Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again

  • 275 Replies
  • 20958 Views
*

Offline Demon Deacon

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 123
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #210 on: January 07, 2018, 07:45:55 AM »
Deacon,

I might just take you up on that.  I had a relative at Jamestown, and my direct ancestors first made their New World stake in Isle of Wight County, VA, on the Blackwater River. I've never been there, but I plan on heading that way in the next year or two. And even though my kids have cousins in D.C., only one of them has ever been there. We're due for a visit.   :great:
Let me know when it’s happening. I’ll be here.

And if you are going to Jamestown, you’ll need to eat at my favorite BBQ place in the world, Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg (http://www.pierces.com/menu.php)

*

Offline Quatro

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 441
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #211 on: January 07, 2018, 12:21:29 PM »
Like most everyone here, I've checked in on the board several times a day looking forward to the next portion of this journey.  You are the triple threat of adventure as you can plan it, live it and tell it - months, 16 days and 18 days, respectively.  That combination is very rare.  Even rarer is to possess each of those traits and remain humble. 

Your trip was almost identical to the journey of your father's ancestors: a long journey over water between two countries followed by a journey on foot over rugged country, things didn't turn out as you'd hoped so you turned back before encountering two friendly faces that provided aid. 

Thank you for taking us along for the ride.  :eusa_clap:
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

*

Online GaryF

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 129
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #212 on: January 07, 2018, 01:38:17 PM »
HMOD,

T just want to add my kudos to a job well done, and a thank you for writing it up in the way you did. I'm not the first to notice, but you have a real talent for writing that brings your audience into the adventure.

I wouldn't harp too much on not making it back to your car on foot. With the hypothermic conditions that you were in, it's much better to live to hike another day. Some day, some way, you will get another shot at this.

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #213 on: January 07, 2018, 02:28:02 PM »
HMOD,

T just want to add my kudos to a job well done, and a thank you for writing it up in the way you did. I'm not the first to notice, but you have a real talent for writing that brings your audience into the adventure.

I wouldn't harp too much on not making it back to your car on foot. With the hypothermic conditions that you were in, it's much better to live to hike another day. Some day, some way, you will get another shot at this.

Thanks, Gary. You know, it wasn't really the rain, or the wind, or the cold, or the snow or hypothermia that ended my hike. It was the fall, and the damaged knee. Though I suppose you could say the fall was caused by the first five.  But mostly I think the fall was just caused by carelessness/stupidity. By the time I was hiking toward my rendezvous with Mule Ears and Scott at my cache the next day, the weather was a non-issue. Temperatures had risen; the sky was a clear, brilliant blue.  I'm not even sure I couldn't have finished my hike on that knee, if I'd tried. Maybe, maybe not. We'll never know. Mostly, I'd just reached a point where I minded that it hurt, and I didn't want to risk making it hurt more. My knee hurt, my shoulder hurt, my heart hurt.

I visited the doctor (and my dentist  ;D) when I got back home. I did do actual damage to my knee: multiple bits of my knee architecture are inflamed, and it seems that I have exacerbated a small tear in a meniscus.  So it's back to physical therapy for me, for now.  And exercise soon.  And a more specifically-targeted knee brace.  But I'll be up and running again eventually. As you said, "live to hike another day."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 02:36:30 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #214 on: January 07, 2018, 02:29:06 PM »

Your trip was almost identical to the journey of your father's ancestors: a long journey over water between two countries followed by a journey on foot over rugged country, things didn't turn out as you'd hoped so you turned back before encountering two friendly faces that provided aid. 


That's a beautiful way of looking at it, Quatro.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline PyramidBlaster

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 221
  • 3AM Eternal...
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #215 on: January 08, 2018, 09:35:02 AM »
HMoD,

I was 'late to the party' and am just now finishing up the story of your amazing adventure. Your love and excitement for the journey is absolutely palpable. I'll echo the sentiment of pretty much everyone here and say you're way too hard on yourself. I know how you feel, but you have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of---Your exploits put so many hardy adventurers to shame---And I could only hope to be half as successful at your age. :notworthy:

I was once a good bit more active on BBC, but i've let 'life get in the way'. I've found i've been lurking more the past few months. I celebrated 20 years of my first visit to Big Bend just this last October, and while my plans to do a memorial trip haven't come to pass, they're definitely in the works. I try to visit every couple of years, but it's been over 10 since my last solo effort. I'd already been planning a trip in mid October 2018, but reading your exploits has strengthened my resolve to do something... More.

