Mississippi's best hiking: backpacking in Noxubee Hills

in nature •  last year  (edited)

I parked at the southern trailhead of the Noxubee Hills Trail System in Tombigbee National Forest, Mississippi. It was nearing noon on the last day of March 2018, with a beautiful blue sky and perfect temperature. In the parking lot, I met an elderset couple who kindly provided me with a trail map. For the next 48 hours, I'd be in the woods and would not see another human, except for at Choctaw Lake, a dammed recreation area at the northern terminus.

The couple in the parking lot were also backpackers. When hearing that this was my first Noxubee Hills expedition, the man remarked that not only is this the best hiking in Mississippi, but that spring is the best season. He was not wrong. In fact, this would turn out to be the best hike of my life (thus far).

To follow along with my expedition, I'd recommend this map. I embarked on my perimeter hike starting at the southern trailhead (coordinates: 33.208, -89.074). Then I traversed the trails in the following order: Sheep Ranch 🥾 Sheep Ranch Road 🥾 Rock Crusher Road 🥾 Lost Cemetery Road 🥾 Rabbit's Run 🥾 Slashing Dog 🥾 Chocktaw Lake 🥾 Lake Side 🥾 Chata 🥾 Headwaters 🥾 Lake side 🥾 Beaver Lodge 🥾 Lost Cemetery Road 🥾 North 🥾 Long Bridge 🥾 Charlotte's Web. If you're wondering, the emoji in the previous sentence probably won't start rendering for you until at least June 2018.

On this trip, I'd cross paths with alligators, wild turkeys, butterflies, howling coyotes, and giant spiders. My complete collection of pictures and videos is available in this album. Below I'll take you through the highlights, (except for the Photo Sphere, of course).

Photographs

They were named Screaming Tutu:

Screaming Tutu at Noxubee Hills

Anthill planks:

Anthill planks

Cooling my feet at the first night campsite:

First-night campsite

Moonlit bog. Every 20 seconds or so a gigantic splash played the role of a tracking beacon for the local alligator:

IMG_20180401_053953.jpg

Sunrise at Lake Choctaw. Can you tell whether the top or bottom is the reflection?

Sunrise at Lake Choctaw. Rotated 180 degrees

Lake Choctaw Gazebo:

Lake Choctaw Gazebo

Starting the return trip. Northern trailhead at Lake Choctaw (coordinates: 33.275, -89.137):

Northern trailhead at Nuxobee Hills

Beach with a bridge view:

Beach and bridge at Nuxobee Hills

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus):

Eastern tiger swallowtail at Nuxobee Hills

Second night hammock setup:

MVIMG_20180401_175121_exported_5031385393760299156.jpg

Hike complete at the southern trailhead:

selfie in front of the Nuxobee Hills southern trailhead

This joyous moment soon turned to despair as I reemerged into a society so antithetical to my time in Nuxobee Hills. A society where bigger is better; heavier is the norm; nature is exterminated; and consumption, not conservation, is the motto.

Insights

Here are two thoughts I had on the trail.

  1. A mosquito is a friend you can count on
    There weren't many mosquitoes although I did encounter two ticks (RIP).

  2. Airplane mode is adventure mode

More information

Thanks to all the individuals who have helped to create and maintain Noxubee Hills. The trails were in fantastic shape. These forest are a magnificent wildlife refuge, and hopefully they are preserved, if not expanded.

For planning, the Facebook Group was helpful as well as the Hiking Mississippi page. I've posted my gear list online, although it includes some items that were for a conference I attended previously and left in the car. Happy to answer any gear questions in the comments.

Steemian Boss Series

This is the seventh post in the popular Steemian Boss Series. Previous posts include:

  1. Ultralight travel to Key West
  2. Sights aboard a twinjet, Philly to Boston style
  3. How to hammock like a Steemian Boss in Cambridge
  4. Glory aboard American Airlines flight 501
  5. The Centurion PHL Challenge: 8 specialty crafted cocktails
  6. The Delta Sky Club ATL Challenge: all 2 specialty cocktails

Do you want to be boss? Just tag your post with #steemian-boss, mention me in the post or a comment, and if it meets the quality standards for this series, I'll resteem and add it to the list above in future posts!

License

This post as well as its images are released under a CC BY 4.0 License. Republish or reuse this content, but please attribute by linking to this Steem post.

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For those wondering why this post is getting downvoted, it's because of a new initiative called Operation Clean Trending. This webapp identifies trending posts which have a high percentage of upvotes from vote bots. This post currently has a high upvote percentage from two bots, which I commissioned using https://steembottracker.com.

