On Saturday, April 21, 2012, I drove from my house to a private park on the Kishwaukee River just outside of Rockford for an overnight stay with some friends from bwca.com. On the way, I stopped for a short hike at Lowden State Park near Oregon, IL. It was a nice spring day in Illinois and I got to use my trekking poles for the first time. I have my pack weight down to 22 pounds. As of now, that will likely be my average weight for the next few hikes. I know where I can make some weight losses in the future, but I would have to upgrade some of my gear. I don’t want to do that just now, so I’ll just enjoy the stuff I currently have. During this hike, I tried to climb up a steep section of trail which was closed. I slipped, fell and ended up sliding down the mud about 25 feet. So then I took another interesting little trail that climbed up the bluff through the woods and came out just under the Blackhawk statue plaza. I continued to traipse around the park for about two hours and then decided to head up to the bwca.com “Wing Night.”
It is getting easier to pack now that I have a system in place. Also, I have a pretty well set gear list. So depending on the weather forecast and the amount of water I must carry, my load will vary between 21 and 28 pounds for the next few months.