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Sheltowee Trace Trail

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    • Sheltowee Trace Trail

      I’ve started a new trail, the Sheltowee Trace Trail. It’s 340+ miles with the southern terminus in Big South Fork and the Northern terminus up in KY somewhere. :)

      My first trip was great. The weather was crazy... sunshine, cold rain, sunshine, cold rain, sunshine, hail, lightning, thunder.

      I hope to be smarter with trip planning and not do the same thing that I did on the BMT...all the day hikes, loops, out and backs, and extra miles.

      I have a target completion date but don’t want to share. When I start telling people my plans, they seem to fall apart (the plans, not the people).


      Had a lot of fun and learned to appreciate a good campground bathroom...literally saved my hike to have a place to get warm and dry out gear.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • A few pics...
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      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Sheltowee is the name given to Daniel Boone by the Shawnee, it means Big Turtle..thus the turtle, trail markers. Daniel Boone was “adopted” (captured) by the Shawnee and taken to Ohio(?). He later escaped.

      Fun fact...Daniel Boone didn’t wear a coonskin cap, it was considered unfashionable.


      The Southern John Muir Trail shares some of the Sheltowee Trace.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • I’ve got more Daniel Boone trivia. Last week, when my trainer found out where I was hiking, he read Daniel Boone history to me during my workout, lol. It was fun to think about all those things while hiking.

      Scott Co/Kentucky has had a lot of flooding recently. The day after I finished, it rained some more. I saw a pic of the campground where I stopped to get warm and regroup and it was totally under water...made me wonder what I’d have done if I were caught in it.

      on day 2, it started raining while packing up camp. It was a cold, hard rain, and after 5 miles, I was so wet and chilled that I worried about hypothermia and thought about abandoning the hike. I wasn’t sure if the campground was open and hoped that the bathroom was more than a small, stinky pit toilet and that it was unlocked.

      Walking into the CG, the gazebo looked nice but I really needed to dry my wet clothes and get warm. I was so excited to find the bathroom unlocked but got even more excited when I walked in. It had built in benches, hooks, and a powerful hand dryer. Heaven! It’s the little things.

      This is the gazebo...only the roof is visible.
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      This is the gazebo...only the roof is visible.
      OMG, I think I was hiking there just this past July. Past flooding was evident - you could see ripple patterns of silt well up the banks of the river and even creeping up on signage. When the water is down, though, it's a great place for getting out on the big rocks. (Sorry, first one uploaded sideways ... )

    • Finished the next section, 29ish miles. Hot, buggy, and muggy is the best description.

      Didn’t take many pics as I was too busy fighting mosquitoes, swiping spider webs off my face, trying to keep my shoes on in the mud, or climbing over blowdowns.

      Can’t wait for the next one.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      Finished the next section, 29ish miles. Hot, buggy, and muggy is the best description.

      Didn’t take many pics as I was too busy fighting mosquitoes, swiping spider webs off my face, trying to keep my shoes on in the mud, or climbing over blowdowns.

      Can’t wait for the next one.
      TJ, did you bring a head net? Sometimes it can be a life saver. Those pesky buggers can drive a person insane.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      Finished the next section, 29ish miles. Hot, buggy, and muggy is the best description.

      Didn’t take many pics as I was too busy fighting mosquitoes, swiping spider webs off my face, trying to keep my shoes on in the mud, or climbing over blowdowns.

      Can’t wait for the next one.
      TJ, did you bring a head net? Sometimes it can be a life saver. Those pesky buggers can drive a person insane.
      I’ve never used a head net but will probably buy one soon. In June, I did several trips in the Bald River Falls area around the BMT and was chased off the trail once by mosquitoes.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • TJ, the head net I use works with my brimmed hat (the 'Outdoor Research Sombriolet hat).

      The net has a hole at the top so it sits on the brim and hangs away from my face. The net weighs perhaps an ounce, so I always keep it in my pack.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Finished the third section, had a great time!