I've commented on Operation Clean Trending's introductory post with more details. While I appreciate the desire to reduce voting abuse and the promotion of low quality content, I think it's a bit unfortunate that I'm getting downvoted for having:

  1. produced a high quality post that enhances the value of the Steem ecosystem
  2. purchasing advertising in a decentralized manner that brings revenue into the ecosystem and rewards existing vested users

Tagging the accounts that have downvoted this post: @noisy @heimindanger @nikokafka @javirid @vfxjourney. I completely respect your freedom to downvote as you wish and commend you for acting altruistically to improve Steem. However, perhaps you should consider only downvoting posts that are trending due to vote bots AND of low quality. I think downvoting high quality posts because they advertised is not healthy for the system in the long run.

I agree completely.
I'll be joining you on trending later today, thanks to my investment in the advertising tools provided to us.

Hah. I'm not sure it's worth it right now. Downvotes keep rolling in (@toddjsmith1979 @liveyourdream @flugbot), I presume from Operation Clean Trending. It's unfortunate that the site preselects posts and doesn't provide links to view the content. I assume many folks are "downvoting the trash" and failing to realize they're downvoting valuable content.

Oh that's ok....I'm ready to return the favor.
I know how to blindly flag also.

Yeah, that is exactly what I'm talking about. You cannot have your eyes everywhere. Seems like EVERY automatism is poisoning this community. Too bad it had to come that far...

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

I agree.
Downvoting a high quality content won't help in the growth of steemit

@bernisanders and his army have been toxic for steem all along. This is really annoying, but at the same time is their capitalistic right.

It is quite annoying, i am not sure what to do about it.

It looks pretty good especially for adventurous television programs.

I've asked you before @introvert-dime why you vote up all your own replies at basically full strength all the time, but the post itself at VERY low power (around 7% usually it seems) and here is the deal.

It is considered pretty scammy here to do that.

And you have been doing it a long time and it is time to address this poor behaviour.

Once in awhile is fine. Not all day, every day for weeks on end.

That is garbage behaviour here.

You seem to pick high profile posts, or users to do this on always and then vote your comments to the top increasing your visibility and you do this all day long, every day, all the time.

That is frowned upon here, not like you need someone to tell you this behaviour is scammy and poor.

I think I might start pasting this reply into your scammy replies to people, since your replies are all self-voted to the top for VISIBILITY. ALL THE TIME.

-- here is the proof just for today , the last few mins, on SteemD.com which I encourage everyone to check out on the blockchain.

This Reply posted April 3rd, 2018 to @introvert-dime, as I have done with them before..... without reply.

yes indeed it is quite suitable for adventure

Looks like a nice place to go hiking. I haven`t tried camping in the US before, but have plans to take some weeks in Alaska in a couple of years.
But, here in Norway I am camping all the time and it is like you say at the end, it is not a good thing to get back to the society where everything is just a lot of high sounds and pollution.
Looking forward to your next post from your hiking trips!

I still didn't have any experience yet on mountain camping. But I'll definitely try this out because of this blog. Thanks to make it look easy. I am hoping it was simple as this blog haha great post

Loved this post @dhimmel This is a wonderful place to hike, fish, camp..you name it. I graduated from Mississippi State University in Starkville and spent many weekends and "skip" days here. Thanks for this post!

Nice, I was in Mississippi for a conference at the Mill Center at MSU. I actually hiked from there to Enterprise Rent-A-Car:

starkville-ms-hike.png

One thing about Starkville is that there are no sidewalks! However, the University was big and beautiful.

This is true. The only sidewalks are in the downtown area and that's no fun to try to get to from MSU. Glad that you enjoyed the Hills.

Looked like a pretty good little hike. It's nice you gave coordinates for others to follow if they desire.

Loving the sunrise pictures, by the way.

Did you go alone? I would be scared of the alligators getting me in my sleep.

Yeah, these days GPS coordinates are much more useful and brief than other forms of directions. Just plug the coordinates into your navigation system and press GO! I got the coordinates based on the EXIF metadata from my trailhead photos. Fingers crossed that it's accurate.

I did go alone. Once you get over the fear, hiking alone is nice as it's great and efficient to be entirely on your own schedule. I don't know much about protecting oneself from gators, but I'd imagine it's best not to camp or eat next to a bog.

I agree with that, sometimes you get direction on community boards telling you where to go and the direction could be something like: "Go straight 500m until you pass a massive rock, then go left and take the right-most trail head after you pass the big coniferous tree.

GPS coordinates are a miraculous thing.