I'm also a lifelong outdoorsman, but it's been 20+ years since i've been backpacking. I'm in my 40's, but the sound of the ticking clock has been drumming louder in my eardrums with each passing year. It's true, there's no time like NOW, we may never pass this way again. While I'm not quite at the level you are (that pack raft down the river is utterly EPIC), I think it's time do do a solo backpack this time, while I still can.  One day I hope to work up to make a trip of your magnitude, but I have to get my sea legs back, first. Quite frankly, I needed a swift kick in the pants, a goal to reach for... And I want to THANK YOU for helping to give me that kick. I hope to meet you one day to thank you in person.

As far as the kitten... The universe is a vast and mysterious place, full of amazing and unexpected occurrences. As far as her fate, I'm going to have to call, 'Pics or it didn't happen.' Life is a funny thing.... Like Dr. Malcolm in Jurassic Park says, "Life finds a way."... And so it is with the hardscrabble people of the Bend....

Be well in your travels.

And now, back to read your LAST year's trip report!!!
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."-H.P. Lovecraft

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #216 on: January 08, 2018, 10:54:28 AM »
Quite frankly, I needed a swift kick in the pants, a goal to reach for... And I want to THANK YOU for helping to give me that kick. I hope to meet you one day to thank you in person.

 :great:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline Jonathan Sadow

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 187
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #217 on: January 09, 2018, 12:37:28 AM »
HMOD,

T just want to add my kudos to a job well done, and a thank you for writing it up in the way you did. I'm not the first to notice, but you have a real talent for writing that brings your audience into the adventure.

I wouldn't harp too much on not making it back to your car on foot. With the hypothermic conditions that you were in, it's much better to live to hike another day. Some day, some way, you will get another shot at this.

Thanks, Gary. You know, it wasn't really the rain, or the wind, or the cold, or the snow or hypothermia that ended my hike. It was the fall, and the damaged knee. Though I suppose you could say the fall was caused by the first five.  But mostly I think the fall was just caused by carelessness/stupidity. By the time I was hiking toward my rendezvous with Mule Ears and Scott at my cache the next day, the weather was a non-issue. Temperatures had risen; the sky was a clear, brilliant blue.  I'm not even sure I couldn't have finished my hike on that knee, if I'd tried. Maybe, maybe not. We'll never know. Mostly, I'd just reached a point where I minded that it hurt, and I didn't want to risk making it hurt more. My knee hurt, my shoulder hurt, my heart hurt.

I visited the doctor (and my dentist  ;D) when I got back home. I did do actual damage to my knee: multiple bits of my knee architecture are inflamed, and it seems that I have exacerbated a small tear in a meniscus.  So it's back to physical therapy for me, for now.  And exercise soon.  And a more specifically-targeted knee brace.  But I'll be up and running again eventually. As you said, "live to hike another day."

It's good to see that your knee (and your mouth) is recovering.  That's the thing about epic journeys such as the ones you attempt - there's more opportunities to experience really interesting things, but there's also more opportunities for something to go wrong.  However, you don't get to achieve epic things without trying to achieve epic things.

It's too bad you weren't a day or two ahead of schedule, or you might have run into me poking around the Ernst Basin.  As you have written, it really is a special place, and not just because its an excellent example of a graben.  It's one of those places which has to be earned, because you can't drive to it;  you have to get out of your vehicle and make the physical effort and sacrifices to hike there.

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #218 on: January 09, 2018, 12:50:44 AM »

It's too bad you weren't a day or two ahead of schedule, or you might have run into me poking around the Ernst Basin.  As you have written, it really is a special place, and not just because its an excellent example of a graben.  It's one of those places which has to be earned, because you can't drive to it;  you have to get out of your vehicle and make the physical effort and sacrifices to hike there.

Jonathan, had we run into each other deep in middle of the lonely Ernst Basin, that would have been yet another of the flabbergasting (and wonderful) coincidences of my trip.  Sorry we missed each other.  Thanks for the kind words!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline watcher82

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 18
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #219 on: January 10, 2018, 06:03:04 AM »
Epilogue: Chisos Mining Company Motel, Terlingua

As you can probably tell by now, I write trip reports not just to record routes and gear and wilderness conditions, I write trip reports to help me understand myself, my experiences, and the world. To make sense of what often seems a flood of random, often conflicting events and emotions and echoes of other times and places and ideas that I experience while in the wilderness. I write from the notes in my journals. But I rarely know exactly what I’m going to say until I type the words. Sometimes events that seem unrelated at the time I experience them, later take on meaningful shape and pattern and relationship as I type. Sometimes they don’t. But, still, I give it my best shot. 


