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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    NJ>Mullica River>4/14-4/15 Paddle & Hike

    Strange weather in New Jersey lately. Some folks paddled the Mullica River and some hiked in to Mullica River Camp. I chose to hike.

    Hiking temps on Saturday were 90* F. I got to camp around 4 pm. Fishkiller and PlusOne had hiked in, while EffenSmurfy drove to within a mile of camp and pulled two huge wagons of gear to the site. Ratdog dropped in with his dog Radar. I set up my hammock and the paddlers showed up about 5 or 5:30 - njredneck and a friend, silentorpheus, electbc, The Tree Frog, GreatBigDave, and JeepinPete.

    There were a huge amount of trees that fell during the wet snowstorm a few weeks back - firewood was no problem. I've never seen the Pine Barrens take such a beating from a storm.

    For some reason we didn't get dinner served until about 9:30 pm, which was good, since njredneck's son Chris night-hiked in and didn't miss dinner. We had steak, zucchini, and Italian bread with a jar of pepperoncinis. I made myself an Italian sandwich with steak and pepperoncini. Good eats! Even Radar got some steak. Later we had brats and buns for a midnight snack, and everybody hit the hay, while Ratdog and Radar headed home.

    The wind howled all night - I've only heard it like that a couple of times in the Pine Barrens. Gusts were probably up to 40 mph. In the morning, we were greeted with a low of 42* F - I'm glad I brought my 20* quilts! Though it wasn't raining, the humidity was 100% and my tarp was soaking wet. We had fresh-roasted Booskerdoo coffee, with sausage egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast.

    The paddlers got in the water by 10 am. The Tree Frog decided to bail out right there, and hitched a ride out with Fishkiller, PlusOne and Effensmurfy. I hiked alone back to Batsto Village. While it never rained on me, the wind was brutal, as was the 100% humidity. I was soaked by the time I got to Batsto Village. I can only imagine the paddlers had it rougher! The temp was 43* F at the beginning of the hike, and 43* F at the end of the hike. It's quite bizarre to see the temps change so drastically, 48 degrees in about 12 hours.

    I hope the paddlers enjoyed themselves, but I suspect it was a bit hypothermic.

    Oh, and JmBoh didn't show up, with some bizarre story about a plumbing leak in the apartment above him. JmBoh, you are rapidly earning the reputation as the new Deadphans! At least your excuses are creative.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 04-16-2018 at 08:13.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2

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    I had a great time. Though my out-of-shape self is feeling every minor muscle group this morning. Portaging a loaded kayak a mile down the trail was an extra special bonus!

  3. #3
    JmBoh's Avatar
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    I saw a bright light in the sky. As i was watching it, a ray of light engulfed me and these little critters much resembling owls with arms spoke to me. "Your future is clear. The couch of life summons you. Go forth and proclaim your glory within the comfort of the cushions. Oh, and Silver Surfer put exlax in your food. Ya might want to avoid that discomfort in the woods bro." So, well, who am I to challenge the words of a superior being?

    “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news”
    ― John Muir

  4. #4
    Strange weekend indeed. Saturdays paddle was great. Plenty of trees and branches over and in the river, but all were passable without getting out of the boats. The air temps were warm, and the water temps cool, which made for a very comfortable day. The red bellied turtles were out in force, saw 24 over the course of the day.

    Being that this was my first time out, lots of new people for me to meet. Great folks, great food, and after the day's paddle, a great night sleep

    If Saturday's paddle was great, Sunday's paddle, not so much. The water was warmer than the air, the wind was howling, and the downed trees were unreal. NJredneck managed to make it through without getting out of his boat, but the rest of use ended up portaging three times. I got myself stuck at one point, and at the time was the last boat. Took me a good twenty minutes to get out of that jam. Also lost my camera over the side. I was in the middle of the river at the time, and with cedar water being what it is, I waved it goodbye There was also a fish spawn going on, pretty certain they were white suckers. That was an interesting experience.

    Pete

  5. #5
    njredneck's Avatar
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    Just want to thank all that came out and effensmurfy for being the groups sherpa and bringing in all the food and helping with the shuttling of cars and people both days.

    Like JeepinPete said I managed to stay in my kayak the entire second day mostly due to being stubborn and forcing myself down into the cockpit through some pretty small holes between branches of down trees. And not to forget the fat man scooch to force my way over a few tree trunks that were just below the surface.

    See ya'll next time.

  6. #6
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njredneck View Post
    And not to forget the fat man scooch to force my way over a few tree trunks that were just below the surface.
    If you didn't already have a trail name, I'd say FatMan Scooch would be a great choice!
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    The Tree Frog's Avatar
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    Had a great time as was said. Thanks to Mike for cooking all of the food. Thanks to PlusOne and the others for helping carry my kayak out of the woods! Sunday wasn't my kind of paddling weather. Thanks for the Sherpa service Effen Sherpa!

    Oh, and we had a rare visitor at night. Doesn't happen often but a raccoon went through our trash bag for some midnight steak. I think it was checking out Chris who slept near the kitchen.

    Good to see everyone agin and meet some new people too.
    NJ Hammock Club Facebook Page - Come join the party!

  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tree Frog View Post
    Oh, and we had a rare visitor at night. Doesn't happen often but a raccoon went through our trash bag for some midnight steak.
    Forgot about that critter. That raccoon is trained now - he's gonna come back. Eight years with no reason to pack away the food, and now we have a raccoon who's looking for free meals!

    So far, no reason to think Lower Forge has any trained raccoons.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 04-16-2018 at 22:31.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I find it somewhat interesting that the raccoon didn't attack the coolers, maybe because there's food available that's not in the coolers (he got away with a package of hamburger buns). Anyway, I wonder what the raccoon will do when all food is put away (hung) or in coolers. I think Mr. Raccoon will figure it out and learn how to open a cooler. Then I'll be pissed!
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    Ratdog's Avatar
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    Unable to make the overnight, figured the dog and I would hike out, see folks off, do a little exploring and enjoy an 80+ degree afternoon in the woods.

    Made it down to the launch to visit before the shuttle runs and then off into the woods. The plan was to go about 2-3 miles in, hang by the river, cook a little lunch, wait for the gang to paddle by, snap a couple pics and hike a bit more before heading home.

    Well this being Jersey and it being a beautiful day, the parking lot at the local Atsion Park office was crawling with day hikers, families, horseback riders, backpackers, dirt bikers and all manner of folks shaking off this funky weather.

    Drove on back past the day hiking crowd and hiked to a nice little spot...nice until the traffic level increased, more and more folks, nope, time to walk on. Another mile and it was looking better but eventually Radar and I hopped back in the truck, drove a couple more miles further back until the sign says No Motor Vehicles, putting us about a mile from the intended campsite for the evening. Well, we were here, might as well hike in.

    Yep, pretty hot for April.


    But we were hiking along a river, found a good spot, hung the hammock.


    And we did what needed to be done.





    Sent from my hammock using whatever had a signal.
    Last edited by Ratdog; 04-17-2018 at 14:17.
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