Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hawn State Park Backpacking

As Tom has worked at American Recreation Products over the last year we have acquired a number of awesome backpacking/camping items. We get to use them often as we camp about 2-3 times a summer, however we had not had a chance to go backcountry with our gear. I have my backpack from college and Tom borrowed one from a friend so that we could head to Hawn State Park in Ste Genevieve this weekend. We originally planned to go on Saturday but changed our plans for a party on Saturday night. We left St. Louis around 3:45 on Friday evening and stopped by my sister's house in Ste Gen. We were at the trail by 5:45 packed up and ready to go.

Tom and me at the Trailhead in Hawn State Park

Tom heading out on his first backpacking trip!
The trail was beautiful with tall pines and nice overlooks.

Tom started to get a little ahead of me as he got nervous about the setting sun. I figured we had until 7:00 to get to the campsite. We passed one backpacking campsite in hopes of getting to the one a little farther down the trail. However, darkness was creeping in and we also just happened to drop our headlamp and break it. Tom got nervous and walked pretty fast. I stayed behind and snapped some pics :)
Thank goodness he walked fast. We got to the campsite at 7:00 on the dot. Camp was set up by 7:15. It was dark at 7:18 and it was raining by 7:30. I could not make this stuff up. After a feeble attempt to light an illegal (not allowed in the park) campfire in the rain we crawled into the tent as it turned from a sprinkle to a downpour. That is where we stayed until 9:30 the next morning.
We classed it up a bit with some twist top red wine, cheese and crackers. It poured all night making for a nice little background noise to sleep during.
The next morning we got up, packed up our campsite, ate a clif bar and were on our way. Below are some pics of Tom at our campsite.

The rain gave everything a fresh look that morning and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

We crossed this stream 3 times trying to figure out which way to go. We eventually opted to follow a trail that would hopefully lead us to the "most beautiful Missouri trail" Pickle Creek.

We were kind of lost when we came upon this sign. Whoopeee! We could find our way back!
We followed the beautiful Pickle Creek Trail for a mile to our car.
When we found this beautiful site we decided it was time for some timer pics. It was set to nine continuous photos so we took the opportunity to strike a few poses!

Thumbs up for a successful first backpacking trip! Timing of things we couldn't control (ie sunlight and rain) was perfect. We had a wonderful time and are anxious to go out again.
We culminated the trip with La Pachanga Mexican in Crystal City... then came back to St. Louis for a much needed nap!

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