Finally it had happened, it was 5:30am and the alarm went off, not like I needed it anyways! I had hardly slept all night, thinking about this trip. The destination- my second favorite trail in the world – Seneca Creek Wilderness area. With 6 of the most awesome people you could ask for, we were going to spend a night on the trail, and I had the privilege to guide them.
My pack had been fully packed, and like any good guide, I had a few surprises stached for our guests. The smiles on their faces would make the extra weight more than worth it. the look on Ozzy my cat was familiar – you are leaving without me again riget? Just don’t forget to leave some extra water this time. I’m assuming he was saying.
The plan was simple – meetup, hike 5 miles to camp, have dinner, do campy stuff and on day 2, do an exploratory hike, break camp and head home. For most of our guests, this would be their first backpacking trip, so this was going to be simple trip, with plenty of opportunities to test gear, try new things and not go beyond your comfort zone.
The parking lot was full, so I was half expecting a lot of traffic on the trail. I had already picked out the sweetest campsite by the water and was not afraid that it would be taken when we got there, but like any good guide, I had a plan B…and C.
As part of our backpacking program, we had already conducted a shakedown hike at our home trail Rocky Gap state park, so everyone was already quite comfortable with their gear and set up. We took a break at mile 2.5, and discussed how empty the trails were (we were not complaining).
The next few miles were my favorite, because I knew what was coming – stream crossings! There is a technique to doing this especially depending on the water level. We already prepped the group and recommended they consider brining a water shoe or sandal like our Keen sandals or waterproof hiking boots. It was interesting to watch the different approaches everyone took, some did some rock hopping, others went in the water with shoes off, while our more adventurous ones took the hardest route. It gave the trip such a sense of adventure, accomplishment and flavor.
The campsite was available, and beautiful with just enough Trees for our 4 hammocks and 3 tents (I brought an extra gimmick for additional lounging). We had some of the cheese platter, Hummus and Crackers (no one says you can’t live the high-life in the woods). We went for an extra 2 mile exploratory hike to the overlook after which we were starving and returned to camp for dinner, stories, star-gazing and sitting by the fire. We even had a visit from a deer who wanted to see what all the laughter and good vibes was all about.
the night was peaceful, save for the large crash I heard in the middle of the night thinking a bear had gone for our food and brought the tree down, unfortunately, it was nothing that exciting.
The hike out on day 2 was just as exciting. We stopped at the waterfall where we all had a bit of alone time. It was an opportunity to reflect and contemplate how in the midst of all the chaos in our world, there are still pockets of places where we can discover and reconnect with our true selves. For me, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to share with others the things that mean so much to me. It truly is in line with the Wheelzup mission of “Facilitating self-discovery outdoors”.
Join us on our next trip on October 2-3 at Green Ridge state forest. Register Here