GRAVEL trail! Arrggghhh!

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Litehiker, May 19, 2017.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Two days ago I went on an overnight backpack with two other guys, It was a 5.7 mile gradual uphill hike from 6,000 ft. to 8,000 ft. to the Hidden Forest area.

    But it was all on gravel from 3/4" size to fist size but mostly "in-between" size with some loose, corarse sand as well in some stretches. This was in in Deadman's Canyon in Southern Nevada's Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the largest NWR in the nation. The gravel was all from water flow deposition.

    I want to tell you that this is the damnedest walking surface I've ever done, including some very rocky sections of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania (also known to AT hikers as "Rocksylvania"). Almost every step in the NWR trail on moveable rocks of various sizes. I would have paid to walk on a "normal" dirt trail.

    The second day my legs were fine but today, the day after the hike back down to the trailhead, my legs are sore, mainly my calves.
    I mean, c'mon, I've been training with a 30 lb. pack on mountain trails near my home and my backpack for the Hidden Forest trip was only 25 lbs. so it's not like I was not ready for the trip.

    I hope to hell to never, ever walk on gravel like that again.

    Eric B.
     
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  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds awful, glad I wasn't there!
     
  3. cholt64

    cholt64 Member

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    That's the worst! I recently did the Bataan Death March in White Sands Missile Range and there's a three mile section from mile 21 to 24 that is just loose soft sand. It was a soul crusher!
     
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  4. Buckdown

    Buckdown Previously Thad Griffith

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    Mother nature always finds a muscle or 2 you didn't prep.
     
  5. ub270

    ub270 Member

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    Other than walking on marbles , how was the rest of the trip?
     
  6. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    One step forward, half a step back.
     
  7. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    ub270,
    The rest of the trip was fine. Beautiful scenery with lots of Ponderosa pine as we ascended to an old but lovingly restored miner's cabin, open to the public.

    I was with much younger guys (I was 73) and they had to slow a bit towards the last 2 miles to accommodate me. One was a small Japanese-American who had leather lungs and rawhide muscles. He carried at least 40 lbs, which included a CAMERA DRONE!

    Mike,
    Yer keerect. Going up always felt like a "half step back" on those "marbles", as ub sez.

    BTW, now the Air Force wants to use about 1/4 of that DNWR for a practice range! We are fighting that with several environmental groups leading the way.

    Eric B.
     
  8. WalksLikeADeer

    WalksLikeADeer Well-Known Member

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    Might try getting closer to 20 lbs for a one nighter, could help those muscles.
     
  9. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I followed my 23 yr old marine kid up a steep scree chute,then out 2m,1/4 rear bone in front boned,mutiple creek crossings this year.Packed 1/2 muley to 4 m.in dark.Gota luv it
     
  10. broomd

    broomd Well-Known Member

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    Gravy. You had it made. :)
    Now sand? Another story!
    And try walking on tundra tussocks for 14 or 15 miles. This is essentially like walking on basketballs all laid side by side...talk about ankle destruction.