Gathland 2 Cowall: Trip Report Ramblings and Learnings
So I got back yesterday from my trip and O what a glorious trip. I started at Gathland
The winds were high and the temps were around 25. I was hiking from Gathland entrance to rock run shelter. The PATC just recently built it. It a beatiful new shelter with two stories a nice over hang and really clean. It is however at the bottom of the hill which made my night very windy with very little natural protection.
It dipped down to 19 (I checked my mini thermometer at around 3 am when I was stirring a bit. I was sleeping some what cozy in my WB Traveler (I really like the lay of the Black Bird so much Better IMHO their is a huge difference), Hammock Gear Winter Phoenix and Burrow. OES Deluex with 2QZQ door mod
and some lovely snake skins a fellow member made me along with WV dynaglide woopies. Weekend temps were Low 19 High 40 Through out the 5 nights and 6 days. The wind was bad the first two days but after that pretty calm. Gave two full hammock tutorials and even think I converted two gentlemen whom we already emailed with pointing them in the hammock direction. And best of all had some time in the woods with me and my thoughts and it was a perfect peaceful weekend.
The first night I hiked in apx. 6 mi. to Rocky Run Shelter. The shelter has been recently built by the PATC and is a two story really nice shelter.
The first night was the coldest got down to 19 with high winds. I set up at the bottom of a hill (poor choice on my part) and suffered through a windy night because of it. Had the wind wiping under my tarp just stealing the heat from my Phoenix. Dident make that mistake again. That night a father, two sons and a friend were also camping their and were interested in my set up. So I gave a full Hammock Tutorial while I was setting up and even their young sons 10-14 yrs old were intrigued by hammcoks and asked lots of good questions (sure made me glad I watched all those Shug videos thanks Shug). Slept that night and woke up the next morning to head off to Pine Knob Shelter. It was a really great 7 mi Hike. The weather was perfect for hiking, just about 35, and the sky was clear. Nothing eventful during the day got to the shelter round 4 did some chores, collected wood, etc. Made dinner with the Bush Buddy which I used for every meal both breakfeast and dinner. The one time I used my MBA I ran out of fuel before the water boiled, fired up the bush buddy and had the water boiling within minutes. I found (for me at least) when it gets below freezing and with any winds the BB really becomes ineffective and it takes a very long time to boil water. One night it took me 45 min to boil two cups. I could of used the MBA but I was curious and patient (and just wanted to test my skills). I sure do love that BB. The 3 night I hiked 8 mi to Cowall shelter. Meet two brothers, chatted for a bit and hit the sack. When I woke up the next morning I turned around to back track. On the 4 day at the Washington monument I meet Jeff and his friend (forgot his name). They were two older gentlemen whom I just struck up conversation with and started to hike with for a bit. Started talking about Hammocks and before I knew it I was un-packing my bag and takeing every thing out of my stuff sacks giving them a lesson on Hammocks. I even fired up the BB for a special Ramen lunch (usually eat non cooked foods for lunch). These two guys were really nice and we had a fun time chatting toogether. The rest of the trip was very peaceful. Hiked the rest of the day on the 5 day and hiked out on the 6. I did night hike out (left camp at 5 am) cause I wanted to do a sunrise trail hike which turned out perfect. I was on top of the ridge I wanted to be on sat down and saw a beatiful sunrise on the last day of my hike. Got back to the car and was glad to see it was all in one piece and drove home. It was most excellent, cant wait for the next one. All my gear did what it was supposed to do. I was very impressed with how warm that Black Rock hat is, its like wearing a heat pad on your head. I put on layers and took off layers more times then I can count. And that not sweating during winter hiking is very difficult to do and takes a lot of time and practice. Thanks to all those whom helped with my pack weight which turned out perfect for me. And hope you enjoyed my ramblings.
edit: my first two pics wont show check them out in my gallery