Friday was an early day at work. I spent some time at the station then headed to Columbia for a show on a debate.
It was pretty fun.
Once back in kc my day was pretty much over and I rushed home to finish packing up for my weekend trip. I also made a batch of enchiladas and ate a good dinner with Heath Bean and Pumpkin.
Derrick, Jake and Jon showed up at about 6 and we packed up the truck and headed to Lawrence and then on to the Clinton Lake North Shore Trails.
We parked at a trail head on the east end and hopped on the white trail going west. By taking the white trail out and the blue trail back we could make a ~20 mile loop. We got started hiking as the sun got busy setting. We were looking forward to some night hiking and it was pretty fun. It was really easy at first but as it got darker and the 1/2 moon rose it got more challenging.
We were really glad we started on the white trail as the white spots painted on the trees really helped us stay on the right trail. We saw deer and other eyes watching us in the brush and upset a tree full of turkeys at one point. We stopped after a couple hours for a snack and then hiked on. We stopped probably between 4-5 miles for the night. We found a good flat area with grass and knee high plants.
We got busy setting up tents and starting a fire.
Our fire was pretty small and we just sat around it staying warm and getting ready for bed. We didn’t take any watches so I’m not sure how late it was. We heard a road in the distance and the big pay campsites. We heard a car park and could see some flash lights sort of heading our direction. A bit later two rangers walked up and seemed pretty surprised at our little setup.
They very nicely informed us there was no camping on the North Shore trail. They seemed mostly concerned about our fire and said someone had complained on us to them. We were several hours from the truck and they told us the truck was in a parking lot that was locked up after dark and we would not be able to get out. There was another area we could backpack and camp but it was a 30 min drive and a long walk from where we were.
The rangers decided we could let the fire die down, make sure it was out, stay and get an early start. Then they left us. So that’s what we did. We were disappointed someone would complain about us, we were not being loud or drinking or anything but we were glad the rangers were cool.
It was a cool night but not bad at all and we all slept well.
We decided to pack up everything and get on the trail right away.
We hiked a while and then stopped for breakfast. We each got 3 hard boiled eggs and 2 tortillas filled with peanut butter, oats, and dried fruit. It was a lot of good protein and pretty good.
Then we hit the trail.
It was a productive morning. We set a fast pace and didn’t stop much. We had to change our plans since we could not stay 2 nights and decided to get all our hike done as soon as we could. We pushed it. It was a great day, clear and slightly cool in the shade and warm in the sun. We followed the lake shore sometimes close and sometimes not.
When we got near the west end of the trial we took a pit stop at a pay campground.
We brought a pump to get water from the lake but it is pretty time consuming and tough so we decided to fill up our water from a spigot instead. We also decided this was a good a spot as any to turn around. It seemed like about noon. So we cut over to the blue trail and headed toward the truck.
The blue trail was a little closer to the lake and seemed to be used a lot more.
After a while breakfast had worn off and we stopped for lunch right on the shore.
We pulled out some really good cheese, pepperoni and salami and make pita sandwiches.
They were great. We had to fight off a ton of biting flies but it was well worth it. We hit the trail hard the rest of the afternoon and watched the miles go by some quick and some slow. Before long we made it to the truck and shed our packs. We were a little nervous the truck would have been towed the night before but there was just a warning on it. We drove to the other side of the lake to the public use area and picked up a case of beer on the way.
We were pretty much done backpacking, we were all stiff and sore and Derrick had some giant side heal blisters and there was only a couple miles of trails in this area. We had a couple beers in the parking lot before finding the motivation to strap the 40 pound packs on. We planned to head to the lake and find a spot near it but when we stumbled into a perfect clearing we changed our minds.
There was a large flat grassy area surrounded by ceder trees and not far from the truck or water spigot. We set up our tents to claim in and put our packs in the tents. Then we filled our pockets with beer and went on a light hike to the lake. It was nice to have no pack and walk in the soft fields.
We saw several other campers and several deer.
We got to the lake easy enough and found a nice spot to relax and drink our beers. We could see some campers on the other side of the cove with a great spot but we don’t know how they got there.
We felt much better after a rest and a few beers and headed back to build our fire and cook our dinner.
There was lots of cedar and some other wood around and we started off with a nice tall fire.
Then got busy on dinner.
We had noodle packet stuff with tuna in it and it was really good.
We also had some ramen noodles afterwords and some mini apple pies.
We ran out of beer during dinner and switched back to water and fire. The night got pretty cool so we stayed near the fire talking until it got late.Then we went to bed.
In the morning we slept in great with the wall of cedar to block the sun and then ate up most of the snacks left from the hike. Cheese sticks, jerky, breakfast bars and crackers. This morning there was some dew on the tents and we moved them to the sun to dry then packed them up and headed out. It was an easy trip to the truck and we felt good.