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Newton's 24 Hour Trip on the Backbone Trail
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Newton's 24 Hour Trip on the Backbone Trail on 02/27/2012 17:51:39 MST Print View

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.

View from the campsite

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.

Campfire ;-)

We slept in an Ozark Trail WalMart special. LOL

Our "upscale accommodations" ;-)

We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise Saturday morning.

Saturday Morning's Sunrise

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.

Malicious destruction of nature ;-(

We did however see this beautiful display of flowers on our hike out.

Yellow wildflowers

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.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 02/27/2012 17:56:32 MST.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Spread the love! on 02/27/2012 19:36:09 MST Print View

It's great that you were able to take someone out who was interested in going backpacking. I have been fortunate when I was young to have people take me to do fun outdoor activities that I wouldn't have gotten into otherwise.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F - MLife

Locale: Walking With The Son
RE:Newton's 24 Hour Trip on the Backbone Trail on 03/03/2012 15:08:28 MST Print View

That's the way to toughen 'em up - let 'em carry all of your old, heavy gear :). J/K, of course. Sounds like you had a great time, and it's always a blessing to be able to share the outdoors with someone who's been itching to get out.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: RE:Newton's 24 Hour Trip on the Backbone Trail on 03/06/2012 04:41:27 MST Print View

Hi George,

He is 18 and I'm very soon to be 58. Towards the end of the hike I asked him how he was holding up. His answer was, "It's pretty tough but I'm doing alright". Later as we got into visual range of my pickup I said to him, "You've probably come to realize that this fat old guy is in pretty decent shape". His response was, "Something like that", with a nod of his head. ;-)

He is interested in another trip and I'll be setting him up with a lighter kit for that one. LOL

As far as itching to get out, I resemble that remark!!!!!

Great to hear from you.

Party On,