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Smokey Creek Backpack

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Offline Summit

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 06:58:33 PM »
Did you see any water in the drainage on the southeast side of Sugarloaf below the cutover trail down to the pouroff?

There was only a small pool of water.  There was not much water over the entire hike, relative to what I have seen posted before on the site for that area.  The best water was on the NE side of Sugar Loaf.

Since my son is only four we plan to just do primitive car camping and do a combination of hikes, kayak outings, and mellow Mt. Bike excursions (I have a good carrier for him).  Any general advice for making this a successful trip? 
It really depends on the kid.  Both of my boys have been raised with lots of outdoor activities from camping to paddling to backpacking.  They both prefer doing things outdoors to being indoors and neither of them have a problem roughing it.  The 8 year old dislikes hiking more than a mile or so unless there are other kids along.  Part of the reason is he is very extroverted while his brother is much more of an introvert.  My 10 year old had no problem being the only kid with four men.  My 8 year old would have been bored out of his mind with no other kids to socialize with.  Aside from that, I am of the opinion that kids love anything outdoors as long as they are raised doing it. 

As Steelfrog said, snacks are critical and cards and other games for the tent are nice.

Come to think of it, I suspect my kid will do great--he travels well (already got his passport stamped in a handful of countries) and tolerates long road trips and getting pulled in his bike carrier for epic rides.  He also gets long stretches of living in a cabin in the deep woods, just not a tent, so he'll take to it well I'm sure. Several groups of friends w/ kids are thinking about joining us, so that would definitely help matters.  Thanks for the advice--snacks and games--check and check!  And if anyone has a specific suggestion (i.e. "kids always love ____ in Lajitas/Terlingua, or _____ in X canyon") I'm all ears. 

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Offline randell

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2014, 07:46:45 PM »
Did you like the campsite?

Loved the site!  It had plenty of room for tents and nice rocks to sit on.

Randell,  was this the X-man's first time on a man trip?
Yes, his first trip on a man trip.  I'm sure he learned a few new fart jokes he did not know before the trip. 

He complained very little and when he did, it was out of earshot of the other guys so they thought he never complained at all.  Once he learned to adjust his pack, his only real complaint was that his pants were snagging on everything and were too short to keep rocks and grass seeds from bouncing in his shoes.  I had been so concerned about proper footwear that I noticed his pants issue too late prior to the trip.  I think I found some from LLBean for the next trip, though.  His Merrell Moab Ventilator shoes from REI-Outlet worked great and were only $35.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 10:58:06 AM by RichardM »
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2014, 08:47:41 PM »
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline randell

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 09:28:06 PM »
It looks like you went right by Witch Spring :

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=29.17672,-103.34162&z=15&t=T&marker0=29.17667%2C-103.34191%2C8.5%20km%20SxSW%20of%20Emory%20Peak%20TX

Did you see any water down there?

Nope.  There was water at Carolyn's Tinaja and Canyon Spring, but it was very green. 
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2014, 10:07:26 PM »
Well done, sir
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline tjavery

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2014, 08:01:50 AM »
Very nice! Great trip and report and photos!

I've yet to take my oldest (he's almost 9) on an overnight. But that day is coming. Your trip is inspiration.



If only the view was this great every morning during "that time"  :icon_lol:
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 10:59:13 AM by RichardM »

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2014, 08:31:38 AM »
The best water was on the NE side of Sugar Loaf.

Can you be a little more specific? I'm assuming you mean in the Smoky Creek drainage but there are several springs along the creek. I've seen good flow at Red Peak spring in the past. Any water in the black rock canyon just below your campsite?

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2014, 08:57:45 AM »
It looks like you went right by Witch Spring :

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=29.17672,-103.34162&z=15&t=T&marker0=29.17667%2C-103.34191%2C8.5%20km%20SxSW%20of%20Emory%20Peak%20TX

Did you see any water down there?

Nope.  There was water at Carolyn's Tinaja and Canyon Spring, but it was very green. 

