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  1. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Living the Highlife View Post
    I think you did plenty good on the initial friday night scouting! although it seems more popular, and fire ring included, my vote would be for A because if I'm reading your words correctly, we would have to go south on the AT to get to the spot, which means crossing the river and stocking up on water prior to the mountain trek. sounds like a good plan. I'm still planning on showing up!
    Did I make it sound like the mountain site was south? Sorry. Gordon's original description was this "It's right around here: 37.633134,-79.390632 ish it's close to that, around 3-4mi climb north of footbridge, brutal climb and one section is kind of a scramble." And looking on Google Maps just now, I see that I probably only made it a mile on the trail up the mountain, which means that "B" is probably only 1/4 mile from the highway.

    But hey, I'm good with any plan as long as I get to hike me some trail and hang my hammock in good company!

  2. #72
    Senior Member Living the Highlife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike65 View Post
    Did I make it sound like the mountain site was south? Sorry. Gordon's original description was this "It's right around here: 37.633134,-79.390632 ish it's close to that, around 3-4mi climb north of footbridge, brutal climb and one section is kind of a scramble." And looking on Google Maps just now, I see that I probably only made it a mile on the trail up the mountain, which means that "B" is probably only 1/4 mile from the highway.

    But hey, I'm good with any plan as long as I get to hike me some trail and hang my hammock in good company!
    Oh not the mountain site. I was talking about crossing the river for the first hang site is south. sorry for the confusion
    Corey Miller

    "Some ships are designed to sink… others require our assistance."

  3. #73
    visionarylion's Avatar
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    i vote to cross the river too. either way we'll be at the parking area at 7pm hope to meet you all soon
    It's not the fall im scared of, it's the sudden stop at the end!!!

    Only hang as high as your willing to fall- H.F. member

  4. #74

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    Yeah, I like the idea of crossing the river, though it's a mile walk to clear the "red zone" to where we can camp. It means that we'll be down by the river for the first night. I should be to the parking area by 5:30 with dandeman. I'm really looking forward to this!

  5. #75
    Senior Member Living the Highlife's Avatar
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    Might be a little late. 730ish. Darn Hampton roads traffic. Don't leave me!!
    Corey Miller

    "Some ships are designed to sink… others require our assistance."

  6. #76

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    Trip Report

    I'm pleased to report that the 1st Central VA Hang (or CVAhhh!) was a great success! In attendance was Living the Highlife, Dandeman, VisonaryLion & GirlFriday (her unofficial trail name), and Mrmike65. The trip and location had first been suggested by GordonFreeman, who gave us a general idea of the sites, but circumstances caused him to drop out during the planning stages. (Dude, you missed a good one!)

    Dandeman and I arrived at the meeting place a couple of hours before the others and took the opportunity to scout out the first night's hang area, where we gathered firewood for the night's activities, then returned to the parking area where VisionaryLion and GirlFriday found us discussing the finer points of his bridge poles. Unfortunately, while waiting for folks to show up, another large group of campers arrived and set off in the direction of the site Dandeman and I had stocked with firewood. True to his word, Living the Highlife arrived at 7:30 and the group commenced hiking in the dark to the first site. Sure enough, we arrived at the site to find the site it filled a cheery fire and the other group. I went over to say "hello" and explained how we had collected the firewood with the intention of camping in the spot, but quickly wished them well and hoped they enjoyed the site. As we stood trying to figure out a new plan, one guy came over and offered the site and fire back to us, saying they would move on to another! Well done, sir, well done!

    The festivities commenced with a great setting up of hammocks and tarps, helping Living the Highlife figure out how to suspend his new UQ, and quick looks at setups by headlamps. As we settled down for supper, we had a lone visitor arrived and asked to share the site (or was invited to, not sure which). I don't recall the name, but as it turned out, he too was using a hammock and fit in quite well. That first evening went deep into the night, with talk about gear, spreading the good word about HammockForums, stories from past travels, and ponderings of future plans. A good time indeed.

    Morning came quickly with mixed results coming about how people's gear worked against the early morning river temps. Overnight temps settled somewhere between 55-60 degrees with alight wind and appropriate early morning river fog. Breakfast was enjoyed with entertainment provided by GirlFriday attempting to brew coffee. Her inevitable success was met with a short cheer from the peanut gallery.

    The group packed up, refilled water containers, said farewell to our visitor, and ventured onto the Appalachian Trail in search of an elusive rocky peak that GordonFreeman had hinted at in his earlier posts. As Living the Highlife and Dandeman were both in great physical condition, and the rest of us not-so-much, those two broke off and (dare I say) sprinted to the top of the 2,400 ft ridge. VisionaryLion, GirlFriday and myself took the scenic hike, pausing frequently to enjoy the woodsy trail.

    The sight of the rocky ridge line and the spectacular views it offered was a just reward for overcoming the numerous switchbacks required to reach our destination. A fire ring was established and, after some discussion about predicted temps and weather, the night's hang site was chosen to provide safety and aptly demonstrate the power of hammocks as it was situated on a 20-30 degree slope. An evening of chat and chow ended early as the predicted cold winds drove people to find extra layers and finally to what was hoped would be warm, cozy hammocks.

