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Archive for December, 2008

Backpacking at Mt. Rogers

December 2008 saw us make another pilgrimage to the Mt. Rogers area to enjoy some winter backpacking. It was 18 degrees F, snowing lightly, and blowing stongly when we arrived at about 8:30. COP, Flex, Keyhole and Infoman waited in the truck until Safety Director and Shark Lady arrived at about 9:15 pm (arriving from Chicago). We got loaded up and hiked up to the fence stile and then on to our new secret campsite in the Lewis Fork Wilderness. It’ so secret that some of us who have been there numerous times can’t remember where it is! Old age sux, huh?!

It was about 12:15 am when I could no longer find anyone who wanted to stay up and chat, so I plugged in the iPod and drifted off myself. It was a chilly night, made worse by my being out of shape, dehydrated, and having to learn a hard lesson. Did you know that a 2.5 inch thick air mattress is very comfortable when sleeping on the ground, but if the air is cold, it sucks the heat right out of you. I ended up putting my ridgerest pad on top of the air mattress, and that worked fine. Glad I had both with me!

We had a Jimmy Dean sausage skillet dish for breakfast and when we finally decided it was time to get off our bums and go for a hike, it was almost noon. There was brief consideration of hiking to the top of Rogers and VA by some who hadn’t been there, but gravity got the best of them and most of us hiked downhill into the Wilson Creek valley to search for a geocache – Falling For You.  It required a little adventure to find it, but that’s what we like! The hike back up hill to camp was not as fun, but ended up leaving us ready for the diner adventure.

While we hiking, COP met Doc at the stile and then they held down the fort until we returned. Supposedly this is when Doc’s Svea stove worked wonderfully, unlike the rest of the weekend when it didn’t seem to want to cooperate.

Dinner was a chili cook-off. We had three types – vegetarian, beef, and venison. Those of us who ate were the winners! We also came up with new meanings for CPR and AED. Poor Doc thought they were medical terms, based on his previous training. We made them chili-related!

On Sunday morning we were treated to pancakes and bacon for breakfast, followed by a hike out and more geocaching. We picked up four more caches along the road out of the park – Massie Gap, Sugarland, Grayson Highlands, and Crooked Road. Not as adventurous to find as Falling For You, but still fun. I think we may see more geocaching added to our future trips.

SD’s pix

Infoman’s pix

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