The Crazy Chapmans
Jordan, Emily, Natalie, and Zachary

Posts Tagged ‘backpacking’

Buffalo River Camping

Wed ,04/05/2011

On March 11-12, Emily and I went camping by the Buffalo River in Arkansas.  We got there late in the day as usual on a weekend camping trip since we had to leave after I got back from work.  We camped at the Ozark campground which is by the Pruitt Ranger Station.  We had an awesome meal in the dark.  I made reuben sandwiches and then had creme brulee that Emily had made earlier in the day.  It was delicious.  We woke up in the morning and go to the ranger station when they opened.  We bought a few maps that are really good so we could find a few trails to hike on.  We ended up hiking to the Hemmed-in Hollow waterfall from the Compton Trailhead.  The trail was 5 miles round trip but it had almost a 1200 feet decline (and consequent incline) so it was a tough hike, especially for a pregnant wife :)  At the end of the hike, we headed home because I think we had to go to something that night.

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Backpacking Swan Creek with Mike Jan 2011

Fri ,11/03/2011

So Mike Armstrong and I had been planning a good backpacking trip for a couple of weeks.  I was going to take a half day off work so we could do some long backpacking trip.  However, I had a work meeting planned in the afternoon so I ended up not being able to take the half day so we just were going to go to Hercules Glade Wilderness Area instead.  Well, on the way to Hercules, I drove off the road and did some damage to my car (1000$ to be exact, which we’ll post on later).  So we drove all the way home, got Emily’s car, and we ended up going to Swan Creek Area instead since it’s closer.  We still had a lot of fun.  We ended up hiking 13.2 miles.  You can check out the trails we hiked on on my backpacking site, (although give me a bit to put it on there).  It was so cold at night but we stayed warm enough.  I’m glad we went despite the traumatizing car accident on the way :)

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Ridge Runner with Jonathan

Mon ,20/09/2010

We’ve gotten so far behind on writing blog posts.  Expect a lot to come out the next couple of days.

We’ve written some about our new friends, the Kershaw’s, and the stuff we did with them while they were out in Missouri while Jonathan did an internship with Dairiconcepts.  One thing I did with Jonathan was we did a 20 mile backpacking trip on July 30th to the 31st.  Let’s just say that it was one of the hardest backpacking trips I’ve gone on; not necessarily just physically but mentally as well.  Let me explain.

We went on a trail called the Ridge Runner trail.  It goes from Noblett Lake to the North Fork Recreation Area (or vice versa).  The long Ozark trail joins the ridge runner trail for a few miles before going it’s own way.  The trail, we don’t think, is frequented by people very much.  It is very narrow with the forest growth literally surrounding you as you walked on most of the trail.  We hiked in poison ivy on a few sections of the trail.  Jonathan had rashes on his legs for at least a week after the hike.  We probably ran into 1500 spider webs that had been strategically placed by thousands of spiders to cause us mental anguish.  We were picking spiders out of our hair and flicking them off of us all the time.  Whoever was in front (and Jonathan was the good friend who probably took a larger than fair share of the time in front) had to wave the walking stick in front of them which helped alleviate the number of spider webs that were ran into.  It helped to a degree but really not much.  A few miles, or so we thought, before the end, we ran out of water.  Being a hot July day, that wasn’t such a good thing.  We drank way more water than we thought we would.  It’s funny because I’m one that always ends up with way too much water at the end of a hike, but not this time.  As it turned out, I had accidently reset my GPS trip data and so we were within a mile of the end.

When we reached our destination which was the North Fork Recreation Area, we quickly scurried (would have run if we weren’t sore) to a water pump in which we drank way too much and doused ourselves in the fresh water.  One other thing of note happened at night when we set up our tent.  We both had headlights.  Off to the side of our lights we noticed thousands of little lights on the forest ground.  We suspected, and turned out later that we were right, that there were thousands of spiders literally blanketing the forest floor.  I’m sure glad we actually had a tent instead of trying to be real men and sleep out underneath the stars or something.  We probably would have been eaten alive… ok, probably not really.  It was a hot and humid night but I think we both slept fairly well considering the circumstances.

After everything was said and done, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad Jonathan did it with me.  I think we both had a good experience proving to the trail that we overcame it (we yelled at the trail at the end to “step your game up!”, an inside joke that perhaps only Dairiconcepts workers would understand…).  Thanks Jonathan!

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Backpacking with Ryan Budd

Sun ,03/01/2010

Well I finally got someone to go backpacking with me other than Emily.  The Budd’s are our friends in the ward and I convinced Ryan to go with me on Dec 18-19.  It was pretty darn cold but we stayed warm enough.  We left after work so it was already dark.  We went to Hercules Glade Wilderness area and started our hike on the Long Creek Trail, taking the second right.  Halfway to the pilots trail, we set up our tent.  The next morning, we finished the loop.  It was fun but pretty darn cold.

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Hercules Glade Wilderness Night Hike

Wed ,02/12/2009

If Jordan had his way, we’d be hiking and camping every night, but that’s not really very reasonable, so we don’t. One Friday, I packed everything up during the day and we left when he got home that night. The sad thing is that after the time change, it’s been getting dark by 5:30, ugh. We drove to the Hercules Glade Wilderness area and started hiking.