    It seems everyone was testing something new: I with my modular sock, Living the Highlife with his wife's newly made hammock and a new down underquilt, Dandeman with his bridge hammock setup, and VisionaryLion & GirlFriday being on their first ever hammock camping trip.

    Overnight temps dropped down to 45 degrees with a driving wind from the northwest. Fortunately, our site was on the lee side of the ridge and we were protected from the worst of it. Morning call came at a timely 4am with the sounds of Living the Highlife breaking camp. by 5am, we were nearly ready to hit the trail as a cold rain started. Hiking teams were quickly re-formed to the previous day's configuration and the damp retreat to the parking area proceeded with due diligence. I think we all appreciated the fact that the trip down the mountain took half the time as the hike up!

    The 1st Annual Central VA Hang was considered a success by all the attendees, each for their own reasons. VisonaryLion and GirlFriday were pleased at the success of their first Hang, the victories over the challenges of the trail, and exploring how to use their new gear. I believe VisonaryLion and Dandeman enjoyed having a hiking partner that could keep up with them, and each seemed pleased with the gear testing they brought with them. As for myself, I would have to say that the pleasure of gently swaying in my hammock and sock was second only to the truly fine camaraderie and conversations that took place on the trail and in camp. Until this trip, all of my hammocking trips have been solitary (which has pleasures of it's own), so this whole "group hang" thing was a pleasant change of pace. Thanks to all for a great trip!

    I look forward to the 2nd Annual Central VA Hang - and so should anyone who are close enough to make the trip!

    (pictures posted to gallery - search for "1st Annual Central VA Hang"). Some may end up here anyway

  7. #77
    Senior Member Living the Highlife's Avatar
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    Pictures from the overlook

    here are some more pictures from the overlook!! looking over the topo maps when i got home today, we camped out on little rocky row mtn. I don't think I want to tackle big rocky row until I get my legs into better shape.
    Corey Miller

    "Some ships are designed to sink… others require our assistance."

  8. #78
    visionarylion's Avatar
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    Trip Report

    First off, I can't post pics, as my camera's being weird I will if and when I can. MrMike65 got some really good ones, so all is not lost.
    After a bit of rushing, forgetting things, and random stops - we finally arrived at the Foot Bridge around 7ish, to be greated by MrMike65 and Dandeman, who informed GirlFriday(???) and I that Living the Highlife would be late. Once Dandeman's belly was full and Highlife arrived we set out to our first campsite, which as MrMike said, was occupied, but not for long . We were just getting settled in when we met our vistor, Kyle, I think was his name. I do know his trail name, and thats all that really matters - I Don't Know. He turned out to be pretty cool.
    The next morning we returned to the parking area where we saw I Don't Know off, as he was bike-packing on his rat-rod . This gave me a chance to shed a few pounds (as I am not set-up to backpack).
    So onward we headed up the path to our vista. After our groups were established, we stopped to take in the fresh air, had our lunch on the trail, and tried to enjoy our hike as much as possible.....until the switchbacks, the endless switchbacks.
    We finally reached the top for the best veiw I have seen in a long time, made even better by the fact that it was GirlFriday's and my first backpacking trip. The effort was worth it to say the least. As we got to the ridge, we found Highlife and Dandeman waiting happily for us. We set-up on the side of the mountain overlooking the river as MrMike mentioned. We all settled in, GirlFriday finally found the top - and decided it was time for a nap, Dandeman and Highlife had a late lunch, and MrMike and I hiked over to another cliff with another superb view. As we were enjoy our campfire, the wind really started picking up, and Highlife's weather updates had us wondering if we would be warm enough, and to everyone's happiness we were!!
    So as not to pack in the rain, at 5am we hiked down those dreaded switchbacks, which were quickly put behind us in our haste to descend the mountain. After a surprisingly quick hike we arrived at the paved road we'd crossed the previous day and decided to follow it back to the parking area, due to the increasing rain. We arrived to find Dandeman and Highlife in distress (not really). Highlife's tire had gone flat :. So after the loan of a tire iron and the successful replacement with his doughnut, we parted ways.
    All in all, it was a great trip, and I throughly enjoyed the company (unexpected and all). Hope to see you all (and some new faces) next year.



    GirlFriday - The boys have all been very diplomatic with our "senetic views" and "fresh mountain air". Thank you. I had a blast, even though I'm pretty sure I died a few times on the way up!! (Did someone say switchbacks??) I'm really looking foward to next year, maybe I'll be a little more prepared . (don't tell VisionaryLion - I'm already looking at gear. I've definetly caught the bug ) Just remember - There is no top, its an illusion.
    It's not the fall im scared of, it's the sudden stop at the end!!!

