We all met on a beautiful Saturday morning at the trailhead to take the easy hike down to a spot that looked like it would break some of the 20 mph gusts that had been chilling us for the first mile of the hike. A quick glance at the trees off the the right that rested on a low rise would get us far enough from the water and close enough to the surrounding small hillsides to give us some shelter.. any shelter from the blowing wind. We were trying to do the best we could with the knowledge of expected 20 degree lows.
Roadtorque set up the show-stopper.. his custom OES "batman" tarp. With its clean lines, absolutely sick construction, as it sat atop his hammock commanding the landscape - it was voted the best tarp at the site.
Walt and his second-time-hanger son Jacob worked together to get their rigs strung up as we all gave our humble suggestions and compliments on each other's great gear choices.
After all the rigs were strung up we decided to have an Ange-er-ita and walk on down to the creek for some trout fishing. Wind and brush along the creekbed was a tough scene for the fly rods. I got skunked, after about an hour of casting. Oh well, its all good!
Back at camp we had some good times getting to know each other, talk of knives and hammocks and food and people.. casual stuff but the best stuff there is for sure.. its still amazing how the hangin' community can be so candid and friendly even tho we all come from different walks of life - what a gift it is to call these fellas my friends.
As the darkness started to fall, we cooked amazing meals like Chicken Satay with roasted peppers and onions and tortillas filled with tender and delicious fajita steak and veggies. But it didnt stop there! There were sausage biscuits and Italian Sweet Sausage and more ange-erita's of course.. what a feast and far cry from the usual fare of boring Ramen and Mtn House meals. I could LIVE like this!
After we started to fall out and make our way to the slumber of our hammocks knowing full well that the temps were falling fast.. at about 8 o'clock we thought that the night would be long and cold but at least the wind had died down. Staying under the protection of full sized tarps some of us had pitched in winter mode, it was evident that the cool breeze coming in the end of my rig was not going to warm up anytime soon..
I awoke early right at sunrise to hear Ange exclaim that his fancy wristwatch (suunto?) had a recorded low of 14.6 degrees!
a NEW record for all of us, beating out my previous 22 degree hang, and possibly the lowest recording on HF this fall...
I was glad to know that my expectations of my winter coat were not even close to the limit of the quilt's capability.. i am quite sure it could easily do a 5-10 degree night without even trying..
also, Ange was pleased to discover that his MR3 which is rated to 15-20 was good and comfy down to below its rating. go JRB!
We all had some good nights rest and decided to pack up around 10 am so we could get to the highlite of our trip home, the lunch provided by the great little American food- dive, the Beeline Cafe in Payson, AZ.
Having our fill of Melts, Burgers, and fries we all split paths and said our goodbyes.. but there is a feeling in the air that this crew will cross paths again very soon.
thanks to the guys who came out on this hang with me, to have a good time, share stories, share food and drink, and laugh without hesitation.
Im looking forward to seeing Longbow's photos of the trip. Lets see 'em!
Super hi-fives to Jake, who on his second only hang, did perfect at the blistery cold 14 degrees. Thanks to Roadtorque for making it to the hike, if only for half a day. Thanks to Angelo and Andy and Walt for hangin out with me. Good times, boys. Lets do it again.