Sleepy Hollow Trail Hike – Day 2

[From my Journal] April 7, 2019 10:00 PM

I woke to the sounds of geese calling out … 7:30 AM. My first thought was “it’s so warm inside this sleeping bag, maybe I can just lay here for another half-hour”?

Ten minutes later, I was standing in my trail runners and Smartwool bottoms, next to a very large and secluded Pine tree, peeing in the wind and establishing what I guess is to become my morning routine on trail.

I slept well and although not a back-sleeper, I did manage to begin my sleep while laying on my back. Even though the temperature was forecast to drop down into the low 40’s, I decided to sleep with the front fly door open – allowing the breeze to blow into the tent, and the opportunity to experience cooler weather while in my shelter.

My hands and fingers got a bit chilled, but I quickly figured out the perfect way to lay on my side and wrap my sleeping bag up, around me, and allow my hands and fingers to be covered. I’m certain that I’ll need to have a light pair of gloves in cases where the temperatures are under 40 degrees F.

Once up and moving about, I quickly gathered my stove kit and retrieved my bear/food bag hanging from the tree – the only goal being a hot cup of coffee! The MSR Pocket Rocket II fired right up, and water for coffee was boiling in a couple of minutes. I opened a packet of Starbucks VIA Instant and poured it into my mug, added the hot water, and …. AHHHhhhh, so tasty!

As I enjoyed my morning coffee, I decided that I will carry a stove & mug on any/every hike if for no other reason than moments like this one.

I finished my coffee along with a Kind Bar for breakfast, cleaned my mug and set off to break down camp and start my day.

With everything packed away in “it’s place” in my pack, I was off. Beginning with a short road walk back to Marker 1, then Marker 2 and onward to continue my hike from where I left off the day before.

It was another beautiful day, with the sun peaking in and out of the clouds, and temperatures absolutely perfect for hiking – so much so, I was able to shed my hiking shirt and just hike in my Nike Pro running shirt. And even with my last trail mile before this hike taken place in late November last year, my legs were a little stiff, but seemed to quickly remember they were built for this. A quick right turn at Marker 2, and I was on my way in search of Marker 15.

Just as I had mentally broken this hike down into a number of smaller hikes or goals, I like to refer to them as challenges, Marker 15 would become Marker 14,  …

Marker 14 would become Marker 13, …

then 12 to 11 and, …

and I found myself thinking of hiking the 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail, not as a single ominous 2200 mile hike, but rather as 22 smaller hikes or goals of 100 miles. In turn, breaking down each 100 mile segment into five 20-mile days, with a Zero on day 6 or 7 as needed.

In Zach Davis’s “Appalachian Trials” he points out how important it is to be mentally prepared for a Thru-Hike, with mental preparedness being more important than being physically fit or prepared.

I’ve always taken things apart, broken them down, mapped the path from point a to point z, and even in the short time I’ve been dreaming of Thru-Hiking, I have done the same with my plans to date.

But at some point, all the planning, all the research, all the details have to give way, break into existence becoming ‘reality’, and I honestly feel as if my time to ramble afoot is approaching.

Hike Data

  • Sleepy Hollow State Park Trail
  • Start: Marker 1
  • End: Marker 8
  • Garmin InReach: Avg 2.7 mph, 8.33 Miles
  • FitBit: 26426 Steps, 19 Floors, 11.66 Miles

– Kelly

blog: Ramble Afoot vlog: YouTube Channel
fb: Facebook ig: Instagram tw: Twitter
Appalachian Trail Conservancy Member #22027626
Pacific Crest Trail Association Member #98397
North Country Trail Association Member since 11-28-2018

Sleepy Hollow Trail Hike – Day 1

[From my Journal] April 6, 2019 7:00 PM


Even though it’s early in the season, the warmer temperatures and pleasant weather have provided the park with many visitors, most camping eloquently in their RVs and campers. After all, this is Michigan and the weather can always change, and quickly.

When planning for this two day adventure and my first hike of the 2019 season, I thought for sure I would be the only person rustic camping and sleeping in a tent. Alas I was mistaken; I actually have neighbors next to me on Campsite A!

I started my hike today, just North of the rustic campsite area and up a multi-use trail , at Marker 8, worked my way clockwise around the park, ticking the markers off one by one, until I reached Marker 1. From there, it was about half-mile road walk back to the multi-use trail head, and a short distance to reach Campsite B.

In addition to mowed sections to pitch your tent on, the Park has welcomed the advent of the hammock and provides multiple 4″x4″ wooden posts with eye-bolts or hooks to which one can secure their mattress -in-the-air if desired. The campsite has a nice cement fire ring, but no water, although Lake OVID is a short 300 yards away, if needed.

I used a new carabiner & hook combo called the HeroClip ( to securely hang my backpack to an eye-bolt on one of the hammock posts, which kept the backpack off the ground, and allowed for easy access into the pack while setting up camp. I like it!

After dinner, instead of the well known PCT Method for hanging a bear/food bag, I used a new method called the 2CR Method ( for hanging my bear/food bag from a tree branch; it was really easy to hang the bag and took no time at all, once I found a rock big enough to toss the rock bag over the tree limb.

Many sounds from birds and geese can be heard, and I’m guessing there is a nest of sorts located in the giant pine tree next to my tent.

The sun is setting behind the clouds now and the sky begins to glow along the horizon – all beyond me and through the trees to the West.

I can only imagine what it will look and feel like when I watch the sunset along the ‘Big Trails’.

Hike Data

  • Sleepy Hollow State Park Trail
  • Start: Marker 8
  • End: Marker 1
  • Garmin InReach: Avg 2.6 mph, 5.1 Miles
  • FitBit: 24584 Steps, 17 Floors, 10.59 Miles

– Kelly


blog: Ramble Afoot vlog: YouTube Channel
fb: Facebook ig: Instagram tw: Twitter
Appalachian Trail Conservancy Member #22027626
Pacific Crest Trail Association Member #98397
North Country Trail Association Member since 11-28-2018

Where Have We Been? What’s next …

On September 1, 2018 I will return to the North Country Trail!

… to finish what I began almost 2 months ago. Those details and more can be viewed in the video:


Also, my pack and gear list have been completely revised, and now only weighs 34 lbs, including (2) 1-Lt filled bottles of water and meals for 5 days. You can view my complete revised NCT gear list at the following URL:

Revised NCT Gear List


And of course, I will journal my upcoming adventure here and on my other social media platforms.

I’ll see you down the way …



– Kelly

blog: Ramble Afoot
vlog: YouTube Channel
fb: Facebook
ig: Instagram
tw: Twitter