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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    My past week of adventure...

    So Sunday night I went on a short over night at a friends ranch, he had just set up a pilas... Which I'm not sure what else to call it but its a 25' circle about 5'4" deep that a well pumps the water into and then the over flow flows into the pond... So i was invited for swimming and i asked if i could stay out over night as I have camped on his 350+ acres before and love a chance for a quick over night...

    So i hitched a ride out there and helped him build a makeshift deck to the side of this concrete structure and then we swam and looked at the stars till about 2130 when they called it quits and I swam around till 2230 looking at stars and enjoying not hearing anything... I had set up my hammock a short distance away and had my flash light with my towel so i finished swimming and ate a snack of pistachio nuts by the tank and crashed out with no tarp and my newly made pillow I was trying out... Slept till about 0300 when i head mosquitos buzzing around behind me and so i got up and sprayed my back with bug spray just to be sure and went back to bed... Awoke about 0730 ready for the rest of the day... Made breakfast and hiked the 8 miles back into town...
    camp with clothes drying...
    rocks my friend has stacked next to the tank... Proposed to my wife on those rocks one starry night... Was supposed to get married their but weather and fire ants cancelled that...
    the tank is really low, used to be up right at the tree line on the other side...
    trying out and disappointed with my cat can stove...




    When i got home I asked my wife if i had any mosquito bites on my back... She counted 50+ bites!!! Apparently the bug net had been pulled up tight and they were having a little fiesta at my expense... So i kicked myself in the butt because I had bought permithrin and just had been too lazy to apply it, it got applied that afternoon on everything hammock bug net, hat, sweat rag, tree huggers and anything else that was within spraying range...

    A great trip over all that was pretty easy to me... That 8 miles is getting easier for me and that endurance came in handy on Tuesday night when i went to Lost Maples Natural Area...
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Not sure if its a win or a fail but it was definitely a trip to remember... I had a reservation for a primitive site for Tuesday July 10 up at Lost Maples Natural Area... Well of course being my plans and the fact that Murphy has this strange obsession with me it starting rain pretty hard early Tuesday morning late Monday night... So i waited and checked radar, and decided to hide and watch and see what happens... I started prepping my gear and I'm usually over prepared anyways but with the threat of rain and the high probability of flash floods and getting stranded if I journeyed too far I double packed, 3 extra meals, extra synthetic clothes that would get me home towels, trash bags zip lock bags and the works... I was prepped for a monsoon... Well at about 1300 the radar cleared and.the 6 hour radar guess showed it to be clear where I was going with some green/yellow spots between me and the park on my motorcycle ride there... So i loaded up kissed wife and daughter good bye, gave them my plan and told them I would call them when i got there and before I left on Wednesday morning... So i put on my riding gear water proof boot covers and rain pants for the ride out because the roads were soaked still... With my rain jacket, bike cover in a saddle bag along with extra clothes(see what i mean about over prepared)... I headed out... It was a beautiful first 50 miles big bellowing clouds but 90% sun... Wind was calm it was perfect riding weather... Filled up with gas and drank a little water and was about 40 miles from the park, turned out of the gas station to see the blackest clouds I have ever seen at 1515 in the afternoon... So i pulled over and suited up for the rain, it rained for about 25 miles and then went back to beautiful clear skies... Got to the park with the strangest ride I have ever been on to date... Checked in to the park(they had received 0 rain that day and the dust agreed with that statement) paid my fee and headed out Sun was shining 85* nice breeze, park is EMPTY EMPTY!!! Like no one but me the ranger and the two staff persons, just perfect... So i started my hike and saw one of the coolest walking sticks I have ever seen before...

    uploadfromtaptalk1342227465451.jpg

    Walked around and through this beautiful park, checked out the ponds and liked what i saw but with the weather so nice I wanted to keep hiking so i hiked all the way back to camp site H which is about 4.5 miles back in based off the notes on the park signs... Took me about 2 hrs with my scenic out look on this... Just an absolutely beautiful park to me...
    uploadfromtaptalk1342227490896.jpg gorgeous little view off the trail
    uploadfromtaptalk1342227513080.jpglittle spring I want to hang out in one day...
    uploadfromtaptalk1342227572114.jpg little cave cut out area washed away by water... Was just cool to see really...
    uploadfromtaptalk1342227635344.jpgproof that I made it...
    uploadfromtaptalk1342227662736.jpgthe view right before it got bad


