Thursday, September 29, 2011

Change of Plans

Sometimes plans just don't go the way you want them too, and that's not always such a bad thing. Today, Jason and myself had planned to go to our favorite creek spot to look for petrified wood. We have been trying to get back out there for weeks, but it seems like every time we get the chance something comes along to spoil it. As of late, the spoiler has been rain. Before tropical storm Lee the creeks were down so low that we were able to get to places we have never seen before. Since the storm, the rains have kept coming and the water level is just not dropping to what we need. Today, we had big plans to check out some new spots we have found on Google Earth.
So we drove up to the spots, grabbed our bags, and headed out. We were walking down a powerline and it didn't really seem that bad at first. We even started making comments about driving the truck down there. Little did we got worse. Before we knew, the ground started to get a little wet. Then the brush started getting a little taller. Soon after, we were in knee deep water trudging through brush well over our heads. We were still determined to find that creek. Finally we came out on the other side; VICTORY. We had just walked a mile through water, mud, stickers, and all kinds of brush to find that the creek is way too high and rushing far too hard to even get in. We had one of those big long sighs, turned around to look at what we had just come from, and headed right back into it.

Once we got back to the truck we discussed what was next. We decided to go ahead and ride around to another spot on the creek we had been looking at. At some point, we lost purpose in the ride and ended up just flying down some old back roads. Once back on track, we came around to the other part of the creek, which of course was just too high to get in, and realized that, once it goes down, this will be a great spot to check out. It is very easy to get to. On our way we came across another bridge over a smaller creek, so we decided to turn around and go check it out. This creek was still a little too deep to get in, but looking under the bridge we realized just how sketchy it was. Some of these old bridges really look like they could use a little help. The piers of this one look like they were leaning a bit.

After leaving there, we rode up a little further to the old P.O.W. camp to take a look around. I have never been out there before, but it was a interesting place. Well there really wasn't much out there. Just some old concrete structures semi-covered in graffiti. That is something that always bothers me. Why do some people just insist on defacing anything and everything? I did learn something while I was out there that I am hoping helps me out in my mission.

The back-story: Growing up, down here, in south Mississippi one of the things I really enjoyed, even from an early age, was hiking. There has always been a great trail system in this region. This really starts a few years ago around the winter of 09. A group of friends and myself decided that we wanted to go do a day hike. So we packed our gear up and headed up to the Leaf River trails. I spent the whole time, driving up there, telling them about how great these trails were. Once we got out we were excited to see that we were the only people out here. We very quickly found out why we were. The trails were in such bad shape that we could barely find the main trailhead. Withing 75 yards the trail

was completely unusable and we had to turn around. So, with this trail set useless, we headed back west to the Black creek trails and had a very enjoyable day hiking all around. The trails were in fairly good shape a this time. A few weeks ago, knowing Leaf River was completely out of the question, I attempted another day hike out at Black Creek. Almost immediately after accessing the trail, it was easy to see that these trails were now in complete disarray. The Black Creek trails are now unusable as well. Talk about disappointing.
Back to today: Since discovering that another set of trails was in complete disrepair, I have been trying to come up with ideas of what I could do. My thought was that writing a few letters might be a good place to start. Today I found my target on the bulletin board at the P.O.W. camp. So very soon a letter will be on its way to the forest supervisor, Antoine Dixon of the USDA. I am hoping to make some kind of difference over time. A letter might not do much, but i'm just hoping it's a start. It's kind of the only idea I have at the moment. Ideas??

Anyways, I spent the rest of the afternoon at home working on some of my camping gear. I will be flying out to Arizona to meet one of my friends and we are going to be doing a several day camping trip down in the Grand Canyon. I've never been before and i'm getting pretty excited about it. Anyhow, I needed to seal the seams of my tent and now that's done. I started doing some inventory of all my equipment. This trip is going to be here so soon. Well, another big day tomorrow.
Until Next Time,

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