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A Guide for the Trails in the BSF and DBNF
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Day 5 - Alum Ford Campground to Barren Fork horse camp

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sheltowee wanderer
on trail
on trail

Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Day 5 - Alum Ford Campground to Barren Fork horse camp Reply with quote

I woke to the smell wood smoke and cooking bacon. A family was camped across from me and was busy making breakfast. They invited me to come over and eat with them and without a whole lot of arm twisting I did. Leroy, like I was a veteran, and we talked at length about some of our experiences in the military. The combination of wood smoke from the previous night and this morning was having some adverse effects on my right eye and I found my self trying to ignore the pain, however, the tears streaming down my face did little to hide my problem. I secretly patted myself on the back for remembering to bring my contact lens case and a pair of glasses. They offered me more of their homemade bacon and toast but I had to refuse because I was full and did not want to start a day of walking with a belly full of grease.

After saying goodbye I packed my gear and left, following the trail along Cumberland River, it changed its heading and continued in a direction that would take me directly to Hwy 27, a place where I could find fuel for my stove. I came to a gravel road that temporarily assumed the role of the Sheltowee and passed by an empty cabin that appeared to be abandoned. I wondered if it was privately or federally owned. At any rate I recorded its location and image and continued on the gravel road, using the information on my GPS as a back up, but quickly found out that this section of the trail been re-routed and that the GPS information was outdated. I looked for any signs of where the trail could have gone but to no avail and decided to stay on the gravel road that I was fairly certain would take me to Hwy 27 where the trail crossed.

After a couple hours of wonderment and consulting my GPS I made it to the Hwy 27 near some
railroad tracks. It turns out that the trail as well crossed the highway near the railroad tracks. If my feet were not talking so harshly to me after two hours of # 3 gravel I might have back tracked the trail to see where I went wrong. I dropped my pack off at the Hwy 27 trailhead and caught a ride into Whitley City to the local Pamidas (the first one of these mini Wal-marts I’ve ever seen) to get denatured alcohol, more socks, and a bandanna. I took the opportunity of being back in civilization to make a couple of phone calls and walked back up the highway. On the way I stopped to eat at ZZ’s Italian restaurant. Good food I might add. The Stearns ranger station was another stopping point on the long walk back to the trail head. They were not open but I left the grid coordinate of the bear's location anyway. I arrived at the trail head and after reorganizing my newly found weight, I took off to find a camping spot near water for the night.

I followed the trail into Barren Fork horse camp where I meet some young dudes and a good source of fresh water. They invited me to hang out with them so I stayed up and played my jaw harp with their guitar player. They really liked my alcohol stove and watched as I cooked dinner. They couldn’t seem to wrap their mind around the idea that I was actually backpacking the Sheltowee Trace and walked from Pickett State Park in TN. Before closing my eyes that night I thought about how ironic it was that I come all the way out into woods to get way from everything and here I am with people again. Guess one is really never as far from what from what they are trying to escape as they think…

The Photo album - Day 5

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all.
But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

~William Blake
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