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  1. #1
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Was LST Hike & Hang But Became Fairfield Hik & Hang Trip Report

    Wherein a slighty overweight, slightly older, slighty out of shape guy finds that it was really God's plan to keep him from being embarrassed by attempting a 19 mile hike that he could have done when much younger, but should train a bit before trying and, in the process overcomes intense greif and emotional suffering

    Much has been said about the "Incident" and its gruesome aftermath, so I'll only note it in passing.

    I also used this trip to test my new cookset, on which I've already reported here.

    But there is an even more chilling incident to report on, from which I am only just recovering, thus the lateness of this report. I've had several nights sleeping fitfully with nightmares and flop sweats from which wake screaming out in emotional pain and anquish and have just now screwed up enough courage to relate to you here today. No pictures are provided lest you suffer the same fate as I.

    Planning for this trip began in happy ignorance of new rules established by the Forest Service restricting on trail camping during deer season, about which there has been some comment on this Forum by yours truly and bears no repeating here.

    Spaceweaseal and I left his house in NW Houston and spent an enjoyable 30 minutes or so discussing internet purchase policies versus cash with a young lady at Costco before setting out on the road. As has become our custom, we arrived a bit later than anticipated because we elected to take an alternative route. Thats our story and we're sticking to it. When we arrived we found a pleasant and helpfull staff at the Park and campsites that were nicely laid out and decently spaced so that campers are not jammed up cheek to jowl with the adjacent sites.

    We found Caveman and set about choosing trees, with one poor choice being made, and were just about set up when Uncle Mike and Texas Longhorns showed up followed closely by mortonjl. I got my HHDJ and hex tarp set up close to the picnic table and fire ring



    Caveman set up just off the trail to the lake




    While Spaceweaseal, he of the several trees, set up his bridge near a recently fallen tree



    Spaceweaseal also showed us his new BIAS Micro


    The folks in the neighboring campsite had a bit of a different idea of hammock camping


    As dusk approached, I attached my Swiss Army mummy bag liner to the prusik on the ridgeline and deployed the Hennessy Hex




    Darkness came.

    Hiding what lurks in its dusky depths

    The horror


    Pleasant chap that I am, I had happily planned to provide my comrades in camping with a bounteous dessert serving of muffins cooked in my bake set. By this time EastTex had arrived and the number of people who needed muffins exceded my ability to bake enough in one try, so I had to do two bakes. Much curiosity was displayed with my baking impedimentia, particularly with my silicone pot grabber.

    I finished my first batch of four muffins, which were met with many appreciative utterances and congratulations. I then prepared the next two, set them in the baking pan, and went down to the lakeside to wash some equipment. As I engaged cheerily in my labors, happy that I had provided my compadres with enjoyment and sustenance, a scream came out of the darkness from the direction of the cooking site. I rushed quickly to the location so that I might render aid.

    That's where I found them. Murdered Muffins. Dashed on the ground in thier unbaked youth, never to have the chance to wash the tastebuds of appreciative campers and rest comfortably in their gullets. Short culinary lives cut even shorter while still warm batter.

    The horror. The horror.

    I'm sorry----the pain of the memory is too much to bear. I'll have to complete this report at a later time---------

  2. #2
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    I thought I would be able to put that image behind me yet here it arises its ugly head again.

    From where I was seated, I was too far away to help avert the tragedy, yet close enough to be scarred by the scene that unfolded before my eyes.

    Please let it go Sarge, I don't know that revisiting the horror, even on Halloween, can serve any purpose beyond adding to the nightmares that have ensued since that tragic day.

  3. #3
    2ply's Avatar
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    Don't mean to dredge up bad memories but what is the critter in the spotlight and was it after those delectable muffins?
    Everyone ought to believe in something....I believe I'll go set up the hammock!

  4. #4
    sargevining's Avatar
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    They lay there.

    I didn't want to look at them, but my head lamp illuminated the scene in its harsh glare. I could almost hear thier cinnamon flavored cries.

    Empty shells of what could have been. Batter pouring out of barely formed crust, oozing onto the ground for eight legged creatures who were never intended to benefit from human food to devour.

  5. #5
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ply View Post
    Don't mean to dredge up bad memories but what is the critter in the spotlight and was it after those delectable muffins?
    An innocent raccoon, No doubt he was as scarred by the unfolding events as the rest of us.

  6. #6
    sargevining's Avatar
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    I woke the next morning with a heavy heart. I made biscuits, but it just wasn't the same.







    Still dazed with grief, I wandered around the campsite











    It took several hours, but eventually we shook it off and stuffed our packs. Caveman seemed to have been physically affected by the events of the previous evening, but even he recovered. We said good bye to Uncle Mike and Texas Longhorns, and the rest of us set off for the second phase of the weekend: a hike to the Primitive Campsite. A short drive to the trailhead, made more interesting by another short alternate route, and we were on our way.

    The trail is fairly easy and well maintained.



    Several bridges, large and small, cross intermittent streams. There was a bit more "up and down" than is generally anticipated in this part of Texas, but nothing severe.



    The Primitive campsite is not Primitve by most yardsticks, just more isolated than those in the rest of the park. There is running water and a latrine a short distance from the site. The two holer is unlit and there is no sink, but that is the extent of the "Primitive" nature of the location. The campsite itself is a short trail loop going around about 8 sites with fire rings and lantern hooks. Tree spacing is not optimum, but not terribly bad, either. The number of widowmakers and dead fall were far less than other sites I have visited.

    We set up in a fairly dispersed pattern and the only other campers at the site was a couple doing some tarp camping.

    None of us made note of our time of departure, and there is no milage shown on the map. Opinions of distance and time traveled to the site varied according to the fitness of the persons making the estimate----more on that later. We did arrive early enough in the afternoon to set up camp at a liesurrely pace, eat lunch, and set down for some hammock testing to perform a strict regiment of hammock strength testing by laying in them for an hour or two.

    After our naps----I mean the hammock testing---was completed, a short reconnoiter was performed where we discovered that the penninsula we were on is bordered by a fairly extensive marshy area that blends into the lake proper. During high summer, this might result in a fairly significant mosquito population.

    Afternoon gradually faded to dusk, dinners were prepared and eaten, and Spaceweaseal brought out the citronella candle which was used as a campfire. We did the things men do around campfires. As the night wore on, EastTex became unsatisfied with the seating arrangements and set about conducting a display of some East Texas Engineering. I did not hear the time worn phrase "Hold my beer and watch this." but perhaps that's because we had no beer.







    The next morning we packed quickly as most of us had long drives home. Time of departure was noted this time. When we reached the trail head, I found that instead of the two plus hour, 4 or so mile trail that I had originally estimated, it was just a bit over an hour---or about 2 miles.



    And this is where I deduced that it was God's plan to show me that I was not up the 19 mile hike originally planned. Right now, I'm probably good for 8-10, but at my age, I shouldn't push it past that. There are going to be some practice/training hikes planned at Brazos Bend before I decide that I'm good for a marathon.

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