Spring Break Trip
I was very excited to backpacking over Spring break. This backpacking trip was going to be on the 7th section of the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT), and I was going with my old Boy Scout troop. I had been looking forward to going on this trip for a long time, one reason was because I was going to use my new one-man tent, and the most important part was because my sister was going to be coming along! I had never been backpacking with her before, so the trip was going to be an interesting and fun experience!
Before we even got to leave the house there had been several of my friends that had to back out from the trip, so that wasn’t fun. Then we started on the 2-hour car ride to the start of the trial, and we grabbed lunch along the way (although we grabbed lunch at 9:30 in the morning!). After we got there the other adults of the troop had to shuttle the cars to the end of the trail in order for us to get back to our cars at the end of the trip. After about an hour they got back and we started on the trail. We had about 6.8 miles to go that day and we knew that there was going to be some rain that night so we hiked as fast as we could to get to our camp site. Starting around 11:30am, it took us about 4 hours to get to the camp site. It was a fairly easy hike and we all made it to the campsite just fine. We had just set up our camp around 5pm when the rain started to come. At first it was a light rain, but as the night came on it rained harder and harder. We were able to keep the fire going until we all went to bed (some went to bed as early as 6:15pm, I went to bed around 9pm), but it went out as soon as we left it. Right when I got in my tent and went to bed the wind started to pick up, and as I literally braced my tent from the inside I thought to myself, “It’s going to be a long night.”
as I literally braced my tent from the inside I thought to myself, “It’s going to be a long night.”
Me and my sister on her first backpacking trip
Well, I was able to stay dry in my tent, and it wasn’t as long as I thought it would be, everything was wet outside. During the night I looked outside my tent and there was a 2-inch puddle in front of me (I’m pretty sure that there was another puddle beneath my tent). Anyways, right after breakfast we headed out on our trek and were going to do about 8 miles that day. Well, that 8 miles turned into over 10 miles because of a flooded and rushing river that was too violent to cross. That also meant that we had to climb a really long and big mountain to get back to the trail. We eventually made it back to camp around 4 pm, and it was one of the best feelings I have ever felt. We camped right next to a river, so the sound of it was great to listen to. That night we let our gear dry out, watched the stars, and sat around the campfire eating roasted Starbursts (yes, Starbursts). That night was one the best night I have ever had while on a campout, and I slept awesome.
The next morning was also awesome, because the first thing I saw was the roaring river, the fog on the mountains, and little hints of the sun coming through. I didn’t want to leave that camp (and I wish I was still there) but eventually after a nice morning we left to complete the last 4.5 miles of our trek. That was some of the hardest hiking that I have ever done because of the steepness of the mountains. After a long and much harder than anticipated hike, we made it back to our cars. After that we took a group picture at a water fall, retrieved our shuttle cars, had some real food (not the freeze dried food), and went back home. Even though it is fun to get away and go hike, it is always nice to go back home.