Sunday, April 3, 2016

Back From The Back Country.

The boys and myself went for a very difficult hike this week. The elevation changes were brutal, some requiring you to scramble up hill sides too steep to skirt or walk a diagonal approach. I didn't get too many pictures of the hard areas, I was too busy sucking wind and keeping 50# of gear from making me fall over. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous without the leaves obscuring the view.

 My 78 pound 11yo son packed 38 lbs of gear 4.12 miles with 1400f of elevation changes both up and down the same 836 to 433 feet above sea level. The 14yo is in track for distance running, he flat trounced the youngest and I with his 43 pound back.

 Once we made it to the camp site, we sat back and relaxed prior to setting up camp. There was a beach not too far away, but the easy access to boaters had it trashed beyond belief.

There was debris, beer bottles, a broken tent, cooler styrofoam, dirty diapers, etc. there for the enjoyment of all. I was pretty upset at how people treat public lands. If I had my way, the perpetrators would be on a chain gang cleaning up the entire park for a month.

We set up a nice little camp a hundred yards away from the beach and had a nice rocke overhang to fish off. We made a log seat and the youngest decided to not bring a tent and instead make a super shelter of his own design.

We decided to end the trip 12 hours early due to a large storm moving in and high winds that were deconstructing the shelter. We no more made it to the access road than the heavens unleashed a torrent of heavy rain and endless lightning and thunder. The trip back to the truck was arduous to say the least. The near vertical climb in some places at the beginning of the hike really takes it out of you. The topographical map looks solid red with contour lines in some places we traveled.

I did catch a nice little flathead catfish the first night, but the water was way up and muddy from the spring rains, so I expected very little luck catching fish. The boys didn't even get a bite.

A new skill I tried out was the long fire to keep the youngest son's shelter warm. 

A traditional long fire is built a little differently, but due to the fact that I had 3 different types of wood, I could choose how the fire burnt by using different wood to speed or slow the burn. I'd stagger hard wood, then white pine for fast heat, then a wet beech to slow it again. My first time was a success. I got up at 1:30am and 4:30am to add wood and keep him warm, but that was just my light sleeping getting the better of me. The carp jumping and geese fighting in the night kept me awake most of the night. I had to sneak in a noon siesta to stay viable while the boys processed firewood and completed their assigned duties.

Another great trip in the books, and I plan to get those reviews done this time. One is long over due and I put it up immediately this morning. I'm going to let this one auto post in a few days and work on some more reviews.

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