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  1. #1
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Video: Trail Days 2013 and Appalachian Trail Section Hike

    I had been wanting to get out of the house for several days once I was done with my student teaching. I contacted Detail Man first knowing he had been desiring a longer trip too. Once we had a few options we contacted another member on the forums and set up a trip to the Linville Gorge via the Mountains to Sea Trail. Plans fell through due to a miriad of factors (some being communication on my part and some other issues) so Detail Man and I decided to hike southbound on the Appalachian Trail from Troutdale back to Damascus since we were going to be there on Saturday for Trail Days.

    We started at LD Cakes home outside of Johnson City and had a hotdog roast with my ever popular chili. Lots of fun to be had but ultimately it ended with us going to sleep. The next morning we headed to Pardner's Restaurant for breakfast and then off to Trail Days.

    Trail Days was an absolute blast. That is until the accident.

    I will say this about Trail Days: if you like sleep, staying at trail days after hours is not for you.

    TinMan from AntiGravity Gear was kind enough to ride out to Troutdale with Detail Man and me, drop us off, and drive my car back to be parked across the street from Mount Rogers Outfitters. We began our adventure on the AT at 7:45. We stopped about a mile down the trail, had breakfast and moved along. Detail Man is not just a DIYer extraordinaire, but a real naturalist. We could hardly walk 10 feet before he'd point out a plant and list it's scientific name, medicinal uses, and what it's entire history since the dawn of time was, either that or start conversing with song birds in their native tongue. I knew he knew what was going on around us, either that or he is otherworldly.
    We met some very nice thru hikers on the Trail (Take Five, Scorpion, and Talent). There were others, but we didn't get their names.

    It didn't start to rain on us until we reached the Scales. By that time, we needed to move on so we wouldn't be out on the balds in the middle of the quickly approaching thunderstorm.

    The rain had let up and was only off and on drizzle and mizzle/fog until we hit Fat Man's Squeeze, which up until that time felt like we were walking along the moors. The biblical deluge would have had a run for its money with this downpour. I might have been better off in a kayak. I began to get cold since I was testing out my summer gear. The problem is that it's not summer yet...almost. It dropped into the low 50s and the wind picked up. As soon as we hit the Thomas Knob shelter we had to find a campsite. We ended up hanging from Christmas trees right on the edge of the bald. It was all we could find backtracking a little ways from the shelter (all of the good trees were taken by tenters sleeping under them) [bad words]. What a great 23 mile day. We set up camp, cooked dinner, and headed right to bed. I awoke at 11:45pm with the wind howling and seeping right under my tarp, which was broadside to the wind. I had to get up (I was still wet) and pitch my tarp lower. Detail Man heard me moving around and asked if I was okay. Nope. I was freezing. I had seriously started to shake, and I wasn't even in Harlem. He hooked me up with a Hot hands and we made it back to bed...until 3:30am when some random dog came by and started to growl and then bark like mad. This dog did not seem nice at all. It was not a thru hiker's dog. I think it was a hell hound. All I could imagine was opening my eyes to see it staring back at me into my soul with eyes afire (make you think of any good books?). I commanded it to bow before be or flee in my best spiritually commanding voice I could muster. It fled. I was in no mood to be awoken by a hound of hell. Detail Man said something to the effect of, "Well, I think you showed him." What a guy.

    The morning came and when there was no rain, we ate breakfast and hurried up to pack up. We saw a beautiful rainbow and I thought that was a good omen. You know the kind I'm talking about, that God is looking down and smiling on me kind of rainbow. Nope. It was one of those, I'm not gonna kill you with the flood waters kind of rainbow (which I suppose is equally nice).

    Detail Man talked me into bringing along an extra pair of short so I can sleep in something warm/dry next trip. I wish I had them on this trip. Normally I only bring an extra shirt and some really thin socks. I have also decided that a DIY rain kilt/ground cloth is in my future.

    Monday's hiking was more of the same: great hiking, cool places to experience, and enough rain to make me want a snuggie, a fire place, a good book, and some Poof-a-Nog. That day dream was not what I had in store. Nope. Let's talk chaffing. Okay, let's not, but I'll just say that this trip was cut short because I was the one injured. I'm much better today, but that was no fun...at all. I figured that rainbow was a good omen after all. When I stick out my thumb to hitch a ride, normally it take around an hour to get a ride. This time, it was a mere seconds until we had a ride. Our planned 27 miles was cut short to 11 miles. Stupid me for going stupid light and not keeping my inner thighs dry with rain pants, or since I sweat: a rain kilt. I could tell that Detail Man was disappointed, but he was a real trouper. I couldn't make it to the Gorge like I had planned. I needed to get clean, dry, and take a zero to heal. Detail Man went on to Rat Week. Now I'm glad I didn't go. The weather was less than optimal for my...condition. This was to be my longest trip away from my wife since we were married. This wasn't that, but it was the most nights away camping. It was a great trip all things considering. I don't think I stopped smiling even when I was cold or raw. I can't wait to go back out in the woods...once I get a hold of my gear situation.

