“If you can’t find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”– Frank A. Clark
Total Miles Hiked
Fun Level (1-10)
We made trail mix for the first time! YES! But we made WAYYYY too much haha. Oh well, it was delicious and will serve us well on our next 38 hikes.
This Kings Mountain Trail hike was a doozy. Big time.
We ended up hiking just about 17 and a half miles when it was all said and done. We did this all in one day too, from about 9:30 in the morning to 5:30 at night. We only took a few breaks, which means we were hiking for about 8 hours straight. It was challenging to say the least.
The two biggest difficulties were my ankle and confusion finding the trail, neither of which were any surprise. I ended up popping my left ankle twice, with the second time bringing quite a bit of pain. Pushing through the pain and the fear of doing it for a third time was definitely a struggle over 17 miles. This lead me to realize that my ankle was the current biggest weakness for two hikers hiking. Miranda and I would be held back in making any type of longer hike if my ankle was going to be a constant problem. I ended up calling the doctor this morning and we will see what happens. Hopefully something can be done to strengthen it or maybe I can even have a surgery done down the line, who knows.
As far as the trail goes, this was one of the worst marked trails that we have been on to date. The blazes weren’t the problem, as the blue squares were quite prevalent. The problem exists in this quote from a park ranger we found the first time we got lost “Well you see here (pointing to the “map”) all of our trails throughout the park are blazed in blue.” Thank you so much for pointing out that fact… Truth be told, the ranger was very nice and got us back on the trail, but it was consistently hard to figure out where we were supposed to go.
To start off, we just wandered down what seemed like the trailhead and eventually found the the path splitting left or right, with no signs. Both trails had blue blazes down them, so we figured right was a good way to go. When we eventually finished, we did not get to this point in the trail again. We came out the other side somehow with a major sign that was completely unhelpful and the path going in 4 different directions.
We just barely made it back. It was the sound of children playing in the playground that we parked at led us to our car. Oh what a sweet site the old corolly was. Man O man was it good to be done. It was a fantastic journey.
Doing 17+ miles in one day is not for the faint of heart. We strongly recommend getting a few 5-10 mile hikes under your belt first before you try it. For us, we had just the right amount of water and food to keep us going, and it worked out great. It could have been worse as my ankle issue happened exactly halfway through. Either one of us could have sustained an injury that left us unable to walk.
This leads me to admit the truth, in that while I had a phone that was on airplane mode to save battery, we had no other emergency gear. This is something we need to seriously look at, especially when going on hikes of this magnitude. You never know when disaster could strike and we should at least have headlamps, a compass, maps, etc. We will work on getting these items for our next hike, and we will no longer have to just hope to get lucky.
You can see all of the rest of our pictures from the hike below and thanks for reading!
-Jordan @ THH