Monday, March 10, 2008

Camping! (post edit)

So we decided to go backpacking last minute on Monday, and headed to Cuivre River. We got a late start, so we ended up hiking in about 7 miles in, before getting to camp. The last hour was dark, so we ended up night hiking with our headlamps. Most of the hiking trails were in good condition (a little muddy at times from the last snow, but not bad). However, many of the trails are also open to horses, and man those things tear up the trail! Between the melting of the snow, and the high-weight/small-footprint factor, these things were like hiking through a bog!

By the time we got there, set up camp, cooked dinner and had a little fire to keep things warm, the chill was definitely setting in. I checked before we crawled into our tent, and it was about 18F. Between my lack of a cold (enough) weather sleeping bag, my shoes (in a stuff sack) and camelback crowding in with me for the night, I didn't end up sleeping much. We did hear some howling wolves(?) and hooting owls. I woke up at one point, freezing my arse off, and tried to look at the temp with one cold, sleepy, half awake eye. It seemed like it was reading 22F. But as it was already 18F when we went to bed, and it was 16F when I woke up, this doesn't seem likely. I think it may possibly have been 12F and I couldn't read the tens digit right. Either way it was freakin freezing!

The next morning was a cold icy start. Everything was covered in ice crystals, and the muddy trails were frozen solid in perpetual knee-killing unevenness. It was pretty tempting to crawl back to the slightly warmer sleeping bag and wait until the sun warmed things up. But, we headed out for the ~6.5mi hike back.

Along the way, we tracked some large dog prints (maybe the wolves?), and also some huge cat prints. And eventually found a deer that had been eaten not too long ago. There was still fur clumped on the ground, and some of the bones were still red. I'm guessing it was one of the first kills of the season, possibly by whatever made the huge cat prints. Either way, not something you see every day. All in all it was an awesome trip. And now with the batteries charged, I can plow back into frame building, and soon plow into working at Big Shark.


Heaumer001 said...

I'm envious.
Where did you go?


Marc said...


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