I just spent the better part of yesterday reading your trip report.  Immediately upon waking, I had to finish the story.  And what a story it was!  I have so much to comment on I honestly do not know where to start, or end!

I remember you giving me some advice as I decided to take my first steps into the park last year.  I had no idea I was getting advice from someone of such caliber.
 I live ‘close’ to the park (Del Rio, Texas) and have some time off next month.  I have been kicking around ideas of stuff to do and after reading your trip report, I have been motivated to return to Big Bend. 

I am going to keep this short and simply say, “Thank you for taking the time to write out that wonderful trip report.” 

-If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail…it takes back bone to lead the life you want.” –Richard Yates.

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #220 on: January 10, 2018, 12:14:44 PM »

 I live ‘close’ to the park (Del Rio, Texas) and have some time off next month.  I have been kicking around ideas of stuff to do and after reading your trip report, I have been motivated to return to Big Bend. 

I am going to keep this short and simply say, “Thank you for taking the time to write out that wonderful trip report.” 

-If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail…it takes back bone to lead the life you want.” –Richard Yates.

Thanks, Watcher!  There are plenty of people on this forum that know a lot more about Big Bend, and backpacking in Big Bend, than I do. That said, I am very happy that my trips and trip reports are inspiring in you a love for the Bend and a motivation to get out and explore it. That's the BEST compliment of all.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline PacingTheCage

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 165
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #221 on: January 11, 2018, 12:36:38 PM »
Chin up, HMoD. IMO it took brass balls to even plan a solo trip of this magnitude. And travelling the length of the park via the river sounds like an amazing journey.

Agree, yet he never mentions the pack raft or the pack he packed those in!   :icon_wink:

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2406
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #222 on: January 11, 2018, 02:48:30 PM »
Chin up, HMoD. IMO it took brass balls to even plan a solo trip of this magnitude. And travelling the length of the park via the river sounds like an amazing journey.

Agree, yet he never mentions the pack raft or the pack he packed those in!   :icon_wink:

:icon_lol: Here you go, Pacing the Cage. Everything I carried while backpacking.  :icon_wink: If I can find the time later, I'll try to add the weights of everything.

EQUIPMENT LIST FOR MY ATTEMPTED CROSS-PARK HIKE, 2017
[/size]

Here is a comprehensive list of my backpacking equipment and where I stowed everything while hiking. This does not include my packrafting equipment - either while on the river, or while carrying it on my back to my drop point near Mile Marker 13. The packrafting gear weighed anywhere from 10 to 13lbs. My backpacking load while on land ranged from a low of 32lbs to as much as 54lbs. My fundamental base weight was 17.25lbs. If you take away the pound-and-a-half solo-traveler penalty for increased first-aid and survival supplies, and the extra two-pound penalty for a heavy-ass bag that can carry nearly 60lbs to accomodate packrafting gear and 3 gallons of water through the Deadhorse, then my fundamental baseweight would be closer to 13.5lbs. I can live with that.


ON MY BODY
Boots, Oboz Bridger (size 10.5)
Toesocks, Injinji 2.0 Crew (replace at each cache)
Socks, Smartwool Midweight Hiker (replace at each cache)
Wicking Briefs, Ex Officio (replace at each cache)
Wicking T-shirt, REI Co-op (replace at each cache)
Shirt, REI Sahara (launder at RGV)
Pants, REI Sahara (launder at RGV)
Hat, Columbia Booney (launder at RGV)

Map-of-the-day, on 8.5x11 Rite-in-Rain paper (folded, in thigh pocket)
Compass, Suunto M-3D (in pocket w/ map-of-the-day)
Journal, stapled binding, Rite-in-Rain paper (in other thigh pocket)
Pen, Fischer Stowaway (rubber-banded to inside of journal)
Brass Balls (2), between thigh pockets

Eyeglasses w/ retaining strap
Watch, Suunto Vector
Trekking Poles, REI Traverse Jr.