    Only hang as high as your willing to fall- H.F. member

  9. #79
    visionarylion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike65 View Post
    I'm pleased to report that the 1st Central VA Hang (or CVAhhh!) was a great success! In attendance was Living the Highlife, Dandeman, VisonaryLion & GirlFriday (her unofficial trail name), and Mrmike65. The trip and location had first been suggested by GordonFreeman, who gave us a general idea of the sites, but circumstances caused him to drop out during the planning stages. (Dude, you missed a good one!)

    Dandeman and I arrived at the meeting place a couple of hours before the others and took the opportunity to scout out the first night's hang area, where we gathered firewood for the night's activities, then returned to the parking area where VisionaryLion and GirlFriday found us discussing the finer points of his bridge poles. Unfortunately, while waiting for folks to show up, another large group of campers arrived and set off in the direction of the site Dandeman and I had stocked with firewood. True to his word, Living the Highlife arrived at 7:30 and the group commenced hiking in the dark to the first site. Sure enough, we arrived at the site to find the site it filled a cheery fire and the other group. I went over to say "hello" and explained how we had collected the firewood with the intention of camping in the spot, but quickly wished them well and hoped they enjoyed the site. As we stood trying to figure out a new plan, one guy came over and offered the site and fire back to us, saying they would move on to another! Well done, sir, well done!

    The festivities commenced with a great setting up of hammocks and tarps, helping Living the Highlife figure out how to suspend his new UQ, and quick looks at setups by headlamps. As we settled down for supper, we had a lone visitor arrived and asked to share the site (or was invited to, not sure which). I don't recall the name, but as it turned out, he too was using a hammock and fit in quite well. That first evening went deep into the night, with talk about gear, spreading the good word about HammockForums, stories from past travels, and ponderings of future plans. A good time indeed.

    Morning came quickly with mixed results coming about how people's gear worked against the early morning river temps. Overnight temps settled somewhere between 55-60 degrees with alight wind and appropriate early morning river fog. Breakfast was enjoyed with entertainment provided by GirlFriday attempting to brew coffee. Her inevitable success was met with a short cheer from the peanut gallery.

    The group packed up, refilled water containers, said farewell to our visitor, and ventured onto the Appalachian Trail in search of an elusive rocky peak that GordonFreeman had hinted at in his earlier posts. As Living the Highlife and Dandeman were both in great physical condition, and the rest of us not-so-much, those two broke off and (dare I say) sprinted to the top of the 2,400 ft ridge. VisionaryLion, GirlFriday and myself took the scenic hike, pausing frequently to enjoy the woodsy trail.

    The sight of the rocky ridge line and the spectacular views it offered was a just reward for overcoming the numerous switchbacks required to reach our destination. A fire ring was established and, after some discussion about predicted temps and weather, the night's hang site was chosen to provide safety and aptly demonstrate the power of hammocks as it was situated on a 20-30 degree slope. An evening of chat and chow ended early as the predicted cold winds drove people to find extra layers and finally to what was hoped would be warm, cozy hammocks.

    It seems everyone was testing something new: I with my modular sock, Living the Highlife with his wife's newly made hammock and a new down underquilt, Dandeman with his bridge hammock setup, and VisionaryLion & GirlFriday being on their first ever hammock camping trip.

    Overnight temps dropped down to 45 degrees with a driving wind from the northwest. Fortunately, our site was on the lee side of the ridge and we were protected from the worst of it. Morning call came at a timely 4am with the sounds of Living the Highlife breaking camp. by 5am, we were nearly ready to hit the trail as a cold rain started. Hiking teams were quickly re-formed to the previous day's configuration and the damp retreat to the parking area proceeded with due diligence. I think we all appreciated the fact that the trip down the mountain took half the time as the hike up!

    The 1st Annual Central VA Hang was considered a success by all the attendees, each for their own reasons. VisonaryLion and GirlFriday were pleased at the success of their first Hang, the victories over the challenges of the trail, and exploring how to use their new gear. I believe VisonaryLion and Dandeman enjoyed having a hiking partner that could keep up with them, and each seemed pleased with the gear testing they brought with them. As for myself, I would have to say that the pleasure of gently swaying in my hammock and sock was second only to the truly fine camaraderie and conversations that took place on the trail and in camp. Until this trip, all of my hammocking trips have been solitary (which has pleasures of it's own), so this whole "group hang" thing was a pleasant change of pace. Thanks to all for a great trip!

    I look forward to the 2nd Annual Central VA Hang - and so should anyone who are close enough to make the trip!

    (pictures posted to gallery - search for "1st Annual Central VA Hang"). Some may end up here anyway
    Excellent report. GirlFriday wants to know if she turned into a boy on sunday.
    It's not the fall im scared of, it's the sudden stop at the end!!!

    Only hang as high as your willing to fall- H.F. member

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by visionarylion View Post
    Excellent report. GirlFriday wants to know if she turned into a boy on sunday.
    HAHA! She can use any name she likes. I came up with GirlFriday because she was so handy with the coffee pot and a real trooper on that climb! Let us know if she comes up with something she likes better Heck, better yet, get her online to create her own account here.

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