Lone Star Trail, Days 5-6

Day 5 – Thu, Jan 25 – LST 83.5

East Fork of the San Jacinto

Up and hiking by 7:15 AM. 2 miles later I am at the east fork of the San Jacinto (8 AM). The water looks deep so I scouted up and down river looking for logs across the river. I found one and attempted to cross but the bark kept flaking off and it was a good 5 feet above the water so I backed off.

My first attempt to cross – bark and loose debris on the log made me back off.

I found a pile of logs that looked easier to cross on, as they were on the water surface. As I attempted to cross the logs moved and I fell into the water. I ended up standing in water up to my lower chest. I scrambled back onto the logs and crossed to the other side..

My second (and final) attempt to cross was here.

My pack was wet up about 3/4 of the way. My pants and shirt were soaked. Fortunately my clothes bag is at the top of my pack so my other clothes were dry and I was able to quickly get into some dry clothes which was important since it was 35°. I ended up hiking in my long-johns which was not only stylish but comfortable.

After I got dry clothes on and started hiking I realized I had lost my sun hat when I went into the water. Over the next hour the sun came out and by the time I got to double Lake Campground my clothes are starting to dry a bit. I stopped for short break and laid my clothes in the sun.

Drying clothes at Double Lake CG

Double Lake is a pretty little campground with all the usual amenities. If and when I do this trail again I will definitely try to camp one night here. I was able to dump my garbage and grab a little water here also. Access from the trail is great – not more than a couple hundred yards.

The Double Lake CG across the lake.

The weather just got better today, warming up nicely. I stopped for lunch at about mile 11 at near the last crossing of Big Creek. I got water and filtered it and laid out all my river wet clothes, sleeping bag and tent to dry in the sun while I ate lunch.

Lunch of champions!

The water in Big Creek filters clear and tastes wonderful. In an hour everything was dry so things are definitely looking up.

I humped 4 L of water to my last primitive campsite at mile 83 1/2. I have one bar of cell coverage here so I was able to call Roberta and let her know that the plan is still to arrive tomorrow around noon.

And a pleasant surprise! Some kind hiker left some extra food in the camp mailbox (each PCG has what looks like a mailbox with a trail register and trail info). I was getting kinda low on food so the raisins are much appreciated!

Requisite Day 5 selfie.

After the first day I have only seen one hiker and not a single car at any of the trail heads. I’ve camped by myself every night except the night in the Huntsville State campground when I was surrounded by RVs.

Day 6 – Fri, Jan 26 – LST 96.4 

Would have gotten my earliest start of the trip (7:00) but just as I was starting out I noticed my backpack was wonky. One of he webbing straps has broken. I managed a quick fix (thank you duct tape!) and was hiking by 7:15.

Day 6 Selfie

Another gorgeous day. I am down to just snack food, and not much of that, so a 12.5 mile last day sounds good. My pack feels great – guessing it’s down to 18 lbs or so. The trail is in great shape and I am making good time.

Stopped for first break about 9:30 at the Mercy PCG (LST 89.1), after 5.5 miles or so. This PCG has a bench!!! Of course. The one PCG I DIDN’T stay at would have a bench.

FS2112 Mercy PCG …. with a bench!!!

Then back on the trail – getting near the end!

Nearing the end!

Crossing FM 945 at LST 93.1 someone’s water/food cache looks like it got raided.

Garbage on the trail near FM 945.

Thought this last 6 miles or so would be a breeze but after about mile 93 the trail is a swamp for several miles. Really bad hiking conditions. Not really a trail – just a swamp with markers.

Also noticed a lot of damaged walkway/bridges in this stretch.

The swampy conditions let up after mile 94 or so and the last couple of big bridges (over Winters Bayou and the San Jacinto) were in pretty good shape. The Winters bridge is missing a few planks.

San Jacinto Bridge at LST 92.5

Roberta walked out to meet me and we walked the last half mile together. It was a lovely end to a lovely hike. My next post will be my thoughts and observations on the LST and what I would do differenty.

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