It was about 10:30 on a Friday night, mid November, when we pulled out of the light rain and into the covered bank drive-thru in Canton, N.C. After a quick surveillance, with particular attention for the local constable, we decided the coast was clear: the five of us scrambled out of the SUV and quickly slipped into our rain gear. We wanted to be as prepared as possible when we hit the trailhead in a half hour or so to finally get our two-day backpack trip underway.
You watch a video of a spellbinding adventure. You think, “Man, I would love to do that … .”
And it doesn’t happen.
It doesn’t happen for any number of reasons. More often than not, though, it falls victim to overthinking the logistics: What kind of preparation do I need? How will I get there? How will I know what to do when I do get there? Before you know it, you’re mentally exhausted and have moved on to the next video.
On Saturday’s final hike of our 2018-2019 Winter Wild hike series, we decided to add an extra mile or so. It was a mile of trail I hadn’t hiked.
As we made our way up the north bank of New Hope Creek, I could hear the gradient increasing upstream, the sound of water cascading over rock a bit more intense than we’re used to hearing in the Piedmont. As the noise grew, some mild scrambling was required; we shinnied up a rock outcrop overlooking the creek and emerged on a slab 30 feet above the water.
Carol discovered the virtue of two trekking poles vs. one.
Cat was reassured that she’s still perfectly happy eating cold ravioli out of a can.
Kathy discovered she is overweight —morbidly so.
All in all, a pretty successful weekend of backpacking for the first trip of the season.
Spring is one of our four favorite seasons to backpack because:
- Temperatures are moving up — no worrying about whether your 20-degree bag will cut it on a 19-degree night
- Daylight is increasing — no 14-hour nights in your sleeping bag
- The world is coming to life — no explanation needed
Thus, it’s no surprise that spring is one of our busiest times on the trail. Here’s what we’ve got going on into June. For more information and to sign up, see the links below.
Learn to backpack
We have two options for folks who aren’t backpackers — but want to be.