    Without further adieu, here is my video:

    Last edited by FireInMyBones; 05-23-2013 at 14:38.
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    FireInMyBones; he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.
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  2. #2
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Mighty fine report and as always ... enjoyed the video!

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


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  3. #3
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Great Video

    It sure was great seeing all those hammocks hanging in my woods! I'm glad you were able to join us. And I bet you got better sleep here than at Trail Days!
    Grayson Highlands is one of the cooler spots I like to go to when it's too hot down here. It can be 90 degrees in Damascus and be 20 degrees cooler up there! The weather changes very quickly up there and fog is a given it seems when it rains.
    Sorry your trip got cut short & you wont be joining us in the Gorge. But There will be another time I'm sure!
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Video: Trail Days 2013 and Appalachian Trail Section Hike

    Nice video! It really showed your experiences.
    Cakes' backyard looked like a mini Trail Days!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    Mighty fine report and as always ... enjoyed the video!
    Thank you, Hawk-eye. I'm glad.

    Quote Originally Posted by L.D. Cakes View Post
    It sure was great seeing all those hammocks hanging in my woods! I'm glad you were able to join us. And I bet you got better sleep here than at Trail Days!
    Grayson Highlands is one of the cooler spots I like to go to when it's too hot down here. It can be 90 degrees in Damascus and be 20 degrees cooler up there! The weather changes very quickly up there and fog is a given it seems when it rains.
    Sorry your trip got cut short & you wont be joining us in the Gorge. But There will be another time I'm sure!
    I did sleep better at Trail Days when I slept (I had my hammock strung up better due to the longer span), but I slept longer at your home.

    I need to do a great deal more research on the trail that I plan on heading out on. Not just the expected/forecasted weather, but past conditions, and others experiences on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    Nice video! It really showed your experiences.
    Cakes' backyard looked like a mini Trail Days!
    Thanks! Cakes was very kind to have opened up her home like that.
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    FireInMyBones; he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.
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  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Beautifully shot and edited, as always, FIMB.

    Looks like you had a great time and made the smart choice when things didn't quite go as planned.

    Glad to hear that the MK II pack is working out well for you, and that your knees are giving you less trouble. What was your insulation rated at for that trip? Was it your 45* DIY set? And what did the temps get down to that night, without wind chill?

    I agree that it's difficult to stay dry in the rain, even cold rain. I sweat, badly--as you know. So, my rain gear is really more to keep my pack contents drier and to manage my temperature while on-trail. But a clean(ish), dry set of underwear and shirt are wonderful when I'm wet at night, regardless of the temperature.

    Thanks for the wonderfully detailed trip report and video!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  7. #7
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    Beautifully shot and edited, as always, FIMB.

    Looks like you had a great time and made the smart choice when things didn't quite go as planned.

    Glad to hear that the MK II pack is working out well for you, and that your knees are giving you less trouble. What was your insulation rated at for that trip? Was it your 45* DIY set? And what did the temps get down to that night, without wind chill?

    I agree that it's difficult to stay dry in the rain, even cold rain. I sweat, badly--as you know. So, my rain gear is really more to keep my pack contents drier and to manage my temperature while on-trail. But a clean(ish), dry set of underwear and shirt are wonderful when I'm wet at night, regardless of the temperature.

    Thanks for the wonderfully detailed trip report and video!
    It was a great time! The MK II was almost perfect. The design for the MK3 is almost complete and then it will be time to purchase materials. It was wild. I'm not sure if someone put them up to it or not, but people were coming up to me on the streets of Damascus and asking where I bought it so that they could buy one too. When I told them I made it, one guy offered to buy it off me on the spot. [mind=blown]

    My insulation was all DIY. The UQ is rated to right at 40F and the TQ right at 45F. Temps were in the low 50s as best as we could guess, but neither of us had a thermometer.

    Keeping the stuff in my pack dry was a breeze. The pack was 90% waterproof on its own and the cuben bag with taped seams I have inside the pack keeps everything that needs to be dry from getting wet even if I go for a swim (bathtub tested). My rain gear will soon be including a rain kilt for the three season hiking and will continue to use rain pants for my winter hiking. I may still use the kilt for summer, just to keep the shorts dry.
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    FireInMyBones; he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.
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  8. #8
    DaddyDaddy's Avatar
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    Great video and report. Bummer about the short hike. I know you enjoy what you got and that was a lot more than I'll get any time soon.

    Knock Knock

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  9. #9
    flatline's Avatar
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    Super report and video! Thank You for posting.
    It was great to see you again at TDs. I am sorry you couldn't make it to the Gorge.
    I was unable to make it to the Gorge this spring due to back surgery but I will be there this fall, hope to see you there then and at John Rock too.
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  10. #10
    peanuts's Avatar
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    great trip report as usual FIMB!! i always have extra clothes...hypothermia is nothing to sneeze at (hence will never be an ultra lighter) glad you made out safe and sound!!
    Peanuts

    "A womans place is on the trail"

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