Here is the start of the trip report for the Ontario Hang on the Abes an Essens Lake trail at Bon Echo Provincial Park.
To begin with, I picked up Kasuko at his house about 5 minutes from mine and we were on the road. We got to Bon Echo pretty quick, checked in and made the way to the trail parking area. One bonus was that additional cars did not have to pay extra to park. A large portion of our group were to meet at noon. Kasuko and I arrived in the parking lot at high noon.
Soon there after, Sk8rs_dad, Sk8r (or Lord Pyro as you see later) and shawnh showed up follwed by Jefftrex with a canoe strapped to his truck.
On a beautiful sunny day that wasn't oppressively humid for a change, we set off on the trail. It was soon evident that doing the "longer" hike to the camp site was less desirable so we took a more direct route. The Abes and Essens Lake trail is 3 overlapping loops and our sites were on the farthest loop on Abes Lake. So we hiked the start of loop 1 to the start of loop 2 and that met up with loop 3 and we hiked that part backwards to make it to our sites.
The trail is quite rugged with lots of steep hills and descents with lots of ankle grabbing Canadian shield and big rocks sprinkled in with the roots of the pine forest. Lord Pyro (Sk8rs_dad son) twisted his ankle in the early part of the past week and he kept rolling his ankle on this rugged trail and was having a miserable time of it, although he never really complained out loud about it. Sk8rs_dad was carrying his son's pack for a good part of the hike and that was taking a toll on him.
We finally rolled into our sites after 2.5 hours on the trail. I will say that the sites were quite good for the amount of effort it took to get there. The sites were equipped with a picnic table and a fire pit that were right on a rock outcropping into the lake. The views of the lake were outstanding.
After setting up our hammocks of which there were many choices to pick from, dinner was made and then the camp fire was constructed and skillfully lit with a single match by Lord Pyro (Sk8r). He was even fully prepared and had the fixing to make smores.
After dinner entropy and chardpp showed up. They had there own adventure on getting to the site and made up for it with the great story about the car camping people carrying coolers and Canadian Tire type tents up this rather rugged trail.
A short time after that the last of our group showed up, vgnbkr. All totaled there were 9 of us on the 2 sites. We split them up 5 and 4.
Other than the lack of cooperating weather for Saturday and Sunday morning it was a great time. Every hammock setup with a separate tarp got to experience the best benefit of doing that, namely being, packing up and staying dry. I had a rather large battle with my DIY synthetic underquilt on Friday night. My shock cord suspension was a little undersized and it wouldn't stay tight. I was cold and kept getting up to tie knots in the shock cord to keep it in place. I also had my foot end of my hammock hung to high and didn't sleep well that night. On my last effort to fix my underquilt, I got some extra guyline out my pack and tied it over the cordlocks on my under quilt through my drip ring on my suspension to the other cordlock on the other side of the hammock. That seemed to do the trick. By that point, it was past sunrise and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up. The next night I did the same thing on the head of the quilt and finally was warm sleeping. I had to vent my top quilt as I was really toasty.
Other than my really sore left knee that made my hike out long and really slow, I thoroughly enjoyed my time. Here are some pictures I took. After the spare set of batteries for my camera lasted for 5 shots, these were all the pictures I managed. I hope others will post what they shot.
There were lots of cool hammock setups, Sk8rs_dad had 3 JRB quilts including a MW4 that he used for his underquilt. Got to see the Big Mamajamba tarp up close. Great looking tarp. The Hennessy crowd had the Warbonnet guys outnumbered 6:3 but everyone was happy. There was some really cool DIY quilts, tarps and mods. Chardpp did a DIY mod 4 zipper mod on his hennessy.
L-R Jefftrex, shawnh, sk8r (Lord Pyro), Sk8rs_dad, Kasuko