I enjoy the physical and logistical challenge, but for me the real appeal of backpacking lies in nature. To a greater degree than possible through day hiking or car camping, backpacking is a total immersion in the natural world. This is true whether you're walking through a vast wilderness or a local state park.
Last week I spent 2 nights and 2 days just down the road wandering alone through Montgomery Bell State Park. During that time I journeyed 34 miles by connecting various loops and covering the same ground more than once. My time there was marvelously refreshing, leaving a peace and calm that has lasted for days. I definitely need to do this more often.
Here a few pictures from the trip. I hope they inspire you to go for a quick getaway. As you can see, the forest is slowly transforming into autumn.
|Early autumnal fire|
|Harvestman on sassafras leaf|
|Dried fern leaves|
|Strawberry Bush, or Hearts-A-Bustin' (Euonymus americanus)|
|Maple, Creech Hollow Lake|
|Maple leaves and club moss|
|Club moss and Tulip Poplar leaves|
|Creech Hollow Lake|
|Possibly Jack-o-lantern mushroom|