So my buddy Shawn is doing youtube videos to promote hiking in the Shawnee and I invited him to do a hike with me for his channel. We started at Frank’s Tract and headed into the Lusk Creek area on trails that I know well, but as the hike would prove not we;ll enough. We had planned to do this Tuesday but rain Monday had me worried about crossing Lusk Creek. Really I was worried about crossing Lusk Creek before the rain. It’s generally over your ankles and it’s hard to cross it without getting your feet wet. In the winter this can be a problem. Temps were suppose to hit 50 so I figured even if we fell in we would be OK.
As usual I didn’t prepare very well for the hike. I printed a map and thought about a route, but didn’t really lock in the trails I wanted to take. I took a fanny pack with a single can of diet soda, 3 granola bars, my Canon T4i, and my tripod. Shawn on the other hand had a day pack, multiple bottles of gatorade, several protein bars, a combat knife, and even a device to scare away predators. He was nice enough to offer me a bottle of Gatorade a few miles in.
I purposely only took the Canon t4i and 18-55 kit lens. The video that I shot looks far, far better than any video I’ve ever took, even with my jerky handheld camera motion. Shooting stills through the camera is good too, though the viewfinder is smaller and dimmer then the 5D that I’m used to. My one complaint is really stupid, but it’s still a complaint, I wish it didn’t have all the goofy picture modes and noob features and instead had a seperate control wheel on the back for aperture like every other DSLR I’ve owned, but this is camera probably isn’t aimed at people who like to shoot manual. Can’t argue with the image quality though.
My plan was to cross Lusk at Natural Bridge, check it out then then walk to Saltpeter Cave, then finally to
Eagle Owl Bluff. Crossing the creek required taking out shoes off, which was no big deal. After checking out Natural Bridge we carried on to the 457 and over to Saltpeter Cave. Here I realized walking to Eagle Bluff was probably a bit overzealous. We made a change of plans to make a shorter loop.
We went down to Old Guest crossing and then up the bluff to the 483 trail which follows the West side of the canyon. I have been on this trail several times, hell I’ve even ran it in the dark, and yet somehow I missed it. We ended up walking to Bowed Tree Crossing and taking the 001 back which added a mile to the route. Shawn didn’t mind, he was having a great time and the 001 River to River trail is really awesome through Lusk Creek so it was fun. The final mile back uphill to the truck was nothing like my last hike. I was feeling a bit woozy, and definitely need more to eat and drink, but I didn’t hit a wall like last time and I’m not sore from it either.
Just in case you’re wondering plastic bags over your feet never works, but its one those things you’ve got to find our for yourself. Ask Moe about it one day.
We saw not a soul until the about a quarter mile from the truck where we met a lady walking some dogs, which surprised considering how the warm the day had been for late December, but maybe everyone had been watching the weather. It sprinkled a bit in the last half mile of out walk, but came a massive downpour on our drive out. Good thing we didn’t go up to
Eagle Owl Bluff.
Here’s Shawn’s video of the hike, it’s like being there with us!