The trail was wilder than I remembered. Simply finding the trailhead at the overgrown intersection of trails atop the Naked Ground meadow was a challenge, keeping it was even more so less than 100 yards in. The 10 of us slowly plowed through a welter of every type of Southern Appalachian understory — from rhododendron and mountain laurel to blueberries and huckleberries, unable to even see the trail beneath our feet at times. Our only guide: the firm ground beneath. About a mile in, the real fun began.
A big thanks to all of you who responded to our June survey about how we can help you become a better hiker/backpacker. Your response was helpful because until now, we’ve relied primarily on anecdotal information — chatting with you on hikes and trips — to create our programs. This survey helped us see where we were making good guesses, and where we weren’t.
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.
Sunny with highs in the 70s on Saturday, not quite as promising on Sunday, but we’ll see. Sounds like a decent weekend forecast for enjoying the outdoors in any number of ways.
Here are a few:
Spring Hike, Saturday, 1 p.m. Pettigrew State Park, Creswell. Pettigrew State Park, Pettigrew State Park … . We can hear the gears of confusion now. If you haven’t heard of Pettigrew, it’s likely because of its off-the-beaten-path location: it’s south of Creswell, which is west of Columbia, but east of Plymouth, which is just beyond Williamston, which — well, you get the idea. In short, it’s a bulb of land that’s between Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, and it’s got some of the oldest and biggest trees in the state, which you’ll be able to see on this flat-and-easy 5.6-mile hike. Learn more here.
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.