As a fairly new hammocker, I organized a last-minute hang on a New England hiking website, www.rocksontop.com , as well as on here. Sorry PDA wasn't able to make it this time, but hope to do more of these.
I learned to spend a little more time setting up the hammock, because once comfortable enough inside, it is hard to motivate yourself to get out.
A great shakedown before a hopeful solo backpack this weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my TQ and UQ arrive by then.
...And so, I submit for the bemused contemplation of the HammockForums community, the first of what I hope will be many long-winded trip reports.
Originally posted at http://rocksontop.com/topic/342-rot-...falls-101-102/
Last spring, after a winter of very successful weight gain, I took a walk up to Bridal Veil Falls. I hadn't been doing much elevation and the trail seemed easy enough. It was a pleasant enough day and I left with three ideas stuck in my head – getting back in shape, buying a hammock tent and coming back on a rainy afternoon to camp out.
I can't say I'm fully in the shape I want to be in, but I've made some progress. I was the proud owner of a Warbonnet Blackbird hammock and tarp, and poor weather had pretty much nixed plans for an above treeline hike. I had rain, free time, and inclination – it was time.
I put out a post online, and though it was short notice, we got some bites. Marc and Steph were bringing hammocks, and Happyhiker and Windy also decided that the Coppermine Trail would be a fine Rainy-day/Plan B kind of hike.
I met Windy and Happyhiker in the parking lot around 4:00pm and we started up the road. The trail is very gently graded, and despite the rain wasn't all that muddy. Before long we could hear the stream flowing strong to our right, the sound of which would be with us for most of the walk up.
The early colors of autumn felt like stepping into a glossy photo as we wandered alongside the river. The grades increase sligtly after the river, but they were still gentle enough that I felt I was really moving along at a good clip. I was thinking that it felt easier, and realized that even with a 22lb overnight pack, I was still 10-15lbs lighter than I was this spring.
There are few things funnier to contmeplate than a person who pays extra for lightweight gear, and then chooses to carry his pack weight in surplus food around the waist.
We briefly depart from views of the river and soon return to it by a small bridge. Before long we arrive at the shelter to find a tarp set, a fire going, and three people camping at the shelter already. After a few minutes of deciding that we were each harmless and sane enough for each others company, we dropped gear and went to check out the Falls.
The falls were quite lovely, and three of us stood around getting misted upon. We took in the scenery and chatted for about 45 minutes when twilight suggested a return to the shelter. We took some time getting to know our fellow campers and waiting for the late arrival of Marc and Steph. There is something quite magical about time outdoors with friends and nothing to do but sit, chat and take in the scenery and sounds of rain and river.
Around 9:00pm, Happyhiker noticed the headlamps coming up the trail. After dropping pack we all decided to revisit the falls in the dark. With headlamps set upon the rocks, we could see the lower cascade as we tried to explain the daytime view. Eventually, we reached the limit of sightseeing in the dark and headed back to the shelter.
After a couple of river crossings and a bit of a walk off trail, Marc found a nice spot within earshot of the river – three trees in a triangle about 14' to a side. We linked the three hammocks between the trees and found we could overlap a fair bit of tarp in the middle.
We returned to the shelter to feast on donuts, chocolate covered peppers, wine, beer, and whatever else was around until we were all ready to catch some sleep. Windy and Happyhiker took to the shelter while the hammock folk went back over the river and through the woods to silnylon triangle.
It was about 45°F out, and I had two foam pads and a 40°F bag and was mostly comfortable. Occasionally the pad would still shift end to end and make me choose between a diagonal flatter position with freezing side, or a much warmer but rounded sleeping position. I probably should have gotten out and fixed things, but I was comfortable enough... and every time I tossed about, the hammock would get rocking again and I'd nod back off to sleep.
Woke up in the morning to Marc packing up his Hennessy, while Steph and I luxuriated in our hammocks pondering those poor unfortunate souls who sleep on the (gasp) GROUND... Don't they know that people PEE there?
By the time we were packed, Marc informed us our shelter guests had already packed up and headed out. We took a moment to enjoy the fully illuminated falls, and then a speedy walk back to the car.
Best fifteen hours in the rain I've had in a long time.