United States of America · 26 Days · 22 Moments · January 2015

Soraya's Aspiring CDT Thru-Hike Journey

16 February 2015

We got going around 6:57 am. Started the fire, made coffee and ate hard-boiled eggs and coconut chia pudding for breakfast.
This is indeed cougar country and one must always be alert while hiking in these mountains. Cougars have been know to stalk hikers here. We took the dogs for a short walk up Baylor Canyon before heading back to camp to pack.

15 February 2015

Cooked up some pre-assembled veggie packets for roasting on the fire. Just add spices,a little olive oil and voilà! We both wished we had more it was so good! Also prepared ahead some coconut milk chia pudding with cinnamon and cardamom for breakfast in the morning.
A very short trip back to the Organs mountains. Not much hiking this time :( but camping.

11 February 2015

Leaving is always sad for me and I am already looking forward to next time. On the drive out, I saw a beautiful Grey Fox, common to this area but always a pleasure to see. It passed right in front of us, and walked in a regular pace so I was able to get a good look. But wasn't able to take a picture. Sometimes reaching for the camera means missing what nature has to offer. The views of these mountains are always so stunning! We had a great time. I believe Dharma is one happy dog.
All packed and ready to go.

10 February 2015

I sent up camp early since we are on the East side of the mountain range which means it will be getting dark and cold fast. After pitching the tent I made an early dinner; couscous with dried porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and added in some of the nettles I gathered during the hike. You can see the sun already starting to set behind the mountains.
This morning I made coffee and 'veggie sausage gravy with chia' and a tortilla for breakfast. Very filling. Last night Dharma and I rested outside of the tent for a good while to catch up on some star-gazing. The temperature was nice, and surprisingly not too cold and the sky was crystal clear... :) I never get tired of gazing up to the stars, never.
The main reason for today's hike was to test out my backpack I plan on using for the CDT as well as other gear. It's been great so far but this time I noticed there are some adjustments that need to be made. For one thing, the sternum strap that goes across my my chest has some rough edges near the buckle which rubs against my skin on my upper chest. Ouch! Imagine not taking care of that before a multi-day trip! It's an easy fix and minor detail, but very important. Other than that, I really like my pack. Much better than my previous bag.
Sun setting. Don't laugh! Those are my "driving" glasses.
Here we made our back to the trailhead, full circle. The entire time we were hiking the sun was straight ahead so I didn't take as many photos as I would have wanted to. And believe me, the photos never do justice anyways.
On our way down I had some homemade Logan bread. A very dense calorie bread made up of dried fruits, nuts and other things, supposedly meant to last "forever". An ultimate trail food that won't spoil. I always keep small brownie sized Logan breads in my fridge so I can just grab some to go when I head out to hike. Food always tastes better outdoors and I found this especially good. I'm at the point now where I've become tired of regular granola/meal bars but this was good. It's definitely going into my resupply packages for the CDT.
On our way down we find Stinging Nettles! It is always fun to find wild edibles/medicinals. Nettles are very nutritious. I took a few to add to dinner. And I found this very cute black moth caterpillar!
The halfway mark and a primitive campsite which I plan on camping the next time we come to these mountains.
This trail isn't very long but it's always worth a visit. The trail is a little over 4.5 miles and makes a loop back to the trailhead. With an elevation gain of over 1600'ft it still makes for a decent hike. Especially while carrying 25 lbs. We made our way up the mountain crossing streams along the way. Dharma likes to stop at each one and walk in the water.
Choosing a place to camp after we finish our hike.
On the road again :) Dharma and I are heading towards one of our favorite hiking spots.

7 February 2015

In one year and a month from this month, I plan to step foot upon the Approach Trail to make my way up to Springer Mountain in Georgia. This is the Southern most terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The start of my journey. I look forward to it! In the meantime I will continue my backpacking adventures close to home.

3 February 2015

Hiking in all kinds of weather is key. If you only hike while the weather is nice and pleasant you won't get very far.

22 January 2015

A couple weeks ago we had snow with blizzard conditions! Where I live this is exciting since we hardly get any snow. I kept an eye on the wind as I was preparing to leave my house and it did not seem to die down and remained pretty constant throughout the morning. No matter. I was prepared. I decided I would hike regardless. The winds reached well into 20 and 30 miles per hour. And I felt it as I made my way to a cave in the mountains near my home. Boy was it strong! Though I managed to test out my new stove when I reached the cave. 🔥 Made some tea. Turned out to be a very fun day!