Saturday, October 29 – Sunday, October 30, 2022
Lost Maples State Natural Area Overnight
Calm, chilly, low 40s overnight
Ian, Court, Ryan, Kelly, Biff, Finn, Darcy
7 miles round trip
We got out to Lost Maples and met up with Ryan and Kelly and their Giant Schnauzer, Darcy, for an overnight backpacking trip. They had actually gotten to the park the day before and snagged a good camping spot for us, as the primitive sites are first come, first serve. Thanks guys!
Ryan and Kelly live near Ft. Worth and we’ve hiked with them a couple of times in the past, including at Yosemite when Greg and Cat got married in 2019.
Court and I stopped at our usual spot in Medina to grab a veggie burger on the way to the park.
The weather has been too warm for any real vibrant color in the leaves this fall, but there were a couple of trees that did their best. Nothing like where we were in northern Georgia a week ago, but what can you do? This was also Finn’s first hike with his new backpack! He wasn’t super excited at first, but I think he got used to it. He was able to carry all the dog food and bowls for us. Biff got off easy.
We had arranged to meet up with Ryan and Kelly at the pond in the middle of the park a couple of miles in, and luckily we found them quickly, as there is no cell service in most of the park. They had procured a spot up on top of one of the plateaus with great views. We made the climb up the rocky trail and proceeded to set up camp.
Biff was very excited.
After getting set up, we took a quick hike to the overlooks on the plateau before the sun went down.
I brought along my binoculars that Court had given me last Christmas. Ryan is big into astronomy and astrophotography, but I never even thought about using the binoculars at night. We got great views of the moon, stars, and planets through them. We could even see a couple of Jupiter’s moons. The Milky Way was visible too, which is always cool.
After an hour or so of star gazing, we retired to our separate tents. The night before had been very windy for Ryan and Kelly, but the winds died down this night and we all got good sleep.
We woke up with the sun and some fairly chilly temperatures. It was only in the low 40s, but Biff quickly found he wanted to be back in the tent under the quilt. We had forgotten his jacket, but Kelly came to his rescue with a warm blanket.
We boiled water for coffee to warm up and sat around chatting as the sun came up and did away with the shadows.
After a leisurely morning, we packed up and started the hike back down the plateau to the car under sunny skies. Mornings at Lost Maples are my favorite time of day.
Lost Maples was the first place we ever went backpacking and is always a beautiful and fun place to come back to. Til next time!