OT – Oct 18-19

Written by Greg Wright on . Posted in Events

We had another great adventure this past weekend hiking through some of the most beautiful parts of the Ouachita Trail. It started rather early as we met at Dink’s house before 8:00 a.m., and by 10:00 a.m. we were on the trail with a seven mile hike laying ahead. This time we were heading to the Oak Mountain Shelter from the Highway 7 Trail Head. We were only a couple of miles in, when Z got an emergency phone call. He had to hike back to his Jeep and head home. Dink and I continued on to Sugar Creek (our ONLY natural water source for this trip). On the way we saw the largest tarantula either of us had ever seen.
TratulaHe was just cruising down the middle of the trail like he owned it. Once at Sugar Creek, we filled up our Nalgenes, had a quick bite, we continued on.
At the half way point, we had stashed 10 liters of water in a bladder. After retrieving the water, we realized that was way too heavy to carry the last 3 miles. We stopped, drank as much water as we could, refilled and dumped the bladder. After a little over five hours, we arrived at the shelter. It felt great to finally get there and drop packs.
We rested for a few minutes and then started our firewood gathering. While processing the wood, I learned a valuable lesson, a Buck knife from Wal-Mart was not designed for bushcraft. It snapped in half batoning a limb off a downed tree. That’s what I get for being cheap! After the fire was roaring, we started setting up our tent and hammock. Dink soon realized he had made the wrong choice for sleeping arrangements. There was not a flat spot anywhere. Hammock camping was perfect in this situation. I had my hammock set up, and Dink was still trying to find a flat enough spot to set up his tent. After he found the least sloped location we fixed dinner. At about 10:00 p.m., we turned in. That’s when the fun started. A female fox was not happy with us, and let us know about it. She made all kinds of racket for about half an hour. Once she decided to move on, we had dueling owls. After an hour of owl serenades, it started raining and rained off and on all night. At 3:30 a.m., Dink decided to move his tent to the only flat spot, inside the shelter.
At sunrise, we woke and restarted our fire. We cooked bacon, oatmeal, and a huge biscuit (we took from Z prior to this departure). After breakfast, we broke camp and started the mile hike to Dink’s SUV. The trail the day before was well maintained (Great job Mike at Friends of OT), but the trail out was not by any means. There were times we went from marked tree to marked tree with no trail visible. Sometimes the grass was taller than we were. Dink even ran up on a black snake trying to warm up in the cool morning sun. A little scoot with my walking stick and he was on his way. After that I got to lead with my stick. That mile walk out seemed longer than the seven miles the day before. True bushwhacking! Once back in civilization we headed to The Shack in Jessieville for some burgers and fries / onion rings. It was a fun trip, even though Z had to bail, and his emergency turned out ok.
We hope you can join us on our next adventure!
If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laughing at anyone else!

OT- Sept 20-21

Written by Greg Wright on . Posted in Events

The Trek Support team had a great time on our backpacking trip this weekend. It was a wet hike in to the Nancy Mountain Shelter on the Ouachita Trial.  It had been raining all morning and continued to steadily drop throughout our hike.  Our wet weather fire starting procedures worked perfectly. We hung out in the shelter after the fire was going strong and waited for the rain to stop. While waiting in the shelter, we discovered we had a guest. A field mouse had made his home in the box in the shelter. We tried to convince him to stay, but he insisted on taking off. After the rain, we set up our hammocks and tents. We sat around the campfire until late into the night. It started raining again, so we decided to turn in. In the morning, Z made us rock bread for breakfast. It was excellent. After breakfast, we had company. Three women were out for a day hike and decided to stop at the shelter to make some tea. After their tea and a little chit-chat they headed back out on the trail. We packed up and headed out ourselves. We stopped at a creek and filtered some water to replenish our supply. While at the creek, Dink noticed the mouse had returned during the night and helped himself to some sunflower seeds in his pack. The bad thing is he didn’t realize the bag was chewed into until after he had eaten all of them. The hike out seemed to go quicker than the hike in. We hope y’all can join us on our next backpacking adventure!