MOVED!!! 08/23/2011
 
Don't know if anyone is still reading here, but I have moved my site.  I will now be posting at www.uriahthevagabond.wordpress.com.  Come check it out!
 
 

     This past weekend, me and some friends went to the Shores Lake Rec Area for a hike.  We planned to hike 6.5 miles to the White Rock Rec Area, camp for the night, and hike 7 miles back to the Shores Lake Rec Area.  The hike was really fun.  The trail starts off pretty easy and follows a creek for much of the first part.  We came to a waterfall and stopped for a little bit.  While we were at the waterfall, we saw a boy scout troop heading in the opposite direction.  No big deal, except one of these guys was carrying a propane tank!  Not one of the bottles (although that would have been bad enough), he was carrying one of the tanks you would use for a grill!  

     So, after talking with them for a little bit, and trying to spread the lightweight backpacking gospel, we headed on.  There were some bumps where the trail would climb for a little bit, then go down for a bit.  Finally, we could see one of the buildings at the White Rock Rec Area, but it was about 1400 ft above us!  Then the climbing started.  We gained the elevation fast!  Needless to say the last couple of miles were tough.  After we made it to the top, we picked out a campsite for the night.  I got to pitch my new tarptent, and it did very well.  The wind blew pretty hard that night, but after guying out my tent, I barely noticed. 

     The next morning, we got up, broke camp, and headed out.  We planned on hiking the second half of the loop (7 mi) back to our cars.  This part of the trip was beautiful!  We hiked along a bluff overlooking a creek for a good chunk of the trial.  We crossed a creek once, went over a few more bumps, and through a small boulder field.  Then we were home.  Not a whole lot to say about this trip, because we did it pretty quick.  The seven miles on the second day only took about 2.5-3 hours.  We stopped twice (I think), and they were only 10 min stops.  
     All in all, great trail, and I'll probably be taking people back there again sometime soon. 

 
 

     As, promised, here is a (late...:D) trip report from the Caney Creek/Buckeye Trail (CCBT).  We parked our car at the Buckeye trailhead, and hiked down the dirt road to the Caney Creek trailhead.  The Caney Creek (CC) part of this hike was very nice.  CCT was pretty well maintained, and it was not hard to follow.  We had tons of chances to stop at various creek crossing (none of which were very deep) and other beautiful places.  There was plenty of water, and the terrain wasn't hard at all.  We camped right by a creek at what is one of the best campsites I've ever had.  The next morning, we realized that we had gone past the BT, because it wasn't marked very well at all (something that would be a theme for the BT).  We backtracked and found where we went wrong.  We began the climb up the BT and saw an off-the-trail waterfall.  It was awesome (although it wasn't Katy Falls).  The BT was not easy by any means.  The trail had not seen any work done on it in quite some time.  There were a few times when we had to split up and go in different directions to find where the trail went.  There were also briars, a lot of over growth, and no water.  We had a pretty rough time because we didn't have enough water for the difficulty of the terrain and the heat of the day.  After a ton of up and downs on the BT, we finally got back to the car.  It was a hard second day, but the trip was very awesome! 

 
 

     Me and some buddies are getting ready to go do the Caney Creek Trail.  We are going to loop it together with the Buckeye Mountain Trail.  It will end up being a 9.2 mile hike.  There will be rain, but we're going to go anyway.  Below is a map of the trail we'll be taking. 

We will be leaving Saturday morning, and getting back Sunday afternoon.  I am so pumped about this hike.  Everything I've been reading about this trail is so positive.  The only regret I have about doing this at this time is that it isn't leaf off.  The views won't be quite as nice as they would be if the leaves were gone, but I'm just excited to get out.  I'll get back on here and post a post-trip report. 

 
 

I am going with some friends to do a weekend backpacking trip before a couple of the guys go to dental school.  Anyway, it is going to be hot so I'm going light.  This is my list for one night.  Let me know if there are any revisions that I could make. 

Clothing:
-UA Shirt
-Patagonia Nylon Shorts
-Chaco Sandals
-Ball Cap
-Marmot Precip Rain Jacket
-Sunglasses
-Watch
-Gregory Advent Pro Backpack

Kitchen/Water:
-DIY Woodstove
-Lighter
-1L and 2+L Platy water bottle
-DIY Fire Starter
-Snow Peak Ti Spork
-MicroPur
-Bear Bag
 
Shelter/Sleeping:
-DIY Tarp
-DIY Hammock
-Alum Stakes
-Guylines
-Marmot Trails Sleeping Bag
-Blue CCF Pad
-DIY Bug Net
 
Misc:
-Treking Poles (Leki Pair)
-Headlamp
-1st Aid Kit
-Emergancy Fire Starter
-Camera (Fujifilm z20)
-Tripod
-Bug Spray
-Sunscreen
-Bible
-Journal
-Pen
-Knife
-Survival Kit (carried on person)

Thats it.  Sorry I don't have weights because I don't own a scale. 



