Well, I had every intention of making it up to PA for MAHHA, but after working late on Friday and sleeping in a bit on Saturday, I headed directly west and turned south instead. I figured some trail work was in order after the last couple rounds of storms we've had (and boy, was I ever right!), so I opted for some backcountry hangtime in Shenadoah NP to finally test my new Blackbird in the outdoors...where it was born to fly.
The trail itself was in decent shape, but there were several large blowdowns which will require a crew (any volunteers??) to help remove later this month.
This massive tree actually fell away from the trail, and the root system took part of the tread with it.
I found a perfect spot about 1.5 miles from the trailhead off Skyline and set up camp. Took me a while to get the BB hung right (did even more tweaking after the pics were taken), then spent the evening relaxing under the MC Deluxe in porch mode with the dog.
Even got some twilight fishing in before settling in for dinner and one heckuva good night's sleep.
An average SNP brook trout.
Also tested (it was a trip of firsts!) was my new Mini Atomic 2 pop can stove and Heiny pot set up from Minibull Design. The flames went up the side of the pot more than I had expected, but it boiled water and I ate well...works for me.
Temps dropped to low 40s or so I believe. The new 3 season Phoenix performed flawlessly in its first outdoor deployment as well, though it, too, took some tweaking and pulling and shifting to get just right under the bird. All told, a great system. Birds of a feather, eh?
I hiked out Sunday and headed to a cabin I had access to for another night of hanging. Unfortunately, it rained from the time I pulled into the parking area until early evening so I was stuck in the cabin after hiking in and I didn't get to test out yet another new piece of gear...the camo Superfly that came in the mail just last week. I did 'hang' it in the cabin in order to fix guylines and play around with some anchoring and door ideas. Big thanks to Bill (aka body942) for the terrific advice on the door lines! The rain finally did let up enough for me to build a great big campfire and roast some hot dogs--about as gourmet as you can get in the woods if you ask me. I ended up sleeping on a mouse turd-infested bunk in the cabin, mere inches away from my packed up BB and quilts. Easily the worst night of sleep in a very long time, and I couldn't wait to get home just so I could hang in the living room.
Glad everyone had a great time at MAHHA; the pics and videos I've seen are awesome! Will definitely make it to the next one as I still have much to learn.