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  1. #1
    Senior Member XexorZ's Avatar
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    Going to weather the Nor-easter this weekend

    Looks like a cold damp one this weekend at Round Valley Recreation Area. I'll be kayaking 3 miles to my site and setting up in the rain and sleet it looks like. The alternative is a 6+ mile hike in - lots of ups and downs. I prefer the boat

    Should be fun



    This should be a good test for my make-shift gear

    Anybody in the Jersey area wanna come freeze with me? Drysuit strongly suggested.

  2. #2
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Have fun be vigilant and file a report!
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    Looking forward to your trip report.

    Years ago, I used to volunteer at RV, doing trail and site maintenance. Great place to camp and fish!

  4. #4
    SoundWitness's Avatar
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    XexorZ;

    I wish I would have seen this earlier last week, I would have joined ya! The weather was perfect for trying out my new rain gear and system.

    So how'd it go?

    SW
    "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere."- RONALD REAGAN

    "There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer." - CALVIN COOLIDGE




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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SoundWitness View Post
    XexorZ;

    I wish I would have seen this earlier last week, I would have joined ya! The weather was perfect for trying out my new rain gear and system.

    So how'd it go?

    SW
    Yea I would have been up for playing in the rain also. Round valley is just a few minutes away. Do you know if they allow people to camp there even after Oct 31st?

  6. #6
    Senior Member XexorZ's Avatar
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    So how'd it go?
    Writing up my post-trip report now as time permits. Should be here tonight!

    I wish I would have seen this earlier last week, I would have joined ya!
    Yea I would have been up for playing in the rain also. Round valley is just a few minutes away.
    Sorry I didn't get the post up sooner - my Fiancee was going to be going w/ me but then got the sniffles... that plus the "bad weather" forced me to ask her to sit this one out.

    Do you know if they allow people to camp there even after Oct 31st?
    I don't believe they "let" you if you get my meaning

    Just can't leave a car in the lot is all... cause then they would look for you (a-la missing person in the lake....)

    *cackles gleefully*
    Last edited by XexorZ; 10-19-2009 at 15:07.

  7. #7
    Senior Member XexorZ's Avatar
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    Post-Trip Report

    I have to start out by saying that although I've been camping and backpacking for the majority of my life I have never done it alone - but now I don't know why I never tried it before - its really is uniquely enjoyable!

    I had all of my gear packed up in my ~13' Sun Kayak on the roof of my Subie the Friday before the trip. Hopped in bed around midnight but was unable to sleep - finally dozed off around 2AM. Woke up on the bright around 7:00 AM, grabbed what little gear I would be wearing and headed off to Round Valley Reservoir some hour or so away.

    About 1/2 way there I ran into the weather. The rain was coming down in decent sheets and I was getting very excited.

    By 8:30AM I checked in with the ranger station near the boat launch. She informed me that out of the 85 sites on the lake only two sites were occupied including my own (I guess I didn't need to pre register after all!). My assumption is that the rain and pending noreaster scared everyone else away. I put on my dry suit, double checked my gear and headed out. The rain had let up and the wind was nowhere to be found - my timing was perfect and I felt very lucky.

    Round valley is a very pristine body of water. It is 180 feet deep in places and a lot of its bottom is very light in color so when you near the shore the blue of the water really shows. The little spherical drops of water jumping all around my boat as I paddled through the rain we're quite the site. The autumn colors of the trees are just starting to really pop and their reflections danced in the spheres on the surface of the otherwise still water... mesmerizing. The clouds were bright and only seemed to highlight these features, not diminish them like one might expect.

    After about an hour or so of paddling (~3 Miles) I found my site (#79) which was really perfect. A well-built stone fire pit w/ steel ring and grate along with plenty of trees to pick from welcomed me. Close proximity to a privy and water we're also nice although I chose to just boil water straight out of the res just for kicks.

    It took me around a full 1/2 hour to setup my Kelty 12 tarp and home-made hammock (jeesh) mostly due to my lack of experience with it but some blame to be had by the rain, wind, cold hands and the dry suit.

    After I had a dry place to change I wiggled out of my dry suit and changed into more comfortable rain gear, put on some coffee and started relaxing.

    The rain was on and off all weekend. I'd say that, for the most part, the remainder of the trip was relatively dry through the day and rained hard at night.

    Even though the woods we're thoroughly wet by the first and the now second consecutive nor-easter, I was able to find plenty of dry wood for an ample fire which I really enjoyed.

    Made a half-hearted attempt at fishing. Once again I brought too much gear and had too little time to really enjoy it. Note to self: BRING LESS STUFF!

    Tried out a bunch of new ready-made just-add-water backpacking food (new to me at least, I generally cook full up meals instead but since I was soloing it I figured I'd better make this easier on myself.)

    Backpacker's Pantry Louisiana Red Beans and Rice:
    Ease of prep: 5/5
    Taste: 5/5
    Cleanup: 5/5
    Summary: This stuff is great! Warning: these beans are "airy" so be sure your hanging alone unless you want to gas your mate ! Really good though so Highly recommended.

