I spent another weekend along the Chattooga with some college buddies from SC. We parked at Burrell’s Ford and hiked in about a mile or so to our favorite site with its own "private" beach on the river. "Private" because lots of other people like to use that beach too, but when this week's group was comprised of five college girls, we didn't mind too much .
It threatened rain all day Friday but didn't actually start until we had packed in about half way. We double-timed it to the site and strung up tarps only to have the rain cease. C'est la vie. We set up camp, started a fire and I prepared dinner, which was a modified version of Babblefish5's burrito recipe. Good eats! It rained almost all of Friday night, but I enjoyed the sounds high and dry in my WBBB under my BMJ. It was the maiden voyage for the BMJ, and I must say that it's a keeper! I woke up once during the night when I heard my fellow campers scurrying to get under tarps and to move the tents to higher ground. I smiled to myself and turned over to go back to sleep. I was too comfortable to care.
The rain finally broke around 9am on Saturday, so we cooked breakfast and tried to decide what to do with the day. It was still severely overcast, so we decided to stay close to camp and swim in the river. We spent the morning lounging around the river, relaxing, and just enjoying the woods. I found it nice to not have an agenda or schedule demanding my attention. The clouds finally began to part around mid day, so we changed into hiking attire and hiked out to Kings Creek Falls, making a short detour on the way back to see Spoon Auger Falls. The former was well worth the hike. The latter was rather unimpressive, but it was only a few hundred feet or so off the trail so why not?
Saturday night the clouds fully broke and a full moon greeted us along with a barrage of stars. My friend cooked beef stew and rice with cornbread. I discovered that a little bit of dry lemonade powder makes for a very enjoyable camp drink in warm weather and can make a good mixer also if one is so inclined. I slept like a log again that night, although this time without the pitter pattering of rain drops on my tarp.
Over-all, this was an excellent trip, and I learned a few things about my gear.
1. Although a properly vented winter Incubator can serve just fine in warm nights, a proper summer uq would be far less bulk and weight.
2. My unzipped sleeping bag is a fine tq, but a REAL tq would help me to further reduce bulk/weight.
3. The BMJ is definitely a keeper!
4. I need a backpacking stove so we're not forced to cook on the campfire. The campfire makes for...um...difficulties when it rains.
5. I normally wouldn't be caught dead in them, but a pair of Crocs would make ideal camp shoes. I may end up biting that bullet.
6. I need a small pad to use as a seat cushion and foot insulation for my future partial uq. Any suggestions?