I would really like to do a solo trek one day. I feel that being alone with one's thoughts and the utter serenity of the outdoors would be extremely beneficial for your well being. But I'll just stick to my Canadian wilderness where the gators can't go. :)

I feel the need to do some camping. Looks like you had a blast.

It’s rare to come across people who aren’t afraid or unwilling to spend some decent time alone and away from technology. Some of my best memories are of times where I escaped society with nothing but some food and my swag (an Aussie style of tent/ camping bed).

Nice write up buddy.

Adventure with nature is really an exciting journey!

Nice ! Always wanted to go hiking for excercise and for experience but I easly get tired and bugs scare the shit outta me . 😔😔😔

I find that while during outdoor expeditions, I feel more awake than when I'm at my desk job, even if I've had less sleep. As for the bugs, you could try a deet or picardin based repellent and minimize exposed skin with long sleeves.

Yeah , i guess ima do that when I finally decide to go hiking .

Some great photos. I look forward to seeing more of your content!

Looks fun!

Although, I wouldn't say I consider mosquito's as a friend. . .

I do have an inch to go camping now though. . Ha!

Fantastic post! I'm new around here. I hope to eventually be doing posts somewhat similar to these. I really enjoyed your photos and story telling!

Resteemed!

Good luck. I'd love to have more of an #ultralight #hiking community on Steem. I'm pretty new to these worlds (Steem and backpacking). However, there are lot's of great content creators in the space using centralized services, such as DarwinOnTheTrail who makes awesome YouTube videos.

Really like the part where you referenced "airplane mode". So true. Good photos too. Keep the trails advice coming :)

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

What a great adventure! I especially love the anthill planks 😂

The beauty of our country is our country. The beauty of our country is beautiful. The clouded sky is huge. The mind is filled with the eyes. Look at the sunlight. The climate is surrounded by sunlight. No cold or hot conditions. Take out the plate, from the Padmapara. In the afternoon, if you feel happy, tell and comment How is it? Thanks to everyone

What county do you live in if you don't mind me asking? Sounds nice.

It's looking marvelous. The photography of yours is really very appreciable. And so beautiful place it is! Keep it up. Hope you will visit more places and share with us.

This is an incredible post. Thank you so much for taking us along your journey. Now i wana go! Lol. I live in Palm Springs, CA with my wife and we have yet to hike any of these amazing areas. Thanks for the inspiration 🤙🌹

Luckily you live very close to the Pacific Crest Trail, arguably the greatest long distance trail in the world! The PCT goes from the border-to-border (Mexico to Canada). The first part is mostly desert, which I assume includes the terrain around Palm Springs?

Savage..

There are lots of beautiful pictures of you. I liked your first photograph. It took many days to create it. Because I know about it. I've been working for Rainforest Research for a long time. Besides, your butterfly photograph has taken away my mind. I come to you in the future to upload a more awesome photograph.

I liked your first photograph. It took many days to create it.

Haha not days, but it probably took 30 minutes to combine the photos since I used Gimp. Gimp is an open source image editor (think Photoshop libre). It's extremely powerful but not very intuitive. Anyways, I'd like to improve my Gimp skills, so I bit the bullet regarding the outrageous pain in the ass it was to put two photos side-by-side.

wow. I like adventures, hiking, trekking too! It's really to good spending time with nature, being one with them. I like the airplane mode thingy.. Disconnect to connect! Resteemed

I'm jealous, but i'm also too lazy to do same things, thanks god someone invented high quality pictures <3

Really incredible view of pictures u clicked

Looks really lovely. Nice photos, the nature and the butterfly. Wish to go hiking one day. Seriously after watching many Horror Movies, have always scary thoughts about such beautiful places. Hope to overcome it one day :)

nice photography i like it.....

Nice pics I really like that stream I really want to swim there and search around

Your photos are captivating....Keep it fun 😃😃😃

Good post

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Great post! Hope to see more posts of your awesome adventures!

Mississippi's so cute and natural

I like the post .the pictures are very nice .they are full of view. Thanks you sharing the post.

Creater is nature

you have shared very beautiful photos.

Looks like a nice place to go hiking.

Muy interesante tu post, fue rato ver observar tus imagenes, están espectaculares, mis felicitaciones, @dhimmel.

oops thought this was a cosplay

I really like his posts

I love the photos you've taken! Very creative :)

Kindly get uploading: https://steempix.com

Oh Wow! I really wanna try this.
Great photos by the way!

Awsome post, have fun .

Great pictures. I enjoyed this post. xo

Camping is a great way to break from our normal routine and it is a sense of nature's beauty. Upvote & followed. :)

hello

Glorious and memorable photos. Thanks for great post.

