• 11.23.2008

    This weekend I went on another backpacking trip. This time was more fun in that David (my usual hiking buddy), his wife Elizabeth, and their Uncle Mike went. The trail we covered is the Buckeye Trail and the East half of the Caney Creek Trail. The Buckeye trail is supposed to have some of the most spectacular views in Arkansas. David and I did this hike a while back, but the weather was foggy and rainy, which prevented us from seeing very far off the trail. This time, the weather was overcast and cold, which hampered some of the views, but we were at least able to see some overlooks. But MAN was it cold!

    On Friday night the temperature was around the mid-twenties. I pitched my tarp low to the ground and with one side flat to try to minimize any wind. Thankfully, there was very little wind. We stayed at the Shady Lake campground the first night. My feet got extremely cold during the night, but, otherwise, I was fairly warm.

    In my continual quest for going lighter when backpacking, I was trying out some new ideas for me to keep warm. My clothing consisted of: wool-blend socks, trail running shoes, mesh-lined nylon wind pants and quick-drying synthetic underwear. On top, I wore a quick-drying synthetic long-sleeve shirt and a wool sweater. I brought a wind/rain jacket made out of tyvek (a hazardous materials suit with the legs cut off). It worked surprisingly well in the wind. I also had a pair of cheap cotton gloves and a cheap wal-mart synthetic cap.

    On Saturday we got moving on the trail. We planned to cover 4.3 miles the first day (hike the Buckeye until it intersected with Caney Creek trail). The temperature was supposed to be in the 40’s, but it never got above around 32-33, so we decided to hike out the remainder of the trail (3.9 miles) on Saturday so we could all be in a warm bed that night.

    Trailhead

    Trailhead

    At the trailhead. It was sooo cold when we started especially because the wind had started blowing. We did not spend much time here before getting a move on so that we could warm up. I know I look like a fool. But this picture does show my new favorite component of my backpacking equipment: my trekking poles.

    Tyvek Wind/Rain Jacket

    Tyvek Wind/Rain Jacket

    Here’s a picture David took of me in my rain/wind jacket. It cost me all of 4 bucks and worked really well in the wind. It’s not very stylish, but I was pleased with the performance.

    Rock

    Rock


    There are some HUGE rocks on this trail.

    David's Head

    David's Head


    Here’s a picture I didn’t know David took. He knew my battery was dying and took this anyway. So I guess I should put it here.

    Frozen Plant

    Frozen Plant


    This plant, which is some sort of weed, is very interesting. We saw several of these. For whatever reason, the water freezing made ice come up the root of the plant and split it up the stem. Note that this picture was taken around 11:30 – noon, and the ice is still quite firm and not melting at all. So the temperature was still very cold.

    Katy Falls

    Katy Falls


    Katy Falls is a narrow waterfall that David and I visited the last time we came. It’s fun to look at, but it would have been better if the day was warm! The fall is at the end of the Buckeye trail, but I stuck it before the next shots because I wanted to end with some nice overlooks of the Buckeye.

    Elizabeth, Mike, and Me at an Overlook

    Elizabeth, Mike, and Me at an Overlook


    Now for some pictures of the overlooks we did actually see. Here’s Elizabeth, Mike, and me posing for a picture.

    Overlook

    Overlook

    David and Elizabeth

    David and Elizabeth

    This final picture is by far my favorite shot. This was taken by David. I think this shot is what makes me want to give this trail one more chance. I just know that if we ever go on a clear sunny day, the views will be breathtaking.

    Nice Shot

    Nice Shot

    Posted by Josh @ 10:50 pm

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  • 6 Responses

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    • David Says:

      I like the narrative. I especially like how often you mentioned me. But, that’s the kind of egocentric person I am. I am ready for out next trip, hopefully we can squeeze one if before Christmas.

    • "SMS" Says:

      You look ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS in that rain jacket. O and the first picture is by far my favorite! You look like you enjoy hiking a lot. I bet it’s fun. I’d love to see more pictures of other places you’ve been.

    • Sharkbytes Says:

      Hi- Good stuff! May I use some of your text and a couple of pics on the NCT News blog? northcountrytrailnews.blogspot.com Of course I’d link back here and give you credit. Contact me at jhy at t-one.net

    • Sharkbytes Says:

      Oops! Guess I just learned that there’s a Buckeye Trail in Arkansas as well as Ohio! Sorry… still great stuff, but not part of the NCT. Happy hiking!

    • Toby Says:

      Caney Creek was my first backpacking experience at age 12, and I’ve been coming back here for 20 years now. We just started using the Buckeye about 5 years ago. It funny I guess, I took the exact same picture as “nice shot”. What a wonderfully beautiful trail.

    • toby Says:

      Been back 3 times since my last post, I love this place! I look back through my photos and am amazed that I can tell the difference in size of the tree growing out of the rock at the scenic overlook on Buckeye. During the trip in 02/2011, the fog was so thick that my newest trekking partner wasn’t able to enjoy the view of the rolling mountains, could barely see beyond 100 yards until late in the day. We never caught a glimpse of the antennae on Tall Peak the whole trip. This place helps me maintain my sanity! I’ll be back this fall!!

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