.....and my first solo/girls overnight wilderness trip!
T coming around the bend when we first started out.
One of the many falls along the trail.
Tunnel Falls sign: Turn around point. We hiked to the falls and then headed back to make camp for the night.
Part of the rocky trail-T's least favorite parts! :)
Camp for the night--down off the trail and just a bit up from the creek. Great lil spot!
View this morning looking up creek while I filtered fresh water.
The dogs and I at the end!
Woot--first solo/girls backpacking trip! T and I got to the trailhead for Eagle Creek about 2ish yesterday afternoon. The trail is rocky and popular, so we navigated LOTS of rough terrain and around lots of people and other dogs for the first 3-4 miles. We made it to Tunnel Falls last evening (6 mile mark) but I wasn't sure about navigating any additional miles without being sure of campsites/terrain, so we turned around and headed back to a section of open spots about 2 miles back down trail. It turned out to be a great lil campspot and T was pretty impressed with my ability to set up camp, filter water, cook dinner, and get us and the dogs settled in for the night. Tall D taught me well! Per usual I didn't sleep much but my new sleeping bag was toasty against the chilly night air! Early in the still dark morning, I could feel Roxi shivering outside the tent so I had to fix the extra rain fly so that it'd give her a bit more protection, but overall the night was peaceful and soothing.
T was a great sport and good company, but I think she was definitely glad when we'd made it back today! I'm so used to being the one bringing up the rear with Tall D, so it was sort of a role reversal the last two days to be the one to haul most the stuff, set up/break down, and have to keep my own & the dogs pace in check so as not to tire T out too much. I was impressed we'd covered 12 miles in the round trip and I'm pretty sure this was the heaviest pack I've had strapped on my back yet. Glad to learn I can do it "on my own" but not sure if I'm really ready for a truly solo trip---it was nice to have someone else around in the dark of the night! :) And honestly it was just plain fulfilling to share an outdoor pursuit with another female!
I'd thought of plenty of other trails to attempt but am glad that T and I took this route. The other routes would be better options for Tall D and I to potentially do together...or for me to eventually achieve on my own!
**This is also the first time in a year that I wore regular running shoes rather than toe shoes, as my feet were majorly sore and hurting from the terrain the last backpacking trip. However I'm not used to wearing running shoes at this point either--so my feet are still a bit sore, but just in different ways! Hmm......
Those 12 miles did me in however and I'll be calling it an early night for sure!