Yesterday, I’d broken camp and set off around noon, seeking, once again, a route down to Beaver Creek, only to be thwarted again by the bluffs. I headed back to the Pilot Trail at around 12:55 p.m. and I was back on the trail proper by 1:30 p.m. It took me forty minutes to get to the Devil’s Den West Trail Junction, and it took another forty minutes to get to the arbitrary point I’d picked to turn off the Pilot Trail and start bushwhacking to ‘Ant Hill.’ According to my notebook, I followed a compass bearing of 53°E. It must have worked because I arrived at my destination seven minutes later!
There were storms and a lot of rain forecast overnight, so I played around with my set up lowering the tarp and hammock. Turns out I was a little too enthusiastic with the latter. More about that later.
The forecast was right, the temperatures dropped, the rain, thunder, and wind carried on through most of the night, and it was still raining when I ventured out in the morning. It rained a lot. Apparently, the trees I’ve been using have a dip between them, which proceeded to fill with water, The ground on the downhill side was very soggy. My pack is touted as being highly water-resistant but it didn’t get tested as the uphill side, where it was, remained dry. Much to my alarm, I discovered that in setting the hammock low, I’d made it so close to the ground that my underquilt protector was dragging on the ground and quite wet. But it did its job and kept my underquilt dry.
A disadvantage of my new tarp is the huge number of tie-outs it has. Eight, yes eight more than my other tarp. There are four side pullouts, and a line to secure each of the four doors. However, the side pullouts do make a huge difference to the amount of room under the tarp, and despite the wet floor, I was nice and cozy, sitting in my chair, cooking and eating.
Speaking of eating, I was surprised at how much steam was rising from my cooking pot. I was also feeling a bit cold. Both should have warned me that the forecast temperatures of over sixty degrees were completely wrong. I just thought the dew point must be pretty high, and the damp air was making it feel cold. D’oh!
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