We survived camping! We don’t really have a lot of experience with the outdoors thing, so each time it’s a learning event for a city boy like me. We find that there are things we should have brought, and things that we didn’t need at all. First and foremost, our sleeping bags/blankets don’t cut it for warmth. The campground is in a steep valley, under some trees; and the temp drops pretty good at night. The first night we were all cold and didn’t get much sleep, but the second night we changed alot around and managed much better. Our tents worked out well, but it was best when we set up a second tent the second night, which gave us alot more room to maneuver, especially since the son of some friends ended up staying on at our invitation. We did well with food and tried to be “green”, but Red had issues with not having hot enough water for washing things. I think we’ll invest in a propane stove and a lantern as well.
One really weird thing that I was not ready for was the morning dew. It seemed that it would start raining in the middle of the night and everything outside would be soaked in the morning, which was really strange given the clear forecast. It turns out that it was only under the trees, where we were; and was dew, not rain. Still, you’d have thought we were getting a shower given the amount of drops hitting the tents.
The boys managed to avoid a major tradegy when they stumbled across a bees’ nest when checking out “the bear cave”. Each of the group had around 4-5 stings and they quickly recovered.
As for biking: we did fine. I couldn’t figure out how to mount the Pacific MTB on the bike rack (I’d done this before), so I ended up taking the LHT instead, along with the Marin and another MTB. With that combination, we all had bikes that we could switch off with. Other than riding from one end of the site to the other to visit or carry things, I only got in one decent ride on Saturday morning. I started by exploring the general retreat property, which sits between two steep mountain ridges. There are quite a few fire trails and single tracks.
This is a pretty rough single track where I actually lost the trail for awhile and had to walk out. I was surprised how well the Trucker handled the rougher stuff.
Here is one of the fire roads that actually ended up taking me to the border of a private property. This is apparently the firewood operation for the retreat, although there was alot of foraging through the woods for burnable branches. I ended up bringing several armloads of split maple from home, which worked out well with keeping us warm in the evenings and in the mornings.
I ended up going out to Route 75, which was fairly level and had a two foot berm, and riding into East Waterford. This shot is of the creek, still in the campground, which hosts a lot of fishing. During warmer months, kids can canoe and tube along it.
East Waterford is a really small place, with just one pizza joint making up the center of town. As I approached, I was surprised at the amount of business they were doing on a Saturday morning…. then I noticed the hearse and the church next door. Most interesting is that I swore I saw people walking back and forth. I ‘spose if you’re going to come in town, you might as well get all your list completed.
So I ended up riding past t0wn a few miles and then coming back through and back to camp.
When I got home the next day, I immediately fell asleep for an hour, even before unloading anything. We’re already talking about going again, perhaps something a bit more remote and away from the crowd.
Total Distance: 13 miles, 2007: 980.5