Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wonderful camping weekend

I met up with my backpacking partner and off we went. As he had never backpacked before, we had a late start. I was lending him one of my packs and in return he was helping me finish up the test on my tent. I really wanted to go to the Imp Campsite in the Carter Range. Good thing it was only 4.5 miles from the parking area or we might not have made it before dark. We didn't leave until 2:00 and I go to camp around 4:30. I set up the tent and shorty thereafter Dingle came by. He was the reason I wanted to stop in, mostly it was to say hi. We chatted about the trail. It was very nice. The next morning, my partner was rather sore so we decided to stay at Imp for another night then hike out the same way we went in. So I spent a good part of the day chatting some more with Dingle and I also had a chance to talk with some of the other campers staying the night. We had quite the crowd. There where 32 people staying at the site. There were at least 2 groups of seven people and quite a few thru-hikers and some weekenders.

I had to get up and go during the first night as I was drinking a lot of water before bed. Didn't help that my tent mate was going every hour, or so it seemed. Good thing for ear plugs. So off I went and it was actually rather nice out. The wind had died down and it was cool and quiet. I could see some stars but the tree cover was enough to prevent seeing more than a small patch of sky. It was a shame because the limited view was great. As annoying as it was to get into two sleeping bags, especially two with opposite zippers, it was worth it for the added warmth. I did get some shivering going on but it was not a bone crushing cold like I have experienced before. The second night, due to a slight pitch in the floor, by tent mate was leaning up against me leeching off my heat. At least he didn't go to the bathroom as frequently but it was annoying. The tent had some condensation and I was pressed up against the wall so my bag was a little wet. Oh well, the joys of sharing a tent. Hopefully I can find a better backpacking partner down in the DC area.

The hike out of the woods today was a little on the rainy and wet side. I actually managed to pack up the tent and my gear before the drizzle started but the tent did still catch a little moisture. We dashed over to the shelter and had a nice warm breakfast. I had a ramen soup broth packet and a cookie. It was nice, warm and filling. On the hike out, I managed to do the 4 mile section in just under 2 hours. Not bad, seems I still have my trail legs, but I have lost my trail lungs (not sure I ever had them in the first place) and I lost the trail foot calluses. I didn't realize it while I was hiking but I developed a really nice pair of blisters on my big toes and the sandals also seemed to abrade the tender part of my foot right after the ball of the foot. So my feet are quite tender right now. I am sure I will be feeling hte muscle pain tomorrow for sure.


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