Great report! Looks like you all need a tropical storm to come and sit on you for about a week this summer. That is a serious drought out there.
Hiking & Hanging is therapy, and much cheaper than medication in the long run. Carry on.
Goodwater Death March...
That does look like a death march with 85 degree temps. Hopefully you had frequent access to the lake for water, lots of water! Thanks for the pictures!
"Life is a Project!"
great report! East Texas (Tyler State Park) was all green and damp....but the park lake is down about a foot. I didn't get a chance to hang. My buddy and I had to do our orienteering course, then went out to scout for 2 more hours for setting up a perminant O course....by then it was BBQ time.....
Call me Junior
Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
"For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away" Bryan Adams....
It was a GREAT time for sure! So great in fact I consigned to take the boat on Sunday! I forgot my hiking shoes and did the 23 miles of Friday and Saturday in my Vibram Five Fingers; first time for that many miles on them and it was getting pretty dicey.
I've caught a many armadillo in my time but I have never had one wander into my waiting hands; that was a first and I am glad I had witnesses!
7hanks Wildman for running The Princess all weekend for us. Next year I will have a shovel for the cooking coals.
It's always a blessing to meet HF members and this time was no exception.
Beware the Spaceweaseal Paradox of Stupidity
Never poke a sleeping Caveman, or his dog
Camp Walker has Judo in his DNA, no really, it's in there
Brute has been training, but not in the last three weeks
Gimpy, don't let the name fool ya
Half Pipe... (you had to be there for this one!)
I thoroughly enjoyed this hike everyone and I am happy to cook for y'all again next year!
BTW, the feet are going to be AWESOME after this! Relish the pain!
Annum proximum amicos!
"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
Mind of a Rat Youtube Channel
Join Date: Jan 2011
Hammock: DIY The Green Machine
Tarp: Tad Pole
Insulation: TQ TBA UQ HG 20
Suspension: UCR Whoopies
~My therapist has told me that the first step to recovery is admitting my problem, Hello I'm a Hammockolic~
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hammock City, USA
Hammock: WBBB-XLC Multicam 1.7 double
Tarp: WB Superfly w/door
Suspension: Over the Shoulder
15 years and I FINALLY got to see Rat cry "Uncle!" Keep believing it was the shoes old man.
Ordered new shoes for MF today.
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Spring, tx
Hammock: DIY gathered end
Tarp: Maccat/gheto diy
Suspension: diy straps
"notes from a first timer", or "meeting strange men on the internet":
Having lurked on this message board for quite some time, and having missed a few opportunities to attend a group hang due to conflicting work schedule, i decided against my better judgement to attend this trip. Plans were made, gear and food purchases handled, and days were counted. having to explain to my dear, sweet wife that I planned to go on very long walk in the woods to spend the weekend with strangers from the internet required some tact. me being completely devoid of tact helps her maintain her 10 year view of me being a complete moron.
finally the morning arrived, and i departed on my nearly 3 hour drive. Road construction, toll roads, terrible Austin-area hippy drivers and traffic battled and conquered, i arrived at the trail head first. I ate lunch and lightened a decent amount off my carry weight into toilets at Tejas camp trail head (thanks to all that dark roast coffee). First to arrive was Brute, frozen from his morning motorcycle commute to the trail and this cooler that expected morning. As promised, he let me use a fine set of amsteel UCRs. Soon the other began rolling in, and before i knew it there was Cookiecoon, Camp walker, Gimpy, and Caveman (accompanied by his neighbor's dog, spike). The only ones we were missing were Spaceweasel (who drove to the wrong side of the lake) and Rat, but they showed up in what seemed like no time. After some back and forth with the supposed powers that be whether the burn ban was on or off and consequent tool removal, then replacement, then removed again then replaced again, we were on the trail.
up until this point, my only hiking experiences were day hikes (read drunken wandering and general recklessness in the mountains of colorado) and camping experience being family car camping or road tripping with some skate buddies(read vagrancy).
Soon we found ourselves laughing and joking as we hiked, enjoying nature. Birds were chirping, tall grass swaying in the breeze. Due to some "rules", i found myself taking a shot at every mile marker. being the new guy, i didn't want to rock the boat. After a short time the soft dirt trail got pretty rocky, and i realized I had no business trying to keep up with gimpy (don't let the name fool you.... superhuman). Rat showed his dominance over wildlife by capturing a small armadillo and commanding it to crap all over itself, to which it promptly complied. after more joking and walking, the various small groups were reunited at camp. I chose my trees and fumbled around setting up, bending stakes in the rocky soil. Rat in a showcase of pure bravado, hefted a dead tree over his shoulder and powered it into the campsite, taking out anything in his wake. Brute produced what he reffered to as a knife (i'll call it a sword) from his pack, and he and rat made quick work of the gathered trees. soon we were joined by Rat's brother Possum. camp chores were handled, food was re-hydrated, and camp fire banter filled the air. Not long passed before Wildman arrived in his boat, middlefinger. He and rat excitedly greeted one another with a shirt tearing wrestling match. Toe shoes had the advantage over crocs, gripping on the muddy shore line. More importantly the beer cooler arrived, and just in time too, because we had already started sipping on the contents of what appeared to be a fuel bottle marked with a skull and crossbones and the words "fuel do not drink". Our concerns were eased by spaceweasel who assured us it was not only safe to drink, but "smooth"....it tasted flammable to me. A heated debate on the value of short statured company was had. Cookiecoon shared with us a large ziplock full of baked deliciousness. Dr peppers and beers consumed, i wandered to my hammock at nearly 1am. i slept like a dead thing despite my new awareness of the billions of spiders per square foot (thanks weasel).
