This shot shows my Bob neighbor in his Fury tent.
JOURNAL TRIP 55
MORNING AT NAKED GROUND: A predawn turtlehead rodeo with me playing the part of the turd cowboy trying to stay on a bucking bunghole bronco and getting thrown off at the last second. Several clowns came in to distract it and I got away. Fancy words that just mean I went to use the cat hole.
Even though it is 6:20 am it is still dark and still quite windy and I didn't see a single star so I attached the minifly and crawled back into bed. This has become a windswept little ridge and digging a cat hole was fun: I walked down wind off the ridge a bit and found a snowless spot to dig afterwhich the stray dog ran back to the tent so I left my gloves and pole and went back up to the shelter to make sure the door was closed. I had a heck of a time finding the hole again! I just stumbled on it, saw my gloves and was thankful. It was easy finding the tent as both dog's eyes glowed in the flashlight beam plus Hilleberg in 2006 added reflective tape to their tents.
Hillebergs tents have a lot of zippers and by zippers I mean each individual zipper pull. My Mt Hardwear Muir Traail tent has a total of 9 zipper pulls(2 on vesty/4 on the 2 doors/2 on the top panel/one on the back). The Light Wedge has maybe 4, not many. The Staika has 18 which is a bunch but since it has 2 big doors it is no wonder. As sunrise approaches the wind seems to quietly recede a bit and I am glad. I feel like brewing up a pot of tea with some soymilk.
Ok, at 8:30 comes hot nettle tea with chamomile and soymilk and organic cane sugar. Hmmm, good. After an hour repast I'll think in terms of movement. I burned some trash and fed the dogs so all I need to do now is brush out my hair and study the sky. Cloud cover, maybe rain, at least the temperature is warmish.
OVERNIGHT AT RAVEN CAMP ON THE BOB: I left Fecal Forest and climbed up in the snow to pop out onto the solitary bald where I found a cold and cloudy camp with rain bulging out of each gray blue form. Will the wind come to spoil my world? Naw, that was last night's thing. It will get cold tonight, around 20-22 degrees. Jackie W. from Tellico came up, a dayhiker, then 3 bonafide backpackers came up to camp by the Death Tree and are presently chopping wood for an evening fire. They have an MSR Fury tent and an Alps tent, 2 dogs, one guy is from Charlotte and 2 are from Waynesville.
The dayhiker was a very friendly sort who knows this area well and even backpacks it occasionally. Jackie walked the stray dog out but 2 hours later it wanders back into camp and is immediately beaten back by the boys whereupon it runs up to my tent and crawls into the vesti whereupon I drag it out and move it away. To be shut of this cur! It keeps me occupied up here so I can't visit with the boys anymore.
There's also a boy and girl in a dome tent down past the Akto Camp by the fallen log but I never went to talk to them. Dusk comes to Raven Camp, the sky is dark and wintry and there's no wind to speak of though this could change at any moment. It is cold but not too bad, nothing is frozen except the snowpiles and drifts around the tent and on the meadow. This is really sad but at 7 pm I am situated for sleep in my bag as the cold and the night forces me into the Staika early. I guyed out the tent completely, this time all 6 guylines and 10 base pegs are set. It's no guarantee that a mean wind won't disrupt my camp but I can be gone by morning anyhoo. Tomorrow if there's no rain or sleet I'll be gone to Crowders.
Ok, I powernapped for 2 hours and was awakened by an axe hitting oak so it got me up to survey the hung food bags. All is well on the Raven Camp scene, the boys are keeping warm as I am cuz we love our tents. It isn't late and I am not sleepy but the bald has its own kind of night and when conditions aren't horrible it's a good place to be. Day 6's night is slowly going into Day 7's day and all is well on Four Mile Ridge in the Citico/Slickrock. I haven't seen or heard my raven brothers yet but I'm sure they are out and about patrolling their cold winter skies. I didn't bring much to read, no books, only rolled up pages from Newsweek, Rolling Stone and a copy of an AT thru hike of David and Jacob which failed to copy properly, now all burned. I guess I could walk down to see my 3 friends but Shunka would start barking and the stray would be soon to follow, not a good scenario dogwise. Shunka would get gutted and the stray would be pummeled. Fergit about it.
bob baldbackpacking peopleMSR Furydogs