BACKPACK
Osprey Aether 70, medium

BACKPACK’S DETACHABLE TOP POCKET (my daypack whenever I walk away from my main pack)

Trash, in a large Opsak, lashed to outside on top

Silnylon Drybag, containing:

Keys, Cards & Cash

Survival Kit:
McMurdo FastFind PLB
Signal mirror
Smoke Signals (2)
Windproof Matches (12) w/ case+striker
Bivy Sack, metalized
Emergency Poncho, 2mil clear plastic

Oops Kit (medical/repair):
Mini-Altoid Tin w/ Pills: Ibuprofen/Aspirin/Bendadryl/Immodium
Mini-Squeeze Bottle w/ Bactine (2oz)
Antibiotic Gel Packets (6)
Sterile Gauze (4.5” x 4 yards)
Duct Tape (1 yard), wrapped around pole repair sleeve
Scissors
Sewing Kit, including curved upholstery needle for heavy fabric repairs or sutures
Superglue
Tweezers

Patellar strap
Ace bandage

Toilet Kit, in gallon ziploc: 
Deuce of Spades toilet trowel
Toilet Paper Roll (2), Coughlan’s (replenish at each cache)
Hand Sanitizer in mini-squeeze bottle (replenish at each cache)

Water Kit, in silnylon stuffsack:
Sea-to-Summit 10-liter Collapsible Bucket
Chlorine Dioxide Tablets, two packets of 20 each (replenish at each cache)
3mm Utility Cord

Map Kit, in gallon ziploc :
Caltopo maps on two-sided Rite-in-Rain paper (12), plus Nat Geo BBNP map

BACKPACK’S MAIN PACKBAG

Raingear (in stuffsack):
Rainpants, Marmot Precip
Raincoat, Outdoor Research Helium II

Spares and Layers (in drysack, launder all but down vest at RGV):
Extra hiking socks (1 pair)
Extra briefs (1 pair)
Extra T-shirt, REI Co-op
Microfleece Balaclava, REI
Seirus Waterproof Gloves
Fleece Sweater, REI Co-op
Down Vest, Montbell

Basecamp Odor-Barrier Bag, containing:

Dental Kit in snack-size ziploc:
Toothbrush
Flossers (10) (replenish at each cache)

Messkit, self-contained inside or around cookpot:
Cookpot w/ screw-on lid, Vargo titanium
Fuel, 110g Snowpeak Canister
Stove, Snowpeak Titanium, attached to fuel canister
Bic lighter
MSR Folding Spoon
Cotton Bandanna, as potholder and water strainer
Titanium windscreen w/ paper clip, homemade (rubber-banded to cookpot)

Food (replenish at each cache)
   
MAIN PACKBAG, SLEEPING BAG COMPARTMENT
Feathered Friends Winter Wren Nano, with overfill (in drysack)
Mesh Headnet

BACKPACK EXTERIOR REAR HYDRATION SLEEVE
MSR Dromlite 6-liter Bladder   

BACKPACK EXTERIOR MESH STUFF-IT POCKET
Backpack raincover
Silshelter
Tent stakes, eight, rubber-banded

BACKPACK EXTERIOR REAR-BOTTOM
Thermarest Ridgerest Groundpads, two (or one, depending upon the wind  :icon_wink:) via backpack’s integrated straps

BACKPACK EXTERIOR SIDE POCKET (left)
Smartwater Bottle, 1-liter

BACKPACK EXTERIOR SIDE POCKET (right)
Smartwater Bottle, 1-liter

BACKPACK HIPBELT POCKET (left)
iPhone, in lieu of my broken point-and-shoot camera, in a small Opsak (charge at RGV)
Holux M-241 GPS Logger, in a Ziploc (replace battery at each cache)
Mini-compass + thermometer (attached to exterior zipper-pull by mini S-biner)

BACKPACK HIPBELT POCKET (right)
Lipbalm, SPF 50 (replace at each cache)
Daily Trailsnacks (GU gels, KIND bars)
CRKT NIAD knife (attached to exterior zipper-pull by mini S-biner)

ON BACKPACK SHOULDER STRAP (left)
Carson 7x18 Monocular (attached via mini S-biner)

ON BACKPACK SHOULDER STRAP (right)
Petzl e+LITE (attached via mini S-biner)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 11:46:19 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline PacingTheCage

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 165
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #223 on: January 11, 2018, 02:57:05 PM »
Thank you for sharing the list but also for the locations of the various items in your pack. 

*

Offline Txlj

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 453
Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #224 on: January 11, 2018, 06:07:23 PM »
Brass Balls, 2 between thigh pockets; you sure those aren't titanium? Because what you did was amazing!

Sent from flat land


 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments