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Hickory Run State Park 2013

posted Oct 17, 2013, 9:54 AM by Richard Leyden   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 7:49 AM ]

This trip was supposed to be with my son Stephen but he decided he would rather stay home and get some computer time in (Minecraft) most likely.
Anyhow since I was psyched to go and wanted to prove a point, I headed out Solo.

I arrived at camp by 9:30, setup camp, foraged for some kindling and started a small fire.
I made a cup of coffee In my canteen cup, sat back in my chair had a turkey sandwich and enjoyed the very still night, although it was a bit damp, the temp was around 62°F when I arrived.

I hit the hay fairly early, probably a little before midnight, but wasn't clock watching.
The temp dropped to around 45°F and I slept fairly well but did do a bIt of toss'n and turn'n, however this is not unusual my first night out.

Woke up around 6:30 am and just layed there enjoying the peace and quiet, thinking it don't get much better than this.
Around 7:00 AM I got up and took a morning stroll about 200 yards down the mountain to a nearby stream to check things out.
On my way back I grabbed some kindling for tonight's fire. Man I'm out of shape, no pack and this climb is killing me.


Back at the campsite I got out my cooking gear and started breakfast. I'm having an omelet in a bag and some Starbucks for breakfast.
I love making these omelets in vac-seal bags, the egg is boiled in the bag until done and then the water is used for coffee, I have to laugh because there's another camper with his son and here I am taking pictures of everything, I'm sure they're thinking I'm off or something.

30 minutes later my omelot is finally done.


Side note, cooking with a canteen cup over a gas stove is very wasteful, two meals and it was near empty, I should have used a small pot,but live and learn. This experience has really opened my eyes to the importance of having a viable source of fuel for cooking or boiling water, I had the same issue Backpacking Pinchot last May... you think I would have learned from that trip.

Anyhow my cook gear has changed dramatically and has been streamlined quite a bit.
I don't carry the canteen, stove, fuel bottle and two Stow-away pots any more. I started using a Solo Stove and a Solo Pot, this reduces my pack by 6lbs.
Hey I'm learning,

OK, back to my breakfast, the egg was good but spongy, I think it's because I had three eggs and the pouch was fatter... another reason it took so long to cook. It needed more cheese too!
It's better to make these as two egg omelets and make the bag thinner and longer.







Oh almost forgot, this guy dropped in unexpectedly... literally.









Breakfast is done coffee is made time to go over the trail map















Looks like I'm going to pick up the Shade of Death trail and hike to the beach then backtrack down to the park office.



OK, it's 8:45 and time to head out. I pack up my camera equipment a turkey sandwich that I saved from my work lunch and a bottle of H2O









First sign of trouble.

Are you kidding me, well its the only way to cross the creek so I guess I'm going for it.













Ok here we go, I guess I'm going the right way.


I hiked this trail, many many years ago with my 2 daughters and they had a great time.








I stopped for a quick break to jot down some notes and set up the camera to document this incredible event.












There was a moment when I lost focus and got sidetracked chasing some wild turkey, chased these guys for almost a quarter mile... those bitches are fast on their feet, I got a bit winded chasing them and gave up.







Stopped at the spillway and called Mrs. SQWIB to check in and texted a few pics to some friends.It was getting a bit warm so the jacket came off.
















On the way back I spotted this guy... I wasn't sure if it was safe to eat so I let it be, turns out it's called a Puffball and
is edible, you can read about them here on my cooking website.

Shortly after admiring the mushroom I came across a few kids well actually young adults probably early twenties... but still kids to me.
They were dressed in some medieval garb, there was a pretty big group, not sure what they were doing but looked like they were having a blast




On the way back I came across a nice little field that I decide to have lunch, I sat next to some flowers and decided to play with my new 100mm Macro lens.

Hell it's
only 10:45 and I'm stopping for lunch.

As I was playing with the lens a friendly visitor stopped by, these guys are one of the most important insects we have, don't squash them.

I popped my 70-300 L lens back on and started my hike again





About a few hundred yards I saw this wooly caterpillar, so I know how much my daughters love these critters, so I stopped, tossed the
100mm back on and laid down beside it and snapped a few shots.

After I bothered this guy a bit I popped the 70-300mm back in and was on my way.









I took the trail down to the Park Office got down there by 11:00am, here's some random photos of the trail down to the Park Office then back. I wont bore you with too many pictures.









Back to camp I came across this little trap and was curious.



If you are curious as to what it is, click the next picture.
















Saw this little guy in the tree and wasn't sure what species it was..



Got back to camp by 11:45 and let me tell you.. I'm beat










Ahhhh... Home sweet home.


When I got back to camp I decided to lay down for twenty minutes or so, well that didn't work out too well, I slept for 2 hours WTF. Half asleep I decided to take a walk up to the restrooms and freshen up a bit.
Back at camp I sorted through all my gear to organize and thin out a bit.















Set up the kitchen lol...

















Yay, it's time to start my gourmet dinner to go with my Cocoa Cafe' Latte coffee.It's still fairly early 4:30pm but I'm going to make it an early night I have a little over 2 hour drive and want to get home fairly early.




As my dinner simmers a bit I start prepping for the fire.


Mmmm.mmm, time to eat.

Finished eating about 5:30pm.


Started the fire with my usual, cotton ball/Vaseline, piece of napkin and my handy dandy GobSpark Armageddon FireSteel, I highly recommend this fire starter, it has been a blessing to have.











Wow, one strike and its lit, this combo has never failed me yet.










Started with some tooth pick sized pieces then onto some pencil sized pieces, cigar sized pieces, then some split fire wood.







Time to heat some water for my Cocoa Cafe' Latte.





Ahhh... it don't get any better than this, sitting by a nice warm fire on a fall night, a nice hot cup of joe and a little debbies oatmeal cookie, man.. I'm livin' large.











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