The next morning i woke up, packed up my hammock gear, and choked down my spam single as i waited for my water to heat up for my instant coffee. Brute informed me that the over night low was down into the upper 40's, well below the projected low of 60. Rat Cooked bacon and eggs over the fire to accompany the 40 lbs of homemade tortillas brute carried in. i'm not sure any of the bacon (carried in thanks to Cookiecoon) and eggs (provided by rat, transported by possum) ever met in a tortilla, because everyone knows, cooked bacon doesnt just sit around.
Soon, Gimpy, caveman (and Reggie), Spaceweasel, Campwalker and i hit the trail to get a head start. after some elevation gain ( and sweating out of booze) we encountered some rocky trail and nice views of the lake. after some confusion on which way to go (find our way in the woods, hit a road and cant spell our names), we reunited with the others and made our way over the ****, and stopped for lunch.
Back on the trail we found ourselves again in two groups. Rat, Cookiecoon, Brute, gimpy and Campwalker surging ahead; and Spaceweasel, caveman, his neighbors dog spike (Reggie) and myself taking our time enjoying nature. After a mile or so I realized i was in between the two groups on my own. No big deal, alone on my first backpacking trip on an unfamiliar trail (not really dire circumstances, boats all over the lake, i had everything i needed and 4G service full bars on my iphone, on a well marked easy to follow trail). I figured i would hit faster group on their next break, so i kept going. it was nice going solo for a bit. I came to the trail head a Jim Hogg park. threw my trash in the dumpster, read the sign, and surged on hoping to catch the others. Little did i know, they were sitting at some picnic tables taking a break at jim hogg waiting for us. I walked right past and didn't even see them and they didn't see me. So they waited on me while i hurried ahead to catch up to them. After a few miles the trail got tougher with large rocks and switch backs on the steeper sections. i noticed that i hadn't seen a mile marker in a while and had not caught up to the others as fast as i had hoped, so i asked an older gentleman that was passing in the opposite direction if he had seen my friends pass by and he said he had not (oh sh*t how far behind am I?) so i picked up the pace. I stopped after a while to filter some water at a small stream. it was cool and clear, and while i was squeezing water through my filter i saw a turtle fumbling through the grass. I pushed on, but after some time i decided "screw it, i cant catch them, i'll just wait for caveman, Reggie, and spaceweasel) so i sat down and started making some cool aid (thasright it was purple), and not two minutes after i sat down, around the bend comes Brute. "how the heck did i get in front of you?" He filled me in and we resolved to sticking together (mistake on my part, as i was feeling pretty good at this point). When Cookiecoon and Gimpy caught up, we pushed onward. Sure i Could keep up till camp, its only like 2 more miles (wrong stupid). They were flying, i was dieing. when i thought we were almost to camp, we encountered a sign telling us that our campsite was another mile (heartbreak). about 100 yds after the sign Cookiecoon blew out a blister and had to stop and fix himself up. i sat there with him, cause there was no way i could keep up with the juggernaut that is Gimpy, and the ever energetic Brute. Fortunately that sign was way off, and camp was closer than expected. First impression of camp was "where are all the trees?" Wild man had been there waiting for us for 2 solid hours and already set up on what appeared to be the only appropriate trees. after i helped haul some wood to the fire ring and sat around for a while i went on the hunt for a good hang spot. Everyone else had rolled into camp and with some creative use of longer straps/lengths of rope, kept themselves of the ground. Brute found himself a spot in a jungle of small cedars, and i found some trees just off the trail, over the ditch that were just far enough apart if i took off the loaner ucrs. my 12 ft tarp wouldnt fit, no big deal it supposed to be clear.
after i set up, i changed in the woods, as to not expose my self to passers by or the group of boyscouts sharing the campsite. much to my (and spaceweasel's) surprise, there were still a few beers in wildmans cooler left from the previous night....maybe it was all those rocky miles, but i'm pretty sure i have never drank a colder more satisfying beer ever, followed by a mountain of rare steak. at this point life is pretty good. so after some campfire talk about knives and how much our feet hurt and another beer i crashed out. unlike the night before it wasnt even 10 o'clock yet.
I got up a little later than the others and rushed out of camp, but not after handling some business in the woods. good thing i dug a hole, cause we passed some toilets about 10 feet down the trail, but they were in plain site.....guess i'm gonna have to continue living my life not knowing whether or not i can poop in front of a bunch of boyscouts.
after the previous day's death march the flat 5 or so mile hike out on the cool overcast morning was a piece of cake and we handled it in no time even though speed was the last thing on my mind.
at the parking lot, i ate the last of my food said fairwell the Spaceweasel and Cookiecoon. we hung out and waited for Camp walker, Rat and wildman who took to boat back. Campwalker handled some pretty gnarly trail only a scant 4 months after a knee surgury, and Rat stepped on alot of rocks along those miles in some pretty minimal footwear. i was impressed. I gave Rat the 20 i owed him for picking up the supply of beverages and steaks, and hit the road.
the lessons i learned from this trip are as follows:
Get a bigger knife if you want to hang with Rat, Brute, Possum, or spaceweasel
if you go in the woods with strange dudes from the internet, you may want to amputate your feet when you get home.
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kingwood, TX
Tarp: WL Tadpole;DIY
Suspension: Whoopie slings
Goodwater Death March...
Great report Halfpipe.
It was a grand time had in the woods. It'll be a place I return to hike, only with better shoes.
I have a few photos and video but my computer is on the fritz so they're waiting transfer from camera to comp.
Thanks again to Wildman, Brute & Rat for all the work put into this. It made a great trip for the rest of us.
Can't wait for the next one!
Re: Goodwater Death March...
Half pipe your write up is epic... I vote he gets the official position of Reporter... And a name change...
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