@dhimmel. good photos, animated ideas that you produce resembling or resembling the outdoors of your beautiful portrait photographs transform the surroundings into interesting

Man those forests are so inviting! I could live there for eternity. Love it!

I like your story and Iwill visit on emore time together. Good job @dhimmel

I Also Want To be a Photographer Like You Sir

hai all .. the above post is very interesting .. give a good comment to the author and give upvote to the article for future articles more benefit for all of us

thanks for your shareing its i like that

Wonderfull post and great pictures. I love hicking and I love nature, that is the best way to find ourselves.

Beautiful scenery of beautiful results. photo the natural beauty that has brought you to get a beautiful dream every night.You are a very lucky person, because you have seen what I can not see in my life.I have never seen this scene it's amazing. Thank you guys for sharing, I hope someday to visit such a beautiful place even if it is not possible for me.
Thanks for this @dhimmel
Im upvote and follow

this is pretty good indeed

Wawwww

wow so great view amazing so beautiful natural photography

oh it looks very beautifull.....thanks for shareing

I lay at the southern beginning of the Noxubee Hills path System in Tombigbee River National Forest, Mississippi. it absolutely was nearing noonday on the Day of Judgment of March 2018

Although my upvote is small I am happy to share it with you. thanks

o i see that is very cold and natural

Those tree actually looks funny, is as if they are walking.

Great write! Beautiful adventure. This is why I love the Universe: it's full of magical beauty wherever you are on the planet. Thanx for sharing.

Congratulations @dhimmel!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 5 with $ 248,22

amazing photos

Hmmm I read with so much keen intereerest.....no hyking in nigeria.. and forest camping.......thanks for sharing.....i have read about missisipi

uuuuffffff muy buen trabajo fotográfico hermano eres digno de inspiración para mi. fuerte abrazo saludos desde Venezuela

Nice Photography and nice post 🤘🏼

Never had an interest in hiking but it's sure tempting. Nice post!

nature at its finest !!so beautiful brother.

Hey @dhimel, nice post! I've developed a better appreciation for art and photos, so it's nice to see good content here on Steemit! Cheers

  ·  last year Reveal Comment
  ·  last year Reveal Comment

Thanks for the comment. I downvoted it because of the photo, which I found annoying. But if you reply to this comment, I'll upvote your reply to offset my downvote.

Didnt realize being called Dude would ever annoy anyone ! Haha , thats the first time I was ever downvoted because of an awesome comment i left on someones post because I liked it ! you do realize that downvotes are for : plagiarists / spammers and people abusing the system , including scammers. Have a good day , Im no longer following you .✌

The issue for me is the amount of space in the comments section that becomes consumed by a stock image that has very little relevance to this post. I appreciate that the initial post was certainly intended to be positive and nice. In the future, I will try to be clear about my comment downvoting policy ahead of time... but I do envision that policy will include downvoting comments with pictures or other large elements that are not highly related to the original content.

Why not show my comments on your post dear

  ·  last year Reveal Comment
  ·  last year (edited)

Thanks for engaging in this discussion.

One foundation aspect of Steem is that every user gets a vote in proportion to their vested interest in the system. In that sense, @noisy's downvote was the most painful haha. And users are free to downvote however they wish and if enough of the ecosystem starts downvoting posts with purchased-votes that could discourage purchasing votes. In other words, if a large portion of vested users act in a certain way, it can change the equilibrium behavior of the system.

However, eradicating voting bots is IMO a near impossibility and actually flies counter to the free-market ecosystem Steem is aiming to create. There is a huge incentive to sell your voting power. And currently there is an incentive to buy votes for greater visibility. I think the effect of these downvoting campaigns will be to push vote buying to adopt more stealth protocols. This will make it harder to track vote buying. At the moment, a frontend could easily ignore upvotes from voting bots. Make vote purchasing incognito and that will no longer be possible.

Obviously, my opinion is subject to change, but I view vote buying as inevitable. Therefore, it's best to consider it as advertising, which is capable of injecting great monetary value into the system going forward. And I think indiscriminately downvoting advertisers is shooting ourselves in the foot. Now if someone's advertising crap, that's a different story... downvote it. But at the end of the day, the trending view on steemit.com is listings that include advertised posts. I'm in no way against other frontends that make ad-free block explorers.

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

Sorry about the downvote but I couldn't stand to look at this GIF anymore.

you can ask to remove it, it's not fare to downvote for nothing!
Shame on you!

  ·  last year Reveal Comment