Saturday was rest day and an opportunity to go on a backpacking overnighter with our Boy Scout Troop. We went down to Pine Mountain, Georgia and hiked about 12 miles of the Pine Mountain Trail. Fortunately, we had a good group of boys and adults and we had a great time. Unfortunately, it was also very, very cold. I hadn’t been hiking on Pine Mountain since this time last year. Much has changed since then. On April 27, 2011 an F2 Tornado ripped a half mile wide path of devastation through the park, destroying everything in its wake. One campsite, Bethel Creek is GONE. As we walked through the area piled high with the shattered, twisted remains of pines and hardwoods, it was overwhelming to contemplate the forces that caused such widespread damage in what must have been a very short time. Despite the damage, the downed trees opened up great views off the ridges and it all had a beauty of it’s own.
We did the bulk of the hike on Saturday, camping only 1.6 miles from our exit point. It was so cold Saturday night that our fire brought more smoke on us than relief so we all wound up in bed by around 7 pm. The temps dropped into the teens with a steady breeze working to pull heat from us.
Upon my return home on Sunday, I decided to wimp out and skip my workout. And I had absolutely no guilt about it!
How did the IT Bands hold up? Well, I was good for about 9.5 miles. Then, the last mile to the campsite, the pain started coming back. But I was intentionally hiking fast, drinking little and skipping food altogether during the 10 mile stretch. Why? Just to see how the body would react. So, given the lack of care and nurturing along the way, I’m not too unhappy about the results.