It has not been exactly a harsh winter, but it has been 8 months since I’ve been on the trail. Coming off 10 days at Philmont Scout Ranch. This trip was not that, but still a great time. We took my son’s scout patrol on an overnight near Elizabeth Furnace.
I have hiked Signal Knob several times, and its a great hike. The challenge is that sections are rocky and easy to twist an ankle. Also, the second ascent back up to Meneka peak is tough and steep. Its not one I enjoy with a pack on.
We found a great trip for some of the new hikers in our group called Mudhole Gap. You work backwards up to Meneka Peak which is a nice rolling incline. We reached the peak around 12:30 and had a nice lunch. We worked our way down to the fire road and headed toward Strasburg reservoir.
The afternoon was a great hike on rolling terrain through pine forests. When we hit pavement, we turned left through mudhole gap. The forest got thicker and around 4pm, we found a nice site along little passage creek. What a great site. It was just big enough for a few tents, and I found a great spot over the creek for my hammock.
Our young cooks boiled up a delicious batch of ramen noodles and chicken. Although they are no longer cub scouts, the boys could not wait to get a fire to make smores. I’m not sure how the crackers made it without being crushed. With a full belly and a long day, we hung bear bags, and hit the sack. I climbed into my hammock and the roar of the creek drowned out the boys card game and quickly rocked me to sleep.
Sunday we woke to drizzle and cloudy skies, but well rested. Some coffee for me, and oatmeal all around before packing up. One young scout learned a valuable lesson not to add too much water, and in the outdoors, you have to deal with your messes. Although expecting he would eat it, instead the innovative young man put it in a zip lock bag and carried it out. They named him “Ronathan”.
The hike out was a nice rolling hike of about 3 miles, as the rain steadily increased.
It was a nice weekend to get back outdoors and a nice warm up for better things to come this spring and summer.