Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Road Less Traveled (Mann hunter camp)

Having nothing else to do, we decided to go on an adventure Thursday. We thought about going to a campground with showers and bathrooms and plugs for phone chargers, but instead decided that the road less traveled is more rewarding.We went out to Mann campground, which is well out in the middle of nowhere. It was a fairly uneventful trip out there, and a peaceful day.
There were six of us on this trip, Dad, Olivia, Mike, and Courtney, Gracie and myself.
 Olivia and Courtney 

Mike, our resident comedian 

and Dad. 

All in all, it was a great group of people to be out in the forest with. We had many a story around the campfire, and laughter echoed throughout the valley throughout the night. The campsite was at the end of a dirt forest road, near a stream. The stream dribbled on, carving a sizable valley. The tall mountains which the Pinhoti travels along stood east of the campsite, and a vast track of empty wilderness ran to the north and south. This camp was at the end of a dead end two track forest road, untold miles from pavement and two miles from the nearest through road.
The (literal) road less traveled 

 Arriving late in the afternoon, we lit the fire and set up the tent as the sun set. 

Soon darkness fell. 

It was fairly cloudy, but outer space was visible in the gaps between the clouds. 

We sat out and talked until each of us got tired and went to bed.  I sat out a little later by the fire. Campfires have a certain mesmerizing quality. 

I then tried to go to bed, but unlike last campout, Gracie wasn't particularly sleepy. She barked and whined most all night, for no apparent reason. She is able to unzip the the tent door, and did so. I eventually put her in the jeep, where her whining was quieter and I was able to go to sleep. The following morning, all five members of the company reported hearing some sort of animal walking about the campsite. Finding some droppings, I figured that Gracie had been trying to inform us of some Coyotes nearby. I heard them the night before, and I believe Gracie smelled them. 
 She is one cute guard dog. 

I slept in the 2 person tent, and Dad, Olivia, and Courtney slept in the 8 person tent, and Mike slept on an alter-like air mattress in the bed of the truck. The following morning, I got up first. It was supposed to be the warmest night of December, but it did feel fairly cool in the morning. My 0 Degree sleeping bag kept me warm enough, but Mike said he was rather cold. It sprinkled a tad in the early morning, which did not help him much. 

Mike's sleeping arrangement 

The sun rose in the East, as one would assume it would, and cast a pink hue over the vale. 
 The others woke up fairly soon afterwards, and we began to make breakfast. 

A little while after breakfast Dad left to go to work. Not very long after, we packed up and left as well. 
On the way out, we passed a fairly large number of hunters, following the dirt road north toward Oxford. It was a pleasant campout, less adventurous and more peaceful. It was a very pleasant, remote location, and we had great company. Mike and I have a great friendship, he is hilarious and I think we make a great comedic team together. All in all, it was a great trip. I hope to go out again soon, if weather allows. Perhaps a good backpacking trip.   

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