      There is a new reroute but no details have been published on the STA site or the STA FB page so I had a little trouble in one spot but otherwise this section was great!

      Still having trouble with my feet, these shoes are going in the trash.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Astro wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      My nice pillow got a hole, I still haven’t replaced my headlamp, and my solar lantern was stolen at a campground…everything needs replacing!
      Were you charging the solar lantern when it was stolen?
      Yep. The only other camper was at the opposite end of the campground. I lay the lantern in the sun, 2 feet from the boundary of my campsite. I went to sit by the lake and a local family showed up, the kids swimming in the water and a man setting up a hammock near my site. They left after an hour and my lantern disappeared. I can only assume it was them as no other people were around.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      My nice pillow got a hole, I still haven’t replaced my headlamp, and my solar lantern was stolen at a campground…everything needs replacing!
      Were you charging the solar lantern when it was stolen?
      Yep. The only other camper was at the opposite end of the campground. I lay the lantern in the sun, 2 feet from the boundary of my campsite. I went to sit by the lake and a local family showed up, the kids swimming in the water and a man setting up a hammock near my site. They left after an hour and my lantern disappeared. I can only assume it was them as no other people were around.
      That is a shame, as they obviously knew it was not theirs. I feel bad that you are missing your solar lantern, but their character is missing something even greater. :(
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • My toes stopped hurting today, hopefully I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Gonna lose a few toenails as usual.

      My son is the shipping director for a Fleet Feet store. He mapped my feet and has convinced me that I need 1/2 size smaller shoe in a wide width. It makes sense as (currently) my problem is my smaller foot moves around in the shoe and my toes get mashed against the end of the shoe when descending, injuring them and causing a lot of pain. My bunion didn’t hurt at all this trip.
      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Astro wrote:

      How well maintained is this trail? And most importantly (to me :) ), what would it be like in June?

      I don't enjoy summer trails covered with growth, especially poison ivy.
      So far, its been very well maintained. The only overgrowth I've encountered was after the Rock Creek ford and it wasn't bad. Because of the spring flooding, there is a lot of debris on the trail where it runs parallel to the Big South Fork river but it's nothing impossible, just slow going.

      June...I think it would a good month to hike but depends on the amount of spring rain fall. There's not a lot of elevation so it's not the best place to be in the middle of summer. You could always start at the northernmost end where it would be cooler.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      My toes stopped hurting today, hopefully I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Gonna lose a few toenails as usual.

      My son is the shipping director for a Fleet Feet store. He mapped my feet and has convinced me that I need 1/2 size smaller shoe in a wide width. It makes sense as (currently) my problem is my smaller foot moves around in the shoe and my toes get mashed against the end of the shoe when descending, injuring them and causing a lot of pain. My bunion didn’t hurt at all this trip.
      Might want to get a confirming opinion on that. While the feet moving around in the shoe does suggest it is either too large or not tied tightly enough, the toes hitting the end of the shoe upon descents suggests the shoe is not long enough. For example I wear 1/2 - 1 size larger in hiking shoes than would be necessary for everyday shoes, to prevent toes from hitting. I also like a little room in the toe box so they don't get mashed together too closely. However, the foot moving around is liable to cause blisters.
    • Time Zone wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      My toes stopped hurting today, hopefully I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Gonna lose a few toenails as usual.

      My son is the shipping director for a Fleet Feet store. He mapped my feet and has convinced me that I need 1/2 size smaller shoe in a wide width. It makes sense as (currently) my problem is my smaller foot moves around in the shoe and my toes get mashed against the end of the shoe when descending, injuring them and causing a lot of pain. My bunion didn’t hurt at all this trip.
      Might want to get a confirming opinion on that. While the feet moving around in the shoe does suggest it is either too large or not tied tightly enough, the toes hitting the end of the shoe upon descents suggests the shoe is not long enough. For example I wear 1/2 - 1 size larger in hiking shoes than would be necessary for everyday shoes, to prevent toes from hitting. I also like a little room in the toe box so they don't get mashed together too closely. However, the foot moving around is liable to cause blisters.
      Valid observations!

      My right foot is 1/2 size smaller than the left and Ive been wearing shoes at least 1/2 size too big for my bigger foot. I said my bigger foot didn’t have problems this trip but that’s not necessarily true. I get a blister in my same spot every trip.

      I don’t know what else to do at this point, I’ve tried everything and spent tons of money on shoes. I guess I could always buy two pair and wear a different shoe on each foot (?)

      I actually switched last month to a 7 wide in my gym/walking shoes and still have room for my toes in the end of the shoe plus the wide width accommodates the bunion. But yeah, I’m worried about swelling.

      It’s so frustrating to be hiking in such pain for a short, 30 mile hike. I really want to do longer trips but can’t with the current situation.

      (pic is my left foot blister this morning)
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • I get a hot spot on that same spot. I've learned that as soon as it starts, I stop and clean my feet and duct tape the balls of my feet and the side of my big toe because it gets sore too. Never had a blister using the duct tape.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Ditto on the Leukotape. I also love the hack where you pre cut rectangles of tape and stick them to the non stick backing of peel and stick labels. I've been known to dig through the garbage at meetings to get all the discarded name tag backings. My wife thinks it looks bad to dig through the garbage. Fortunately, I don't care about superficial appearances.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by odd man out ().

    • I bought another pair of Hoka Speedgoat in 7W and they feel really good. I tried these shoes in 7 1/2 but gave them away because they were too narrow for my bunion.

      There’s lots of room for my toes and my heels don’t slip. I included pics on where my toes end in the shoe and I think they are long enough.

      For the first time in a long time, I'm feeling hopeful that I can hike relatively pain free.

      I tried to burn a hole in my big toenail to relieve the pressure but it didn’t work. I tried heating both a paper clip and a straight pin. It’s really bothering me.

      and thanks for the leukotape endorsements, I’m going to buy some and start covering that spot that always blisters.
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      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Finished another section of the STT…33.5 official miles from Yamacraw Bridge to Cumberland Falls SP. 1/3 of the trail is completed, yahoo.

      I’ve realized that I don’t like road walking or hiking next to big rivers when it’s hot and sunny. May have to switch to higher elevation hikes for summer.

      I really enjoyed the newly emerged flora and fauna.
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • TJ,

      I had some fun trying to ID your butterfly. Very difficult.

      I'm going with the dark morph form of the 'Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.' Normally these are yellow, but there are a few dark forms in the population because it mimics another dark colored poisonous butterfly. There are a few look-alikes here, so if we have any butterfly experts I would be interested in being set straight.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      TJ,

      I had some fun trying to ID your butterfly. Very difficult.

      I'm going with the dark morph form of the 'Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.' Normally these are yellow, but there are a few dark forms in the population because it mimics another dark colored poisonous butterfly. There are a few look-alikes here, so if we have any butterfly experts I would be interested in being set straight.
      I’m very interested also! I’m reading a mystery series and the primary character is a lepidopterist so I’ve had butterflies on the brain. On this hike, I was very aware of them and saw about 4-5 different types.

      I’m also trying to get better at plant identification and it’s been very cool to compare early spring plants with how they look when fully bloomed.

      This isn’t a great pic but this is the bloomed version of a plant that Time Zone and I saw a few weeks ago. It’s interesting that the bloom is under the leaves.

      Does anyone know what this is? My free trial of a plant id app has expired, lol.
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • IMScotty wrote:

      TJ,

      I had some fun trying to ID your butterfly. Very difficult.

      I'm going with the dark morph form of the 'Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.' Normally these are yellow, but there are a few dark forms in the population because it mimics another dark colored poisonous butterfly. There are a few look-alikes here, so if we have any butterfly experts I would be interested in being set straight.
      I'm fairly confident your ID is correct barring lookalike species in that region that I'm not familiar with. Swallowtails are very common in my neighborhood and that definitely looks like one in its dark phase.
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