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Archive for December, 2007

Dec on Mt. Rogers

We’ve decided that we should make our services available to all the municipalities who are suffering from “exceptional drought” conditions this year. All we have to do is go on a trip and the rains will be there!

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Six of us headed up to Mt. Rogers for a semi-traditional December backpacking trip. Four of the group were present on the October monsoon paddle trip. Hmm, maybe one of us is jinxed?

We arrived late Friday after dark and in a drizzling off and on rain. The first two guys up the mtn had fun with navigation and were not able to locate the side trail off to the new favorite camping spot. Muffin Man is safe from accusation, because he hadn’t been there before. COP on the other hand… Hey, that reminds me, we need to work the story about not being able to find his backpack into this report somehow. Apparently RV’ing has a way of degrading your memory chips.

Infoman and Flex arrived later, after a tour of east Greensboro and dinner at Cracker Barrel. Seems navigation challenges were abundant Friday night. We hiked up and found COP and Muffin Man at the fence, in a tent, waiting for us to show up and show them the way to the new campsite.

It was windy, but warm, about 40 degrees. I’ve hiked up that hill on Friday nights when it was about 4 degrees. It’s much more fun when it’s 40! There were a few remnants of Wednesday’s snow left in the usual snow drift spots as we hiked up. I made sure to step in them, but forgot to snap a picture for proof.

As we waited for them to take down the tent, we spotted Noodle Man and Cookie Man’s headlamps coming up the trail. I showed COP the way to the campsite. He was close, but passed right by the sign at the intersection. I told him it didn’t matter if the sign didn’t say anything about the camp – it just had a horseback rider symbol on it. I told it was a “sign” and that was all he needed. 🙂

We all got to the campsite about 11pm and pitched our tents. It didn’t take long to decide that we’d had enough of a day already and a little sleeping bag time was in order. It rained a lot during the night and the wind howled. I worried at one point if the tent was going to pop a pole, since the wall was leaning in and pressing wetly against my face.

Saturday morning arrived rainy and damp. Visibility was about 50 yards. Wayne pulled out his tyvek tarp and we strung it up over a semi-wind-sheltered spot in the trees so we could cook breakfast. We ended up spending a lot of the day there under the tarp.

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The rain keep coming and going, so we never did. We headed to the tents around lunchtime to have a long midday nap while the rain pitter-pattered on the tents.

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Then we hunkered under the tarp until dinnertime. Wait, I think Wayne and I actually hiked up the hill behind the tarp about 100 yards in one of the breaks from the rain, just in time to see a dark cloud where the sunset should have been. We debated about packing up and heading out, but decided to stick it out. COP promised sunshine on Sunday. We were done with dinner and ready for more naps by 8pm.

Sunday did dawn with a few breaks in the clouds, and we could see a spot of blue sky, and that thing known as the sun – briefly. At least the rain was gone, so we had breakfast and broke camp without getting wetter. My pack thermometer read 50 degrees. It was a short hike back down the hill to the cars.

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It was 69 degrees when I got home to Cary. So much for winter backpacking. We all apparently stink at doing the snow dance.
MTAC!

Pix from Michele

Pix from Don

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