Remember kids, it's not really
camping unless you strike your tent in the rain.
Also remember that as soon as your tent is folded and rolled, the rain will slacken or stop completely. Hey, I don't make the rules, I just report them.
The overnight solo trip to Blodgett Canyon
was everything I hoped it would be. The newborn piercings held up just fine and didn't complain a bit, even when I slept on my stomach. Such well-mannered little things. I got to the trailhead at around 4:30 pm, my own personal best for "latest start ever on a backpacking trip." I made camp about four miles in, beside a lovely pond which harbored either one very theatrically-inclined humongous fish, or several humongous fish. Every time it jumped, it sounded like someone had thrown a rock into the water. A rock slightly larger than my head. I caught site of it during one particularly spectacular jump. It's easily 24" long, probably longer. BIG damn fish for that smallish pond, but the pond is connected to the creek which feeds from the lake, so I suppose it might have grown up in the lake and then traveled.
I heard only the most minimal of critter-sounds during the night. I was able to leave the rainfly off and keep all the windows unzipped, which was awesome for that "feeling like I'm totally outside but not being carried off in bits by the mosquitoes" thing.
Anyway. I'd like to have camped further in (nothing spoils the feeling of badassery attached to one's first solo backpacking trip like having dayhikers
pass one's camp fairly early in the morning), but I wasn't sure how far I'd have to hike to find the next good campsite. (Rock slopes do not good camping make, especially when the average rock size is comparable to that of one's body when rolled into a ball.) Also, my feet were getting pretty sore. I thought I was starting to stumble a bit from fatigue, but I realized on the way out that it wasn't fatigue at all, it was "it's hard to keep steady footing on a very bumpy rock path when carrying a 40lb pack." I actually don't know how much my pack weighed as I don't have a bathroom scale, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it were closer to 50 lbs. The nice thing about that is that I was carrying easily enough food for two
nights out (better too much than not enough, especially when you don't have a hiking partner to beg from) and I know about how much weight each additional day's worth of food would be, soo.... I'm now seriously considering doing a 5-day loop solo backpacking trip the third week of August, probably in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Things to remember for next time:
- Bring the camera.
- If you plan to journal, bring a pen. Burnt sticks aren't so good for writing.
- Apply the bug repellent at the trailhead. Bugs don't give you a grace period.
- The hanging of the food-bag is best done well before nightfall. Try not to camp in a stand of Lodgepole Pines, as they tend NOT to have horizontal branches which can support a food-bag, at least not within cord-throwing distance. There is a reason you've never pitched baseball or softball. A fairly obvious one, at that.
- "Find your glasses" is also a game best played in daylight. Get one of those glasses-holder-onners for your next trip.
- If you're going to strip down and take a nice little bandanna-bath in the morning, make sure you're either WELL off the trail or getting up EARLY in the morning. You shocked that poor man.
- Get a pocketknife or better, one of those gadgety-knives.
- Get a fishing license and some lightweight, compact fishing gear. You like trout and aren't afraid to clean them, so take advantage of food that doesn't weigh down your pack!
Bonus info found while searching for posting info: glacial abrasion produces rock flour, fine sediment that becomes suspended in glacial lakes giving them a blue-green colour
(I always wanted to know why!)