Saturday, December 3, 2011

Long over due…

The hiking trip that almost wasn’t…let me start off by saying have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on vacation drive 250 miles only to find out that the place you were going is closed? Sounds like a great movie to me…maybe the video below will enlighten you on our story. Ha-ha.

Ok I kind of got off my story, a few weeks ago 5 buddies and myself decided to head out on a great hiking adventure at the Sipsey Trail in Alabama. About 10 miles before the trail head the roadway turns from asphalt, to gravel and then to dirt, giant leaves covering the road.

Once at the trail head, everyone unloaded their packs from the cars, then it was discovered we had a new king of the giant pack…yep my buddy Chad the old king,

brought his young son Hayden along on the hike…make way for the new king!!!

Hayden, quickly realizing what his father had done to him, started handing off stuff from his pack to the nearest SUCKER…Meet Matt “the sucker” Roland. Ha-ha.

Then we took our trail head photo from left to right. Tim, Chad, Matt, Donnie with Hayden up front.

Then we took a second photo to make sure we all got in. left to right, Tim, Big Al, Matt, and Donnie. I also posted this photo because if you look real close between the shoulder of Matt and Donnie (the two guys on the right) Well this small piece of paper flapping in the wind has great meaning, more on that later in the story.

Then we were off

Made it to the first creek crossing…Hmmm it was DRY.

Hmmm, first sign we might be in for a workout to get to the first camp site.

Hayden, found sucker number two…His dad Chad! Now carrying two packs…

After many, many trees across the trail, tree crossing we took our first break…my buddy Tim in the running for the giant pack.

Chad starts setting up camp while the two new guys Donnie and Tim fetch some water. (Sucks being the new guys. Ha-ha)

Then Matt calls out to Donnie????

Everyone had sweated down, so a short break was in order before we set up camp.

Hmmm, seems even little Hayden wondered why Matt and Donnie put their tents so near each other.

Then came the point in time were Tim realized…I got to get a bigger tent!!! (As his leg stick out of the tent)

Once camp was set up, the weenie cooking began…eighteen dogs and five and a half guys…only two dogs left after the feast.

Oh Hayden may have only half our size, but I sure he ate more than all of us put together.

Time for a FIRE!!!

LOOK CLOSE… (To the left of the fire) and you will see the starting of the glow stick dance by Hayden.

Ghost stories around the fire…You can’t get much better than that.

Morning can only mean one thing…Matt’s breakfast pancakes!!!!

My hammock

Chad and Hayden tent

Tim’s tent on the point

Then…Well, Matt’s and Donnie’s tents…Might as well just brought one, six inches apart…Really guys?

Well after breakfast, it was decided to call the trip a bust and hike back out due to all the trees down on the trail. Matt and the guys decided to leave their packs and do a quick hike to the water falls and the Big Tree. Me being the old man on the trip, started to make my way back to the car as I had seen both many times before.

Along the way I took a lot of photos along the trail to show everyone how bad the trees were across the trail, here are some…

It’s like a hiking nightmare, climbing over and under trees along the way. Look at the root ball behind me, remember I’m 6’5” and it towers over me.

Well I made it back to the trail head, and took the time to read the sign I was talking about at the begin of this story…Trail Closed!!! The funny part is we all would have bet that someone had just put the sign up that day…only once I looked at the photo; we knew the sign had been there the whole time.

I got to the car changed into some clean pants and shirt, snapped a few photos around the trail head and the headed back to the trail to wait for the others.

To my surprise the first to appear was Chad and his son Hayden

Soon followed by the rest of the guys…soaked to the bone with sweat, I might add.

Then a quick trip to the A & W for our victory meal.

Then the long ride home, laughing at Donnie as leg cramps set in, very funny stuff watching a 6’5” guy trying to straighten out his legs while in a car…I only laughed as I had them the night before in a hammock while hanging over a cliff.

All in all, as bad as the trail was, we all had a great time and better stories to tell…ha-ha.

Till next time
Big Al

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