Richland Creek Wilderness Area, Pine Hollow and Beyond Backpack
  It has been a while since the soil of Richland Creek Wilderness Area has been in my boot treads. Saturday after breakfast at Denny's in Russellville, boots and soil were reunited. This journey began at the Richland Creek Campground where a mix of hunters and normal people shared the newly refreshed camp sites. At 5:45 Falling Water Creek was crossed and Pine Hollow was surrounding me. The morning was a cloudy one but surely clearance would occur as the day progressed. The temp was near 51° with a slight breeze caressing my cheeks. A stop was made at Terwilliger Falls for some vertical water action. Hiking up the creek within Pine Hollow was not terribly exciting. When I hit the peak above Richland Creek a greeting from a northwest wind was waiting for me. The temp was now falling and the rushing air did chap my hide. Eventually a downward angle took me to a bluff overlooking Richland Valley. Lunch was had there with blue skies and a few clouds above me.
  Richland Falls was the next stop. One group lounged on the gravel bar at the base of the falls. I threw some large rocks in from atop the falls and splashed them. They laughed and laughed. The fools. They chased me with sticks as my way was made up the western slope of the valley. By 3:00 or so a suitable camping location was secured. This was a fine bluff above the Long fork of Devils Fork. My hammock was prepared for slumber. No firewood was gathered as the wind was still fairly brisk. It did die down after sunset. When all was dark a group of campers was noted to be somewhere between the two creeks behind the falls. Another group was seen farther up the hill and yet another in the sandstone castle area. All three received bazooka loads of baby skunks encased in cheesecloth sacks. They never knew what hit them. Bedtime was early without a fire...8:30...but sleep was not attained for a good while after. The moon was near fullness. At 5:00 a.m. I rose to 28°, packed and headed for the valley by moonlight and headlamp. The trail along Richland Creek was followed back to the campground where rendezvous was made with my XOTU. By 9:00 my vehicle was dusting hunters all along the roadside. Total miles hiked were 8 plus. Weather was great.

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