With the Mt Rogers hang fast approaching The Hangin' Buritto and I put together a small hang in the Cradle of Forestry National Historic Site so we could test our gear 'In the field'.
We were joined by Nooner, ScreaminEagle, Hickery, Darby, Muskrat, Jim, and Bindi.
Friday was all about getting there, setting up camp, getting comfortable, and kicking off the festivities. Unfortunately I could not stay Friday night so I'll let the others fill in the blanks. HB and I took a short hike (3.5M) on the South Mills River trail. Nice trail. I will definitely come back to hike all of it.
I came back to camp early Saturday morning to see HB at the grill. Truly in his groove, he kicked out plate after plate of everything from plain omelets to exotic meat laden masterpieces. I'll let him explain exotic meats. We chowed for what seemed like hours
We made a trip up the road to retrieve some wood that had been cut up by the Forest Service as a huge tree had blocked off the road (see pics)
Following this Hickery, Darby, ScreaminEagle and I took a hike up Funneltop Mountain to burn off some calories. Upon our return we found the gang had erected the group shelter and started the "Shuttle Fire"
HB had already brought a van load of shop wood. To this we added almost a half ton of 'bombs' thanks to the Forest Service. This fire was easily visible from space - I KID YOU NOT
ScreaminEagle pulled out a weather radio and we quickly learned things were about to change in a big way - Snow
Thinking quickly we proceeded to consume 10,000 calories apiece to maintain body heat. HB made a stew to die for (mama bear helped), Hickery was cranking out grilled cheese sandwiches with his legendary Pie-Irons, Muskrat baked a cake from heaven. Add in cheese and crackers along with other treats and we were stoked! We DID eat for hours.
Good conversation, great story telling, and friendly razzing rounded out the evening.
Sunday did not go entirely according to plan. We arose to 5" of fresh snow and it was still snowing. Coffee was made and a safety meeting was held. SE's radio was now saying we had 8 to 10 inches of more snow closing in on us. We were 5+ miles from the paved road so we decided to bug-out.
Camp was cleared in under an hour and the task of getting out was upon us. I could go on ad infinitum but I'll just say Nooner and Muskrat were the heroes of the day. Virtually everyone had difficulty, complete with sliding backwards, having to be towed uphill, and being pulled out of ditches. The 11+ mile slide down Rt 276 was torture. Both my forearms are sore from unconsciously clenching the steering wheel.
Everyone pulled together as a team and we got out 3+ hours later. (Don't know about Hickery though. Nooner and SE were going back to try and pull him out of a ditch several miles back up the road. Hope you're OK buddy.)
All attendees please chime in and add your stories.
Here are my pics.
Thanks to all you guys