I took an 18 year old young man to the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana this past weekend. He found out recently that I am a hiker and he let me know that he was immensely interested in going on a hiking and camping trip. We did the 7.6 mile Backbone Trail.
I set my young hiking partner up with my old JanSport pack, a full length Ridgerest pad, wool sleeping socks, gloves, nylon convertible hiking pants, thermal shirt, MH dehydrated food and my old Swiss Gear trekking poles.
I Guess now I am an OUTFITTER! ;-)
We drove up Friday morning and started out at about 2:pm in the afternoon. We got a late start after visiting the Ranger Station to find out why the forest was Smoldering! I was a little concerned that we might set up camp and wake up with our tent "shrink wrapped" around us. It turned out that there had been a presrcibed controlled burn by the Forest Service the Tuesday before our trip.
Some of the creeks were over the ankles deep and just wide enough to get our feet wet crossing them. The views were awesome though so it was worth it.
We camped up on a ridge overlooking a valley.
My hiking partner made sure we were warm by getting the campfire started. The temperatures were very mild during the days but got down to 37 degrees during the night.
We slept in an Ozark Trail WalMart special. LOL
We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise Saturday morning.
We hiked out to the trail head further down Longleaf Scenic Byway to avoid crossing the creeks again so we added about 2.5 miles of road walking to the 7.6 mile trail. All in all we covered about 10.1 miles in a 22 hour period including meal time and sleeping time in camp. Add in the round trip driving time from New Orleans and our trip was about 32 hours total.
There was one major disappointment on this trip. Some people should just not be allowed into the national forests. Take a look at what some irresponsible person did to a perfectly healthy tree.
We did however see this beautiful display of flowers on our hike out.
The sights and sounds of nature are a major draw for me to go hiking in the wilderness areas. I took pictures, left footprints and introduced a young friend to what we here on BPL enjoy so much.