Over the weekend Mandy and I manged to help Aly build a compost bin (Happy Valentines Day honey!) and then go backpacking on the Ouachita Trail.
The three of us hiked from Flatside Pinnacle to Crystal Prong Creek and back again. We crossed several tributary's to the main stream and they were all flowing pretty good due to the recent rains.
After returning to Flatside, we said goodbye to Aly and headed for Brown's Creek Shelter. We hiked 7.3 miles today and were glad to see the shelter when we got there. We hoped no one else was around (and they weren't) but one never knows on a holiday weekend.
That evening, after our freeze dried dinners, our applesauce and candy dessert and our roasted marshmallow dessert (roasted on the skewers the Lopez's gave us two Christmases ago) we killed some time by drawing space aliens with an LED light and a long exposure time. BTW... Mountain House freeze dried dinners have proven to be pretty yummy. Tonight, I had Spaghetti and Meatsauce while Mandy had Beef Stroganoff; both were yummy.
We got up the next morning, moved slow because we had no where to be... no school & no work. We had some freeze dried scrambled eggs with ham and bell peppers, instant oatmeal and some hot chocolate. Afterwards we packed up and headed for our vehicle which we had parked 4.9 miles from here.
When we stopped to pump some water from Brown's Creek, I heard some rustling in the leaves nearby. Upon inspection, it turns out the rustling was a lizard! The lizard actually ran on to the trail and up Mandy's leg :-) When she tried to catch him he managed to run away and we thought he was gone but when we started hiking again, he showed up on top of her head!
While hiking today, we noticed that many of the aluminum Forest Service mile markers had been supplemented with newer looking markers on a nearby tree. While these new markers were pretty, I don't know how useful they are since they are above eye height (I tend to look down when hiking) and they are on the side of the tree facing the trail which makes them hard to spot from a distance.
We had a good hike... 12.2 miles over two days. Mandy carried a crappy schoolbag style backpack which hurt her shoulders a bit. We are looking for a decent backpack for her but we're having trouble finding one that will last a couple of years and doesn't cost more than our packs!
At the end of the day we were tired and ready to head home for a bath and to meet Mom for a Chinese Buffet dinner.