    Mountain House Chili Mac w/ Beef
    Ease of prep: 5/5
    Taste: 5/5
    Cleanup: 5/5
    Summary: Again - score! Great, easy, hot food. Yum!

    Backpacker's Pantry Biscuits and Country Gravy:
    Ease of prep: 2/5
    Taste: 3/5
    Cleanup: 2/5
    Summary: Left me feeling off. A pain to prep (requires multiple containers) and hardened up like a greasy rock afterward making cleanup a real pain. I won't be purchasing this one again.

    Spent a lot of time talking to my camera (and thus myself) which is not unlike me... I'm just used to having other people witness it

    Gave me plenty of time to think... relax... listen... watch... enjoy...

    Watched a couple movies on my iphone, spoke to my Fiancee on the phone and then dozed off to sleep in my home made pod. Slept very warm at first so I opened the inside bag. Woke up a couple hours later quite cold in the feet and shoulders... zipped the bag back up but couldn't find that heat again - not sure what is up with the system but it will need some work since it is going to be the Fiancee's rig now that I have a BB . . likely needs some tension / elastic to keep the bottom clearance consistent... I think moving around separated it from the bottom of the hammock causing the cold spots - not sure though... guess I'm gonna have to hang it in the yard a couple cold nights and find out.

    Woke up on the bright and had me a nice hot cup of coffee - Starbucks new instant "Via" is very good but too darn pricey in this man's opinion...

    It was a very humid and cold morning (85% humidity and 43*F so said the Kestrel 4000). Cliff bar and biscuits+gravy for breakfast - as stated earlier, the B&G were a mistake. I'm not a big fan of white gravy anyhow being from the north and all

    Started packing up my things around noon as the wind was starting to pick up and I had no desire to paddle back in weather. A calm and dry paddle back was what I wanted and for the most part what I got. Along the way I was shocked to see an old WW2 bomber and what I believe was a P51 Mustang flying 100 yards off its port wing! After that another bomber flew over - I assume there must have been some sort of show going on wherever they were going (or coming from) - very cool though - never saw anything like it before in the air (in person).

    Once I rounded the bend near the dam I got blasted by the north east wind that I was being sheltered from by the ridge of the valley (changed my camp site to that side of the lake due to the long range weather report a week ago). Pushed through it and made it back to my launch point unscathed.

    Overall I'd give my trip a B .. plenty good and too short!... but an A+ for new experience - I'm never alone in the woods for that long a period. I hunt alone but that's rarely more than 10 hours at a clip and very goal oriented. This trip I had no goals other than to be there and relax. Nice.

    If you've never camped alone and are confident in yourself to do so I suggest you give it a try! Oh... and don't worry if you start talking to yourself - nobody can hear you but the bears anyhow, and they're not much for conversation
    Last edited by XexorZ; 10-19-2009 at 18:45.

  8. #8
    SoundWitness's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by XexorZ View Post
    I have to start out by saying that although I've been camping and backpacking for the majority of my life I have never done it alone - but now I don't know why I never tried it before - its really is uniquely enjoyable!

    I had all of my gear packed up in my ~13' Sun Kayak on the roof of my Subie the Friday before the trip. Hopped in bed around midnight but was unable to sleep - finally dozed off around 2AM. Woke up on the bright around 7:00 AM, grabbed what little gear I would be wearing and headed off to Round Valley Reservoir some hour or so away.............................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .....
    If you've never camped alone and are confident in yourself to do so I suggest you give it a try! Oh... and don't worry if you start talking to yourself - nobody can hear you but the bears anyhow, and they're not much for conversation
    Very nice and in-depth trip report. I live 20 minutes away from Round Valley, and I really don't know why I don't hang there more often. Plenty of wilderness and good fishing as well.

    Sounds like you enjoyed yourself and learned quite a bit about your set-up as well. That's called a successful hang!!
    "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere."- RONALD REAGAN

    "There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer." - CALVIN COOLIDGE




    My Backpacking Site

  9. #9
    Senior Member 41vi4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XexorZ View Post
    By 8:30AM I checked in with the ranger station near the boat launch. She informed me that out of the 85 sites on the lake only two sites were occupied including my own (I guess I didn't need to pre register after all!). My assumption is that the rain and pending noreaster scared everyone else away. I put on my dry suit, double checked my gear and headed out. The rain had let up and the wind was nowhere to be found - my timing was perfect and I felt very lucky.
    Sounds like a nice roomy area...maybe a good site for a group hang.

    After about an hour or so of paddling (~3 Miles) I found my site (#79) which was really perfect. A well-built stone fire pit w/ steel ring and grate along with plenty of trees to pick from welcomed me. Close proximity to a privy and water we're also nice although I chose to just boil water straight out of the res just for kicks.
    Heard that water can get mighty fierce ...good to hear you made through

    Spent a lot of time talking to my camera (and thus myself) which is not unlike me...
    Hope you took some pictures or video and plan to share...

    Overall I'd give my trip a B .. plenty good and too short!... but an A+ for new experience - I'm never alone in the woods for that long a period.
    Concise, detailed report. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #10
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed the solo ...... it is so good for ya'.
    Thanks for a terrific de-briefing .... it was a fun read.
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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