Finally, I am getting to post about our 2015 Spring Backpacking Trip that happened a week ago. This trip was a 19.5 mile loop trail in Raccoon Creek State Park. Starting from the beginning I was very excited about this trip. About two weeks before my friend Mike had text me saying that he wanted to get out and go camping while he was on his spring break from college. I love going camping so of coarse I wanted to go as well so I got online and started looking to reserve a camping spot at the state park. Unfortunately their campgrounds had not opened yet so the only camping locations that were available were the backpacking sites which are open year round. So I reserved a spot and informed Mike that this had gone from a casual camping trip to a roughly 20 mile backpacking trip. He eagerly agreed and we both started working on getting any gear needed and being ready to go. Both of us had most of the gear but needed food for the trip so he went on amazon and ordered some MREs and I went to REI and picked up some backpacking food.
Now that we both had all of the needed gear we were ready to go. We had talked several times the week before the trip and were both eager to get out into nature and enjoy a nice relaxing backpacking trip. I drove my wife and probably everyone else around me crazy talking about how much I couldn’t wait to go on this trip. I needed a vacation from work anyways and what more vacation can you ask for. Literally days before the trip we ended up finding out that Mike had mixed up his school schedule and was not going to be able to make it on the trip. We were both bummed out but decided we would have to plan another trip in the near future that he would be able to make it for. As for myself the camp site was already reserved and I had already drove everyone crazy talking about the trip so I decided I was still going to go. Since I no longer had another companion for on the trail I decided to take my dog Bandit. We got the remainder of the gear packed and left a park map with my wife showing my planned route for each day and where we would be camping.
Finally, it was the day of the trip and me and Bandit were both ready to go and hit the trail. Shortly after leaving my wife at the parking lot it became very apparent that this was going to be a very wet and muddy trip since all of the snow was beginning to melt. Although the wetness and mud did slow us down a good bit we made it to our planned break location in no time. This spot was decided on as our first long break since it was about the half way point of our hiking for day one. We quickly shared the sandwich I picked up that morning, since apparently my sandwich looked better than his dog food, and started back along our way to finish the first day of hiking.
We continued along our walk when we realized our second annoyance on this trip was going to be deer ticks. I was wearing strong bug spay and bandit had frontline on but the ticks were relentless it seemed I was flicking them off of one of us non stop for a large portion of the trip. This made it even more exciting when we finally reached our campsite. I immediately set up the tent to put our gear in and so that Bandit could lay down and relax while I got everything together so we could get a fire going to make dinner. Getting a fire going in these conditions was it’s own challenge since everything was extremely wet but after a couple of minutes we had a fire going. We used this to dry out and to boil water to make supper. It was very nice to finally get to relax after hiking about 10 miles.
When the sun went down so did the temperature. It got extremely cold so bandit had no problems with laying next to me so we could both stay warm. After a long chilly night we got up around 4AM to get started on our second day of hiking. I had figured that getting some hiking in at night while it was still dark and chilly would save us some trouble with ticks. Fortunately I was right and they didn’t seem to start appearing again until half way through day two when the sun came back up. The hill top we were on made for an awesome sunrise where we decided to take our half way break for the second day.
As the trip was coming to an end it was very nice to see the parking lot we had left from the prior morning. After getting picked up we were both tired and ready to finally be home. This was a great trip that I hope to eventually do again. It was a great backpacking trip and a great start to 2015.