 
 

     The members of Arkansas Back Country had our first meeting today.  It was in one of the member's backyards, under a trap (haha, yeah we got rained on).  The afternoon was a fun time of hanging out, swapping stories, and the usual banter about gear and the like.  However, not only did we have good company and conversation, the food was amazing.  After everyone had finished eating, there was a few minutes of comical silence as everyone weighed taking a nap due to a full belly, or to keep on talking and getting to know new friends.  All in all, the day was a great success.  We got to meet fellow hikers, match faces with names (screen names), and start talking about future trips that we'll be taking together. 

 
 

     Recently I was invited to join this forum about backpacking.  The thing I really liked about this one was that it was all Arkansas backpackers.  It really is an awesome site!  It has a wide range of forums on it that cover everything from lightweight backpacking, navigation, and opinions on gear to stories, hiking organizations, and forums dedicated to almost every major trail in Arkansas.  If you wnat to check it out the link is www.arkansasbackcountry.com, and I encourage all of you to check it out and maybe join (espically if you are an Arkansas hiker). 

 
Big Piney Float 04/21/2008
 

     So, let me start off by apologizing for it having been a month since I've posted on here (to be honest, I doubt there are any regular readers, but just in case).  However, I did get a chance to float the Big Piney Creek yesterday.  We started at a very popular area called Long Pool, and finished at an area called Twin Bridges.  For someone like me who is a very inexperienced paddler, the Piney was a very fun and, at times, easy float. 

     One thing that struck me about this area was how much it had been impacted by the recent weather we have had here in Arkansas.  Even though I had never been to the Piney, it was very easy to see how the landscape had been changed by the heavy rain that we have had over the past month.  Below is a video off of YouTube that someone posted of the flooding.  Notice the bathroom in this video (the building) and how close the water is to flodding it.  When we were there, the water was at what could be called a normal level and it was at least 25ft away from the wall at the bathroom building. 

     It was pretty seeing this video and then going and safely floating the same body of water.  There were huge oak trees that were completely uprooted, and thrown about.  On the way to the water, we saw a grill (one of the campground ones) that had been pulled up out of the ground, cement block and all.  It was pretty awesome to see the power of all that water.  However, it was also beautiful because of the clarity of the creek.  You could very easily see the bottom in most spots.  The water was a deep bluegreen color, and was almost as awesome as the tree damage was.  On one hand it was sad to see some of those old trees completely uprooted, but on the other hand it was really cool to see how nature has a way of maintaining itself. 

 
 

     This weekend, me and some friends went to a waterfall in northwest Arkansas.  It was an awesome trip filled with unexpected adventure, beautiful views, and a lot of snow (for Arkansas).  We started out by going to an area around Nail, AR to hike a trail that was said to have three waterfalls.  When we pulled off of the road, we realized that we had pulled onto a slippery slope.  We barried up the 4x4 truck in the snow and slid 4 feet down he hillside.  After we got one of the locals to help us get out, we had lost two hours of daylight.  We scrapped the first trail and went on to the second one.  It was called "The Glory Hole Trail".  The trail was a path that lead down to a stream, and then you just followed the stream down to the fall.  This trail was very awe-inspiring. 

This is just one of the hundreds of pictures that I took on the trail.  This stream ran the length of the trail, and it is what created the Glory Hole.  We walked down the trail and passed all kinds of awesome views.  There were small rock caves, large rock formations, waterfalls, and of course the creek.  Finally we got to the end of the trail and saw the Glory Hole. 


     This is a picture of me standing next to the fall.  You can see the water puring through the roof.  This water is flowing from the stream in the earlier picture.  Our trip was really one to remember, and I can't wait to go back and see how it looks during the spring. 

 
 

     Last night I made my first attempt at building a hammock.  It was nothing spectacular, but it worked and held my 190lb body comfortablly off the ground.  I thought for a few hours about the easiest design that I could come up with, and this is what I did:
     First I cut a section of fabric 4.5 feet longer than I am (about 10.5 feet altogether).  Then I bunched the fabric at each end and tied a square knot in the end.  This knot will be the anchor point for tying the hammock to the tree.  I then wrapped cord around the hammock side of the knot and tied the other end to the tree.  This was pretty much it.  I have plans to do more work on this hammock and add some features.  I was just very pleasently surprised at how easy it was to get my base hammock done.  
     One thing that I am going to add to this hammock is bug netting.  I have an idea to make this like a large sock to just fit over the whole hammock with a drawstring closure at each end of the cylinder.  This way I will have minimum sewing to do and I will be able to keep bugs off me for the most part.  When not in use, this bug netting will just be bunched up at the foot portion of the hammock.  I also have ideas to put a stash pocket on the outside of the hammock and install loops for a ridge line on the bug netting.  My final project will be making a tarp to keep the water off of me. 
     If you have any ideas or a better way to do some of the things that I have mentioned, please let me know eithe rwith a comment here or e-mail me at willky1@gmail.com.  Keep in mind that I am persuing a very simple and easy design for this project.