Spent Friday in a suit at the VCQ (Vermont Council for Quality) awards conference where several speakers joked about how nice it would be to change into shorts and get outside. As soon as the conference ended, I changed into shorts, grabbed my waiting pack from the corner, and got outside. Technically, I got a lift from Lake Morey to Hanover, NH, sent my suit on to Concord with the driver, then got outside.
I hit the trail at 5:45PM with several hours of remaining light. (Didn't want to be like srestepo and do the hike in the dark!) Went a quarter mile or so past the Velvet Rocks shelter to a nifty granite shelf with a lovely eastward view; hung the Blackbird from a couple of convenient maples with the rock wall at my back a lovely view to the front.
Tested out the new Caldera alcohol stove (thanks Quoddy! Your chocolate will ship toward the end of the week when the temps cool down, btw) on a fine meal of bulgar, fresh herbs, and tuna while watching the sun think about setting over the mountains in the distance. Wrapped the evening with some white tea and a bite of seriously good Guatemalan chocolate from a plantation I visited a couple months ago. Mosquitos getting fierce, I hooked my newly-made MUQ (Mummified DIY UQ) to the hammock and settled in for the evening.
Okay, so it only got down to 50 and the MUQ was overkill, but I wanted to test the thing out, and with my down bag as quilt I was plenty cozy. Slept like a rock, which is rare for me outdoors.
Awoke at 5AM to a pretty sunrise and the expected feathered symphony, relaxed in the hammock until 7, breakfasted on authentic hot chocolate (chopped 72% Venezuelan cacao with a bit of milk powder added in), broke camp, and made a leisurely stroll back to Hanover. Dropped my pack at Hanover Outdoors (they accept hiker packages and sell fuel by the oz, btw) and had a tasty breakfast at Umpleby's Bakery while I waited for my wife to arrive from Manchester.
The trip could have been longer, but was definitely a pleasant diversion and a good gear test. Sorry I forgot the camera, but I promise photos from my upcoming June outing.