They say, if you’re using a GPS unit when hiking, it’s a good idea to input way-points so you make the correct turns. Last Saturday’s hike proved this to be prudent advice.
I’ve hiked many times on Stephenhouse Trail which runs north-south from the trailhead at Ives Run Recreation area near the head of Hammond Reservoir. So, for last Saturday’s hike, I thought taking the time to insert a way-point in my GPS unit for our intended turn onto Brown’s Fork Trail would be a waste of time, because I knew exactly where that was on the ground.
As it turned out, the turn was far from obvious because of overgrown grass and other camouflages. We buzzed right by that intersection without a second glance, continuing straight ahead until reaching the end of the maintained Stephenhouse Trail.
At that point I realized the mistake but decided, rather than backtrack, to plunge forward until reaching the Mid State Trail. I’d been on this trail extension previously so was not concerned about being “temporarily displaced” (meaning “lost” in normal vernacular), although the other hikers in our stench were not thoroughly convinced.
Reaching the MST we turned trail south (actually west, in this situation) and added at least a full mile to our intended distance prior to intersecting with the forest road that was part of our planned route. Had lunch on the John 3:16 log. (Ask me about that sometime.)
Much of the MST was quite wet, prompting hiker Jeff to quip that this may be the Mid State Trail, but today it’s the Mud State Trail.
We expected to hike about 4.45 miles from Ives Run to the Pennsylvania State Game Lands White Birch parking area on Carpenter Road. Our altered route showed 5.39 miles on the GPS; another case of innocent underestimated distance.
Oh, well. We had a good time anyway. The weather was cooperative, no rain, temperature in the 70’s. A great day to be outdoors.
This coming Saturday, June 15, is the big shindig in Wellsboro: the Laurel Festival Parade and other popular attractions and activities connected with the festival that began way back in 1938. We encourage y’all to take advantage and attend if you can.
We won’t schedule a hike for that day but will have one on Saturday, June 22, the first full day of summer. We’ll hike on the MST in a southerly direction from Cherry Flats to the Sand Run Trailhead. It’s less than four miles, honest. Meet at Dunkin’ Donuts parking area at 9 a.m to car pool.