of 816, unloaded, and headed down Flat Laurel Creek. All was well until we hit 215, and then the Mountains to Sea Trail. I really liked this trail, but it was definitely pretty rugged, and it took a toll on our feet. I had been getting hot spots on my heels, and used moleskin, but it was getting worse and worse. I had worn these boots many times before, and had concerns that they would give me blisters, because I just didn't feel like they were the right boots for my feet. Well, my concerns came to fruition, and my heels were on fire. Heather's boots were getting to her, too. On top of that, one of my friends twisted his ankle. We were in pretty sorry shape, so we headed back down to Flat Laurel via Little Sam, where we knew there were plenty of camping spots.

We unloaded, and I took off my boots, and about two layers of heel skin came off with my socks. I knew the backpacking portion of my weekend was pretty much over at that point. [Un]Luckily, the rest of the group was in a similar situation. We set up camp, lit a fire that lasted the short time that the small amount of dry wood we could find lasted, ate dinner, drank some bourbon, and hit the rack. It was great to sleep in the woods again.

The next morning, we packed up and gingerly hiked (hobbled) the 1.5 or so miles back to the lot. We headed back to the house, got cleaned up, and then went downtown to check out the White Squirrel Festival for a bit, before chowing down at Cielito Lindo. Even though things didn't go as planned, it was still a great weekend. I was proud of Heather and happy to hear that she wanted to backpack again. We desperately need to find some boots that work for us, though. On a side note, we have his and hers Asolos for sale.















  1. Have you tried hiking and backpacking wearing shoes instead of boots? I find a good pair of trail shoes are much easier to hike in than cumbersome boots.

  2. I usually just wear shoes when I day hike, but always thought I needed the extra ankle support when backpacking. I'm sort of re-thinking that, though. I don't usually have more than 30lbs on my back.