Today was forecast to be sunny and mid seventies and I had already planned on taking a walk in the mountains whether either of the two hammocks I had ordered arrived or not and it looked like they werenít going to make it.
Loaded up the ULA Conduit with a few things and took off about 13:00. The mountain behind my house is quite steep, which is one reason I more often cross the highway and hike the mountain to the east which is more gently sloped, and the going was slow. As soon as I got to the tree line a couple of squirrels were spotted on the left and further up the hill several deer were moving around to the east having no doubt spotted me before I saw them. Got up to the ridgeline leading up to the peak after about an hour then bared off to the east following a deer path. Observed that many of the animals are definitely not following the LNT principles.
I was keeping an eye out for trees which ought to make a good place to hang a hammock. I think itís a bit of an art to learn to spot these places. Several pairs of trees were the right size and distance apart but had to many small trees growing between them to be able to hang a hammock. Finally found two trees with only a couple of small trees between them which could be bent over and tangled in some limbs to be kept out of the way. Definitely not a tent site, to steep and many large stones laying around. Made me wonder if perhaps at one time there had been some man made structure built here. The mountains surrounding my house have always been tree covered in my life time but my father-in-law says that when he was a boy there were no trees on these mountains. That in the old days folks actually grew beans and corn all the way up and down the mountain side.
Pulled the little black bag with the draw string on each end out of the mesh pocket and in short order had it attached to a tree on either end . Opened the net and sat down. Noticed that the ridge line was still sagging quit a bit l so I got out and tightened the straps about another inch on each side. Now the ridge line no longer had any sag but not strum tight either.
Dug out a fleece sleeping bag liner to use as insulation below me , threw my cap and Heinlienís Door to Summer upon the shelf. Then after squirming around trying one position after another to try out different positions and finally finding the right spot I proceeded to take a little nap in preparation for tonightís time change. Would have likely slept quite well but I was hungry - all I had eaten all day was two boiled eggs and an oatmeal cookie. Read a little of Heinleinís book , napped a little more and had a hard time getting awake and getting motivated to pack up and hike off the mountain. But knew I had to get started soon or it would get dark before I got out of the woods.
How did I end up taking a nap in a WB BB hammock today?
On Feb. 19 th I ordered two hammocks . A Speer and a Blackbird. From talking to Ed I fully expected the Speer to arrive first. When it hadnít arrived by the expected date I emailed Ed. Was told it was in the mail only to be followed a day later by an email saying he was just back from being out of the country and was mistaken and my hammock and tarps hadnít gone out yet but would go out that day.
About the same time I received and email from Brandon requesting paypal payment. But I had not received an email saying it had actually been mailed. Tracking the Speer it is scheduled to deliver Monday. ( fitting perhaps since that is my sonís birthday ) I fully expected to not have either hammock this weekend during this early warm weather weekend. Last weekend it was snowing.
But surprise, surprise , surprise - when I checked the mail today a small box was in the mail box. A quick scan revealed it was from Colo. - it was the Blackbird hammock. Quickly opened the box and took a look at , attached the small bungies and read the instructions , stuffed it in the backpack and headed up the hill.
Donít really consider myself amongst the band of cool aid drinking brothers yet since I havenít actually camped out yet hanging in a hammock. But that being said I think I am going to like it. I was pretty satisfied with my first hang of the BB. I think next time I want to hang it a little higher as I was only about a foot off the ground. The shelf was very convenient and I didnít really have any problem getting the ridge line sag about where I think it ought to be. I found a comfortable position then after about 15 minutes I finally remembered I had not put a half hitch behind the tri-rings but even with out that safety lock I didnít get dumped on the ground. And despite my stomach reminding me I should have eaten something before taking off I found I was able to drift off into zzz land pretty easy, and had plently of room to pretzel myself into various positions.
The only other surprise was that the straps where longer than I thought theyíd be making me realize I have more latitude in picking trees further apart than I thought Iíd have. And it was quite windy today. I was amazed at how much the netting cuts off the wind. Initial impression is that I am pleased with the BB, it seems to be a nice design, well made , roomy and easy to put up. Brandon was right on schedule. Now to get the other hammock and tarps in hand and some insulation which will work over night and get my son lined up to do an over nighter soon. How soon is depending upon whether winter decides to return again and work which pays for all these toys.
Nice timely arrival to take advanage of the good weather today. Not a hammock camper yet, merely a camping hammock owner, but ought to get there soon.
Thanks to all who provided input about the Blackbird hammock. I started seeing recommendations about the Warbonnet hammocks a year ago but at the time found it the most elusive design to find more information about. It seemed to be the talked about but never seen hammock.