This past weekend I planned to have a relaxed vacation style hike on the Eagle Rock Loop in the Ouachita Naitonal Forest in Arkansas. Ruthie and I have been up there twice already this year and we took our buddies Matt & Trent with us for a good time. I planned to do a little bit of Tenkara fishing on the Little Missouri River along the way. I looked forward to many things on this trip. First of all it was supposed to be nice cool weather and I was headed back to the woods so I was happy. I was able to bring my own dehydrated food with me, which is a welcome change from what i'd ate on the AT. We all carried a small bottle of whiskey and things were looking great when heading north from Louisiana. The weather was fair most of the weekend. Some rain fell and it was mostly overcast. Defenitely the longest i've ever hiked consistently in my rain jacket. It worked well for the damp conditions and a break from the cold biting winds that blew most of the weekend.
Plans change. Not that the weekend was a bust but it wasn't without it's own setbacks. Upon arriving at camp the first night, Trent came down with a bad sickness and was tentbound for the rest of the weekend. He toughed out the weekend alone and let us finish the hike while he waited. Matt busted up his wrists and arms slipping on some slick rocks the first night and spent the weekend in some sort of pain in his wrists and knees. Long story short, my hot water bottle opened up on me in my sleeping bag saturday night and I burned my leg and emptied out a liter of water into my sleeping bag as I was trying to sleep. Not the best way to get some rest. I was able to dry everything remarkably fast by the fire and was asleep an hour later. Troubles be what they were I still had a good time. Hopefully I will return for another new years hike this year.