Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh, so THAT's what it's like...

Dude, you've gotta stop stepping on copperheads.
-Clark to me last Saturday

copperhead.jpg
I call the big one "Bitey".

I find it rather interesting that my first impulse when encountering a dangerous situation is to try and take a picture of it, especially when it involves venomous snakes. Apparently I clipped the tail of this copperhead as Clark and I were bushwhacking down to a sandbar on Spring Creek. He didn't strike at my heel, I didn't strike at his head. We parted with feelings of mutual respect (in theory, I can't really say for sure what was going through the snakes mind. It could have quite possibly been something like "Yeah, just keep walking heatsack!").

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Bushwhacking.

Clark and I had both been under a lot of stress and so we told our wives "See you tomorrow" and heading into The Borderlands. Our goal was a secluded sandbar half a mile from anywhere. Hey, we'll take what we can get. Once there we set up camp and made ourselves comfortable.

camp1.jpg
Clark's bivy, my tarp.

Clark's self-inflating sleeping pad got put in storage while they moved so he had to resort to laying down on a pile of grass which he reported to be quite warm and comfy except for a few twigs.
GrassMat.jpg
Doing it the Les Stroud way!

I did my usual sleeping bag and tarp thing. However, the sand and later on the dew was annoying. I have a nice bivy tent and will probably start using that instead.
MyCamp.jpg
I call it "Camp Lazy".

We had the camp set up by 4pm and spent the next hour collecting wood. We thought it might get cold that night and past experience has taught us you can go through a lot of wood in even a small fire if you need it burning for hours. The basic rule of thumb when camping is collect as much wood as you think you need and then double it!

After that it was time to cook supper. We both took the easy way and had bought dehydrated meals. His was beef stroganoff and mine was some Jamaican BBQ Chicken. Clarked liked his but mine tasted like the boiled sock of a leper. It was NASTY! Luckily, I had something else in reserve: STICK BREAD!

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Yummy!

There are many, many stick bread recipies. I got mine from my old Boy Scout Fieldbook. It's as follows:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

to which I also added garlic powder and ground Italian herbs. All these were mixed together in a ziploc bag and packed out to the fire. When it was time to cook it I added water to turn it into dough.

stickbread1.jpg
Too much water made it too sticky. Ironic for stick bread, huh? Still worked though.

This ball of dough was wrapped around a debarked, green stick about an inch in diameter and carefully roasted over hot coals (avoid actual flames, they burn the bread).
stickbread3.jpg
Oh man, the smell of campfire and garlic bread. I want to buy perfume that smells like that for Misseswether!

Clark and I were both exhuasted from our jobs so rather than stay up late talking we just went to bed.

SEPARATELY!!

We both slept like logs through the night and morning found us refreshed. I boiled some water taken from Spring Creek to make my breakfast, though with some trepidition. Oh, I wasn't worried about drinking water from Spring Creek, I was worried my dehydrated ham/cheese omelet would taste as bad as last night's Jamacain Chicken leper sock. Luckily I was presently suprised, the dehydrated eggs, though looking like some sort of styrofoam packing material, turned into a pretty delicous breakfast. meanwhile Clark had tea and poptarts.

Boiling.jpg
Boiling creek water.

breakfast.jpg
Hey, it doesn't suck!!

Clark.jpg
Morning tea

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Toasting poptarts

After that it was time to break camp and head home. We doused the fire, policed the area, packed up and heading back through the woods. It was that point when it hit: nothing had really happened on this adventure.

Sure, I almost stepped on a copperhead but it didn't bite me. Nor did we get caught in a massive lightening storm, almost drown, get lost, chased by bulls/pyscho hermits, or anything else that makes my life interesting.

Oh well, maybe next time...

Adventure! Excitement! No, just peace and quiet!

2 comments:

Thorian said...

Keep up the adventures. Cause I for one am living vicariously through ya.

Do you use snake bite boots for trailblazing?

Merriwether the Adventurer said...

The adventures will continue, I've just been getting sidetracked a lot due to work. :-(

I keep meaning to buy snakeboots for bushwacking but I haven't found any that I like. I'm thinking of getting some thick leather gaiters instead.