| | | | |

Off backpacking for the weekend (365:147)

Off backpacking for the weekend by Gary Allman

I don’t know where my head was today.

Wherever it was, it wasn’t focused on getting ready to go backpacking. I spent the morning and early afternoon processing pictures and writing my journal. I was desperate to get it done before the weekend when we’d be taking more pictures and I would have even more to write. I finally gave it up as a lost cause and turned my attention to getting ready for the weekend. Mid-afternoon the grandparents arrived to collect Lanie, and Ginger took Katie off to spend the weekend with a friend. Alek and Getzger are in charge.It was gone five before we were ready to leave, and then we left twice. I forgot my water bottle and we decided it was too important to leave behind. This was a good decision because we later discovered Ginger’s hydration bladder had sprung a leak – getting a lot of stuff in her backpack wet in the process. By using our big 6-liter ‘camp’ bladder we were able to get by just using our water bottles – though it meant I had to carry most of the water.

Have I mentioned that the van’s AC has packed up again? It’s not quite so bad this time as the fan is jammed on, full-on. Even when the AC is turned off it runs full blast. At least this means we still have AC which is a lot better than last year. Ginger had done some research on the Internet earlier in the day. Pulling out the glove box she managed to reach inside and disconnect the wires leading to the running amok blower. This enabled us to enjoy the drive without a gale blowing at us.

It was gone seven pm by the time we’d finally arrived at our destination, the Tower trailhead at Hercules Glades, which is where today’s picture was taken. We were finally ready to start our weekend’s backpacking. Well almost. I left my pedometer on the back bumper of the van and had to go back for it. We hiked around a mile along Pilot trail. Just before the point where Pole Hollow trail joins we went a short distance off-trail to find a nice quiet camping spot. By the time we’d finished putting up the tent, it was dark. Just time for dinner then bed.

I took three luxury items on this trip. A book, my wood burning stove and its pot. I wanted to give the stove a try out on the trail. Tonight though we used the good old Coleman Exponent stove. It’s a tad heavy but is proving to be very reliable and easy to use.   

Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.