Twig Adventures

BMT Day 0: The Approach

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, 1400-1930Amicalola Falls State Park (famous Stone Arch at the beginning of the AT approach trail) to Springer Mountain Shelter, mm 010 miles, Gain: 3270′, Loss: 1300′, elevation 3780′ It was an auspicious and serendipitous Day 0 to get to the start of the BMT. In actuality, it was a several day journey to get to this point, which I’ll try to quickly sum up. Two days before, I drove from Miami to Gainesville so I could split the drive and also reconnect with my friend Eve. I met her through the Florida Trail Association and we had adventured together a lot in years past. She moved from Miami to Gainesville a few years ago, which made[…]

Read more

Up Next: the Benton MacKaye Trail

The¬†Benton MacKaye¬†Trail (BMT) is named after a visionary, who, in 1921, was the first to propose the idea of a continuous footpath running from Maine to Georgia…the Appalachian Trail. Incidentally, his New England roots are the reason original AT signage says “Maine to Georgia”, rather than the other way around, which is typically the direction the trail is hiked. (I, of course, followed historical protocols and hiked the AT southbound in 2021.) The BMT was officially opened on July 16, 2005 and is maintained by the BMT Association. Description from the Benton MacKaye Trail Association website: With its glorious ridgeline views and the innumerable crossings of mountain streams, the almost 300 mile long Benton MacKaye Trail comes by its reputation[…]

Read more

PCBCRT Summary and Stats

Since the Pacific Coast Bigfoot Crest Rim Trail was my conglomeration of 4 named long distance trails (Oregon Coast Trail, Bigfoot Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Tahoe Rim Trail), it was difficult to summarize such a journey in one post. I struggled between breaking the summary into distinct parts to cover each trail, or lumping all the data together. In the end, I did a little bit of both. Several of the trails were pretty intermingled, especially the PCT and BFT. I also followed a spur trail down the California Coast, which I characterized as part of the Oregon Coast Trail, yet it was really just an extension to connect to Crescent City (terminus of the BFT) and see parts[…]

Read more

PCBCRT Bonus Hike: The Pinecrest Loop Trail

Scott and Sailor, the hosts of the Sonora Pass PCT Hiker Cabin, were keen to share a 78 mile loop hike that they created. I met them at PCT Trail Days, which is where they told me about their cabin and the Pinecrest Loop Trail, or PLT. You can read more about this trail here. The idea behind it is for PCT hikers to be able to connect to Pinecrest on foot, if so desired, but to also provide the local community with a route encompassing nearby trails that connect all the way to the PCT and Yosemite National Park. I had some extra time at the end of my thru-hike from the Columbia River to the Tahoe Rim Trail[…]

Read more

Hayduke Route Summary & Stats

First and foremost, a huge thanks goes to Mike Coronella and Joe Mitchell, the creators of this route. Their passion and vision for exploring the Colorado Plateau was groundbreaking. Such a challenging and remote route was only made possible by the information generously shared by them and others that followed in their footsteps. There are some notable mapmakers and alternate-seekers that also deserve some accolades: Jamal Green, Andrew Skurka, Li Brannfors and Nic Barth. I also benefited greatly from information contained in many blogs and videos by these intrepid hikers: Buck30, Wired, Katherine Cook, Carrot Quinn, Constantine, Plants, and Samson the Bear. Carrot appropriately described the Hayduke Route, as this: “Walk cross-country towards a canyon, over lumpy slickrock and/or sagebrush[…]

Read more

Hayduke Bonus: Zion Canyon & The Subway, Zion National Park

Wednesday Oct 11th-Thursday Oct 12th, 2023Total distance: 12 miles Day 1: Zion Canyon Day hiking, 2.5 miles After finishing our Buckskin/Paria hike, Worm and I headed straight back to Zion National Park (well, besides a long pit stop for AYCE pizza in Kanab). We had just enough time in the afternoon to drive to the park headquarters and take the tourist shuttle into the main canyon. On the way, we went past Checkerboard Mesa, where we’d ended our Hayduke hike a few days beforehand. We couldn’t continue to the official Hayduke terminus of the Weeping Wall because a 2018 landslide destroyed the trail. We also had a timeline to make our permitted dates for the Buckskin Gulch hike, so we[…]

Read more

Hayduke Bonus: Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River

Monday, Oct 9th to Wednesday Oct 11th, 2023Total distance: 45 miles You can watch Worm’s accompanying video here. To celebrate finishing the Hayduke, we walked down some MORE canyons! This was all thanks to Worm, who scored us some last minute permits and also provided his wheels to get us to the hike. While I’m at it, note that most of the pictures posted here are also his…basically if I’m in the photo, he took it! I also must thank our Hayduke cohort, Sky, who shuttled us from Lees Ferry to Wire Pass trailhead so that Worm’s van would be waiting for us at the end of the hike. Sky’s impeccable timing meant that they just so happened to be[…]

Read more

HayDay 44: Zion, the Promised Land and the Finish

Saturday, Oct 7th, 2023, 0700-1300East Fork Virgin River & Poverty Wash to HWY 9, later a visit to the Weeping Wall6 miles (this is a guess, I forgot to check) It was a lovely night and we woke to our last day on the official Hayduke route. In true Hayduke style, we had to face several more challenges, even though we only had a few miles remaining. First was braving the cold water in the morning, but this was pretty easy. I’d gotten really used to wet feet on the Hayduke and the water wasn’t all that cold. Next we had a final waterfall to bypass. I was so glad I downloaded the bypass description from Across Utah, because there[…]

Read more

HayDay 43: The Barracks

Friday, Oct 6th, 2023, 0700-1830Short Creek to East Fork Virgin River & Poverty Wash 20 miles, elevation 4600′ It was a good night, warm with just a little wind, enough to keep my tent dry. It was hard to believe the 2 nights before had been so cold. We heard a motorcycle buzzing around for awhile, but fortunately it didn’t get too close. In close proximity to a town or road, getting run over in the night was my biggest worry. To begin the day’s hike, we quickly left Short Creek to climb alongside Squirrel Creek. We collected water at the bottom but need not have bothered. The second creek was flowing quite a ways up and we found tons[…]

Read more

HayDay 42: Colorado City

Thursday, Oct 5th, 2023, 0700-1830Maroney well to Short Creek, 3 miles north of Hildale12 miles, elevation 5130′ It got really cold and damp overnight, due to our proximity to the well. I woke around 2 pm to find heaps of condensation on my tent, both inside and out. I was so chilly, I had to put my puffy on to sleep again. I hadn’t felt such a chill since the spring. By dawn, the wet had turned to frost. Worm was pretty soaked since he cowboy camped. I detested packing a wet tent, but at least we were on our way to town and I could dry it somewhere there. We went about 3.5 miles to reach the highway and[…]

Read more