It's all about the water.  I apologize for asking this twice, but you are the first guy down that way who has posted about springs down there.  I also have a trip planned soon and was going to use Witch for resupply.  Did you leave the trail and walk down into the canyon where Witch spring usually comes up?  The canyon takes a turn to the left and the brush gets very dense.  Also, right after the trail crosses the creek, the trail climbs steeply to pass around the canyon on the east side.  Most of the times I have been able to look down into the canyon from the trail and see water in puddles below the dense vegitation.  It is easy to miss because the trail is steep and sketchy right there, and looking down into the canyon can be dangerous.
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2014, 09:42:30 AM »
It's all about the water.  I apologize for asking this twice, but you are the first guy down that way who has posted about springs down there.  I also have a trip planned soon and was going to use Witch for resupply.  Did you leave the trail and walk down into the canyon where Witch spring usually comes up?  The canyon takes a turn to the left and the brush gets very dense.  Also, right after the trail crosses the creek, the trail climbs steeply to pass around the canyon on the east side.  Most of the times I have been able to look down into the canyon from the trail and see water in puddles below the dense vegitation.  It is easy to miss because the trail is steep and sketchy right there, and looking down into the canyon can be dangerous.

It has been a long time since I've taken that section of trail. I'm assuming there is a pouroff in the canyon. Is the spring above the pouroff or below? Assuming the spring is below the pouroff is the view better from the trail or from the pouroff?

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Offline randell

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2014, 12:47:02 PM »
There was abundant water at Black Rock Spring (N29.17771 W103.37937).  This was the cleanest we saw on the entire hike.  There was water seeping around the area of N29.17857 W103.37800, but there were no pools. Beyond that, we did see a small pool or two in the morning hike from Black Rock to the dam, but I did not note where it was.  The next water I noted was at the dam where there was a medium sized pool about 20' below the dam (N29.19454 W103.33174).

After lunch at the dam, we left the creekbed at N29.19131 W103.33669 and hiked cross-country following a faint trail.  We re-entered the creekbed at N29.18063 W103.33972, just a few hundred feet from Walled Dam (N29.18012 W103.33860), but we did not go investigate to see if there was water there.  From there we stayed in the canyon.  We saw nothing at Witch Spring and just pushed our way through the thick brush after Witch Spring.
 
The next water we saw was at the bottom of a pouroff at N29.16499 W103.36430, 3.6 miles from the dam.


The last water we saw, 4.2 miles from the dam where we filtered water, was at a medium sized pool at located at N29.15840 W103.37050.

We did not leave the creekbed at any time to look for water since we were not in need of water and had a lot of miles to cover.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 10:56:04 AM by RichardM »
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2014, 03:22:41 PM »
I think I see my problem.  When I looked at your map, it appeared to me that y'all walked down the actual Smokey Creek trail to return south from the dam. I see now that y'all were on the ridge west of the actual SCT paralleling the trail.  To see Witch spring, a person heading down (south towards mule ears) on the SCT would have to turn right and go about 3-4 minutes down stream into the canyon.  If they had stayed on the trail proper, they would have to climb steeply up out of the creek bed. 

Robert, there are no large pour-offs in the creek bed where the spring is located.  But I have never followed the creek bed below the spring more than 100 yards.  It actually continues on down to where the Smokey Creek trail re-enters it.

For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2014, 03:44:15 PM »
Thanks Randell for the specifics.


@elhombre, interesting because the one time I did this the hike, the section around the Witch Spring Canyon seem to be a pita (especially that steep climb out of the wash). If there is no pouroff might be worth seeing how navigable that canyon is.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Smokey Creek Backpack
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2014, 04:47:00 PM »
... If there is no pouroff might be worth seeing how navigable that canyon is.

The official Smoky Creek trail leaves both Smoky Creek below the dam and the drainage with Witch spring because there are big enough pour offs that horses couldn't get down them but most humans seem to be able to.  The faint trail that Randell speaks of is the official trail.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
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