Trip #1 in my Hammock - Solo - 7/6/2013 to 7/7/2013
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park: Backpack Site #5 off Trail C
- Warbonnet Blackbird XLC 1.7 DL (only brought bug net)
- Warbonnet Superfly Tarp
- Harbor Freight Blue Tarp (ground cloth)
- Mora Knife, Kershaw Pocket Knife and Gerber Camp Axe/Saw
- Sleeping Bag Liner
- (4) Towels
- Trash Bag
- Survival Bag
- Molle Style Rucksac
- (4) Cliff Bars
- Beef Jerky
- Tuna Sald Kit
- (2) Pop Tarts
- Sawyer Water Bottle & Filter
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Army Style Canteen
$1 For the Campsite
$6 Transaction Fee
Temp. 89 Degrees High Saturday
Temp. 74 Degrees Overnight Low
Temp. 78 Degrees Sunday at Departure 9 AM Sunday Morning
Wind was approximately 5-10 knots
Thunderstorm Saturday afternoon, clear overnight, woke up to thunderstorms Sunday morning.
(11 AM) After waiting for an hour for the staff to check me in I drove to a spot by the cabins where there was entrance to Trail C. I grabbed my rucksac and set of on my half mile hike to my campsite. Along the way you pass over a foot bridge that runs over a very swampy area that is home to many different birds. I saw some type of yellow head finch bird, a couple different kinds of ducks and the white egrets. This part of the trail winds through the high ground of the swamps past lower swampy areas lined with cypress knees and watched over by towering pines oaks and cypress. About a third of a mile down the trail I saw the trail marker for my campsite trial. I took a left on to a trail that ran parallel to a levee with a bayou directly on the other side. After about 200 yards the trail turned right and lead me to the top of the levee, to a clearing which had two benches and a metal fire ring. I first decided on two trees at the edge of camp, that gave me a good view of the bayou, to set up my hammock and tarp. After a inspection for widow makers and animal trails, I ended up changing my mind due to strange vines growing over one of the trees that I thought could have been either poison ivy, oak, sumac or something else that would leave me itchy and miserable. I used one of the trees but swung around 180 degrees and attached to another candidate about the same distance on the other side (a very lucky and good decision, more on this later). Due to the undergrowth it took about 15 minutes to setup the tarp and hammock (most of the time was for the tarp).
Back to the Truck
The excitement of being in the woods made me forget something important in my truck, some bug spray. I tried to go without for a while and made a fire and burned some green weeds to produce some smoke to keep the bugs at bay. This kind of worked but the mosquitoes where eating me up. So after an hour or so I made the short trek back to my truck for some Deep Woods Off. Along the way I was taking some pictures of the trail with my phone when I stumbled across an armadillo going about his daily chores. I was very stunned as to how close I was to him and he either didn't notice me or didn't care, as his work seemed more important than this monster looming over him with a phone taking pictures and video. I took a few pictures and filmed him for a minute or two while he was going from place to place digging little holes here and there before continuing along my way. After retrieving the Off and arriving back at camp I thought I would make a tripod before the afternoon storm hits. I went about gathering three logs long enough and was getting out some cord to lash the poles together when the afternoon storm rolled in.
The Dillo (Blurry)
The Widow Maker in the Storm
I got my gear and got under the Superfly just as Mother Nature started the show. I stowed my gear on a bench that I had moved under my tarp and sat down and began filming with my phone as the sky's opened up. I had the tarp set up in porch mode with the doors hanging down. Pools of water where collecting and so I stopped filming and dropped the tarp. After dropping the tarp I went back to filming for about ten minutes until there was a calm in the storm. I shut of the video camera on my phone and was about to grab my clothes when this widow maker slammed down right through the middle of my camp. The branch landed so hard and so close I felt the ground tremor. Looking outside there was an eight inch diameter log about 20 feet in length that had fell and split in half. The closest branch was a mere 2 feet from my tarp setup. If I had chosen to mess with the strange vine around the other tree this branch would have been in my lap!
After the close call with the widow maker I abandoned my tripod, ate something and changed into my sleeping clothes. I unzipped my Blackbird XLC and got in. I turned on some music and read a survival manual I have downloaded to my phone for about an hour or so before going to sleep. It was a wonderful sensation lying there gently rocking in my hammock letting the swamp serenade me to sleep. I felt like I was floating above the ground with nothing underneath me. I slept great, only getting up once to use the bathroom around 1AM.
I woke up in the morning to thunder and gray skies turning black, the weather man had gotten it wrong again. I changed into some trekking clothes and started to break camp, I wanted to get out before the storm hit as I had not brought the proper rain protection to trek out in a downpour. I almost made it. Rain drops started to fall as I was about to release the last two tie outs on my tarp. I tied out the tarp again and sat there for a while hoping that it would quickly pass with no luck. After listening to the sound of the rain on my tarp and listening to the thunder rumble it stopped raining enough for me to trek my gear out to my truck. I wrapped the tarp up, soaking wet, in the snake skins and carried it in my hands. Just as I got back to the truck it started pouring again, which reminds me I need to get a Packa.
I left Lake Fausse Pointe at 9AM Sunday morning after a great night alone with Mother Nature. I look forward to the next adventure no matter how small.
NOTES: Sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. I wanted to post the video to YouTube but the quality is to bad. All I had was my phone though while I was on this trip, but my new camera came in the mail while I was gone.