Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 2

Me, Beef Jerky Pie and Peanut Butter Bags
Setting up camp at Hawk Mountain Shelter
Hanging out at camp
Kitchen time, preparing breakfast
Woke up and set out with our new camp fire friends toward Sassafras Mountain. We left about 9:30 or 10. It was getting warm and calling for temps near 77 degrees. In a line of hikers we set off Peanut butter bags, beef jerky pie, Mattox (aka now Fall and Oats) and Amber (now Hot Spitz). We set out for Gooch Mountain Shelter. It was a gorgeous sunny day but water was limited. When we arrived at the first gap the Army had water tank available for us to use. It was awesome and much needed at that point. Cold water on a hot day while hiking and carrying 32+ lbs makes a big difference.

Bear bag hangers were so full it took all three of us to get them up and down

Classic backpacking teeth brushing going on

Morning !!

taking a break in this beautiful area near the creek before heading up mountain toward our next camp at Gooch Mountain Shelter

We were stoked.The first climb felt tough like always but we were up pretty quick. Mattox and I  hung out at an over look while we waited up for the group but we were missing Hot Spitz, she apparently dropped something and had to go back so we continued on and decided we would meet her at camp.

 Views were great today, Sasafras Mountain was our biggest climb thus far . This was the day Mattox got his name, he was playing some old Hall and Oats and took another fall during our hike, so we decided that it was only appropriate that he become Fall and Oats after I suggested Hall and Oats earlier during the hike. We hiked and sung as we went along which has become a regular occurrence. Peanut Butter Bags is often singing and gets us all going with tune or too. It is ironic as she loves older songs, most of which I barely remember, so it actually is kind of fun trying to belt out lyrics which are often wrong to a tune you hardly remember. No wonder we didn't see any wildlife, obviously we scared them all off. It was a great hiking day. I did get some sunburn before we were back into a valley of Rhododendron along a creek. It was gorgeous, I almost set up camp right there, but the shelter was less than a mile away so we continued on.  We went into Gooch Shelter and found a great spot under mountain laurel to tent. We hung out on mats under the stars naming them and watching the sunset and staring at the crescent moon listening to music and socializing with our community that had caught up with us. Peanut Butter Bags, Jerky Pie and I all wanted to try out Fall and Oats hammock. He is using a two person hammock and assured Jerky Pie and I that we could both sit in it together and it could hold both of us if we wanted to sleep in it. We both sat and BOOM, we were on our butts on the ground! He just laughed. We thought we broke it but apparently he rigged it up with a small piece of tree branch and that was what caused it to break. He quickly fixed it and Peanut Butter Bags wanted a try, she liked it so much she asked if she could sleep in it. Fall and Oats got her set up and then he took her place in my tent. NOTE: adding a large male to a two person tent works as a automatic heater, big plus. However, beware of condensation from the extra warmth and try not to let your sleeping bag touch the walls of the tent or they may get a bit damp. I slept great, little less worry about critters when you have someone bigger than you sharing a tent. It maybe  false sense of security maybe but since I wasn't sleeping soundly I was happy to give it a try. I forgot  one detail however, men usually snore, so much for sound sleep again, luckily he really didn't snore much that or I was too tired to care. I was warmer and when I did sleep it was a little deeper than the first night  or any nights leading up to the trip, sleep hasn't found me much lately so I will happily take it!

My tent spot at Gooch Mountain Shelter believe it or not this ground was fairly level, I apparently was not :)

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