    Set up camp and no sooner than I hammered in the last stake the thunder rolled behind me... So i started water proofing everything, grabbed flat rocks and built a little place to set shoes in their trash bags and another for the pack in a trash bag and another little stack just to put my feet on while sitting in the hammock... First storm was about 30 minutes and it was nice calm straight down rain with a little breeze... Sat back and listened to it rain and drank some gatorade... And then it let up for a bit and then the next storm came through, this was the big daddy storm that let the little lollipop licking 3 year old go ahead of it... Immediately the temp dropped 15* where i was at, wind kicked up 20-25 miles an hour at my best guess, lightning thunder chaos ensued at this point, the ground had been softened up by the first storm now didn't have enough strength to hold my stakes and 3 out of four came loose at some point or another... So i got wet putting them back in the ground, ok no big deal I have back ups just for this situation and i wait it out wet not wanting to waste drying myself off just to have to get wet again... So it finished and the sky cleared up but a breeze hung around... So i changed clothes and decided to have supper laying in the hammock... My feet got cold so i wrapped them in a towel to keep them warm and dry... Put my pillow behind my head and dozed off for a bit... Woke up at about 2000 cold (i don't get cold, my wife calls me a heater, I am hot natured to put it mildly) so i did a serious gut check... Talked myself through all my options and I know i don't have the proper insulation for the night, its 65* at 2000 and its not going to warm up, I know i don't have the insulation I need to do this... So i let reason beat out my testosterone, and decide its not worth being miserable just to say i did it... So i pack up quick like a bunny change into my synthetic shorts and quick wick shirt chug the rest of my gatorade to save the weight... I know my wet clothes and wet tarp are going to add 3-5 lbs so i know the hike outs going to be brutal... It's not fun time its time to get home, safe and sound... So i put on my ipod (didn't use it on the walk in but forgot it was in my pocket when I got off the bike, glad I had it for the walk out) find some moving music and I'm off... 4.5 miles of fairly involved terrain in 51 minutes... Went and found the rangers house and told him I was bailing due to not having enough insulation... And got on the bike and rode home like a banchee...

    This trip taught me that even though I'm prepared I still have to know when to call it quits, and as someone who is stubborn and hard headed and persistent, that is a hard choice to make... And that an IX under quilt really needs to be moved up on my priority list, that 1 lb would have saved me quite a bit of struggle...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AT4ever's Avatar
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    That sounds awesome Brute! Especially the swimmin' part! Starry nights are gettin' harder to see around these parts... too much light pollution. I remember well the starry skies of Corpus Christie, Beeville, Mathis and Sinton TX. One of these days I've got to get back there for a visit!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Just a side note... Between Sunday Monday and Tuesday i hiked a little over 20 miles with a 23-25 lb pack... Was a new best for me and no soreness to speak of really... And I'm down to 185 lbs lightest I have been since 7th grade...
    Last edited by Brute1100; 07-13-2012 at 20:29.
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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  5. #5
    New Member bushcrafter's Avatar
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    Man, am I jealous! That sounds like you had tons of fun. Even if the trips have bad parts or are completely bad, they beat a day at work and there is always something good to get out of it.

    I may have to go down there some time to the Lost Maples area. I'm not too far.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushcrafter View Post
    Man, am I jealous! That sounds like you had tons of fun. Even if the trips have bad parts or are completely bad, they beat a day at work and there is always something good to get out of it.

    I may have to go down there some time to the Lost Maples area. I'm not too far.
    We should set up a hang out there... The primitive sites are more than big enough for a group... Even if you space out a little bit...
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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  7. #7
    olddog's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip. Night time swim sounds real good to wash some of the funk off but not something I would do down in my neck of the woods.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddog View Post
    Sounds like a great trip. Night time swim sounds real good to wash some of the funk off but not something I would do down in my neck of the woods.
    Why wouldn't you swim?
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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  9. #9
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brute1100 View Post
    Why wouldn't you swim?
    Gators and moccasins. There're spots I'd swim, but most of 'em are a little on the cold side for night-time swimming unless it's the height of summer (55 to 70 degree water).

    It isn't likely you'll run afoul of either, but if you're in the dark, by yourself...well...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Well this was an above ground... Newly built set up with well water being pumped in that morning... No chance for wild life to be of any issue... But other than that i feel you, as a kid if you wanted to swim in the tanks... You had to spend several days at the beginning of summer with a 22 killing water moccasins... You get to be a pretty good shot after a few years...
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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