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Thru hike Aug4 - Aug9

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:14 am
by Homespun
The adventure was a success in a number of ways. The first day I did a half day from the Onadoga TH and went six miles. Had planned on camping at Huzzah Campground but found a sign the open season was Sept to May and moved on surprised. A mile up the trail was a groomed spot used by someone recently and there I spent the night. The second day was a stop into Bass's for chips and a loaf of bread, quite a place, and an early camp on top of a hill at mile 15.5. There it rained and then I had a lot of time so I made a fire. Smoked for the longest time and then turned into a cutie. It rained again but the fire burned out by itself that night. While camp was set up and after the fire had burned down, shortly before dusk, a party of four bareback horsemen came up the hill, heading for Bass's. Guess they were delivering horses, and had a foal and a yearling in tow, and two puppies. Might have been the father, two young men, and a younger daughter. Real salt of the earth Missourians if that is descriptive. Got lost for a mile the next day, but backtracked to markers and continued on, extra mileage but no damage. The third night at Beecher Springs was a highlight, good water. Few bugs there surprisingly. The more open scenic trails picked up for the rest of the hike, a lot more sand pines, and less undergrowth. That fourth day was my longest day and there weren't good places until Hazel Creek and that was 19.5 miles. Early in the day I met up with a biker Mike and his son Ethan who were halfway through the Berryman Loop and consulted the OT map. They cleaned out the spiders as far as a mile fom HWY 8. The fifth day was Trace Creek to mile 16.5, and the sixth day was the 15 miles into Bixby. Besides Beecher Springs, Trace Creek at mile16.5 and Wolf's Pen Hollow were noteworthy scenic and water available spots. Hazel Creek Campground also, in that respect. Saw deer three days, heard deer crash one other day, saw turkeys pretty many times, two turtles, and once in Trace Creek a momma and three almost full-grown kid raccoons tried to climb a ten foot stump to get away from me and the stump was ten feet away so I got a good look at them. Snakes were one 30 inch black snake five miles from Bixby, I jumped. An interesting tidbit, there must have been bicycles on the Middle Fork Section Saturday as when I passed on Sunday there were very few spiders. I got so I'd pull up short, touching the spider webs, but the webs aren't so sticky and I could back out and take them down with a stick. Flowers had a few spottings of a yellow bell flower, an inch wide and two inches long. Four or five stems would have rows of buds, thirty on a plant and two or three were blooming. Total trip was 80 miles and I was glad I went. It's cooler in the woods than in urban areas. Tempature varies and air movement varies with altitude, but not always in a predictable manner. I got breaths of cool air on a hot day and wondered where did that come from. Got cell phone reception a couple times each day except days three and four, but only from mountain tops. There was plenty of water for August, this being a wet year. My own view is that bugs were fading in the heat and dryness, and Mosquitos were in cloud proportions a couple of times but were rather scarce many times, on the other hand. They were also smaller and slower than many Mosquitos. I do feel I'm full up with hiking for a while.