The other thing that we didn’t know about was that it was hunting season, so we heard lots of gunshots. I thought I heard an animal off the trail, and got scared. We took some awesome pictures and we remembered to bring our tripod and take pictures with it.

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Hercules Glade-Tower Trailhead

Tue ,22/09/2009

Jordan and I went hiking Saturday (Sept. 12)  in the Hercules Glade portion of the Mark Twain National Forest. It was so beautiful. We were so excited to go to some of the national forests/parks in Missouri because they are so different from the ones that were in Utah. The first major difference is that there are a TON of bugs. Jordan called the ranger on Friday and they told him that there are a ton of ticks (yuck!). So, before we left we went to the store and bought some bug spray (40% DEET) and bought a bandanna for me so.

So we drove down to the national forest on highway 125. We are also really excited because the forest is only a little over an hour from our new house (that’s another post). So we drove down there on the scenic route. It was so pretty and everything was so green. The way the landscape varied was amazing. On one side of the road there would be flat fields of grass and then on the other there would be rolling hills.

Once we got there we decided that it would probably be best to just camp in the campsite because we hadn’t been there before and didn’t know of any specific spots to camp in the trail. So we started by spraying profuse amounts of bug spray and emptying out Jordan’s backpack (we didn’t really need to hike with the gear because we were planning on staying at the campsite) except for some granola bars, water, flashlights, all the essentials. Jordan registered and we went on the Long Trail.

The first big difference between Utah and Missouri (aside from the general landscape) is the amount of bugs. There are so many bugs here, and not just normal bugs like ants and spiders, there are so many weird bugs. We saw a bug that looked like the stick bug on A Bug’s Life, except it was really big. So, before we left I went into the pit toilet and there was a daddy long-leg spider that was huge (like the size of my fist including its legs) that crawled out of the toilet.

There are also a lot of mushrooms. I took pictures of the red mushroom and the blue/purple mushroom because it reminded me of Mario and the colored mushrooms on it. There were some trees that started to turn fall colors. I’m so excited to go back when more of the trees are fall colors. There were all these really cute lizards that kept scurrying around the path and climbing on trees and we even saw a frog. There were a lot of spiders (ugh) and there were a couple of snakes that slithered across the path. Needless to say we were not that calm when the snake went across the path.

There were a lot of dry creek beds and we even saw a really cool rock overhang where a creek usually runs. So we hiked about 7 miles, got back to the car and even set up the tent. Then we decided that we should probably go to church so we ate dinner then packed everything back up and came home.

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Capitol Reef with Amber and Reed

Wed ,17/06/2009

On May 16-17, we went to Capitol Reef with our friends Reed and Amber.  Reed is another graduate student in food science here at BYU.  We had a ton of fun.  We hiked along a little river the whole time and had a blast.  It was really hot so the water mostly felt good on our feet (with the exception of in the morning when the water got cold and the sun hadn’t gotten hot yet).  We used our new tent again which we loved.  We found a fun little cave as the pictures show.  Capitol Reef has got to be one of the best national parks.  Not very many people (I think we saw 3 small groups of people, none of which were actually backpacking), the backcountry permits are free, and everything is beautiful.  We also hiked the chimney rock trail which was pretty as well and found some viewpoints that we took pictures at.  We were all wearing chacos so we couldn’t pass up the moment taking some fun pictures of our feet.  Overall, it was an incredible weekend.

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Big Springs Hollow

Sun ,14/06/2009

Emily and I went up Big Springs Hollow on May 8th to the 9th. We took our new tent and instantly fell in love with it, especially compared to our old tent.  We brought cards and played some games and were able to sit up in our tent!  Amazing!  We didn’t see too many people.  We only hiked probably less than a mile up the trail, just far enough to get into the national forest as opposed to the city park.  It’s up provo canyon.  We had fun.  It got way cold at night though; fortunately we brought clothing but we ended up putting on every bit of clothing we brought.

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New tent

Fri ,22/05/2009

A couple of weeks ago, during REI’s anniversary sale, we bought a new tent.  We are really excited about it.  We’ve already taken it with us on a few trips (posts coming) so be sure to look for pictures of it. We got it for 260$ during the sale which was a good deal.  We like it because you can see the whole sky while laying in it and… you can sit up in it!!!  Our  old sierra designs tent was closer to the ground.  Plus our new tent is 55 square feet which is enormous and it even feels bigger because you can sit up in it.  In fact, we’ve already had four people playing games in it fairly comfortable (post coming).  The link to the tent is below.

Jordan’s Poor Chacos

Mon ,18/05/2009

We went backpacking and hiking with Reed and Amber this past weekend and it was a ton of fun. We all really wanted to wear chacos because we wanted to walk in the creek. You can take really fun pictures like this:

However, the first night after backpacking through Pleasant Creek, Jordan’s beloved chaco broke. He was so sad. We took this picture after the second strap in the back broke. Then,right after this picture was taken the main strap broke, and started to come out of the footbed. Needless to say walking back was interesting…

Look how sad Jordan was, looks like someone needs a new pair :D.