A rare (for me) night brew…and foreshadowing
My “go-to” S24O destination is at one of the two Lake Ray Roberts State Park Campgrounds (Johnson Branch up north or Isle du Bois Branch near the east end of the dam). I can be there within an hour and a half, and I’ve been many times. I’ve got my favorite spots. I have an idea which spots would be best for various seasons or weather conditions. I have an idea about what to expect.
Colder than it looks…and more foreshadowing
But even my rather civilized outings so short, so familiar, and so near to home can bring me the unexpected. It is the unplanned things that make these little outings little adventures. So this post is about the unplanned.
I didn’t plan…
- To arrive at the Park and learn that most of the primitive camping spots were already taken, and the spots I had in mind for myself were already taken. But I found a nice quiet spot that worked well.
- To test my new Thermarest pad as a raft on an ocean of spilled coffee inside my tent as I was settling in for the night. But I learned that clean-up duties can be substituted for reading as camplife entertainment.
- To wake up to 29 degrees in the morning. I had planned for mid-30s. But for some reason, I packed my vapor barrier for my sleeping bag. I slept fine.
- To learn that my fire steel will not ignite my alcohol stove in 29 degree weather. But if I put my stove in a plastic bag, crawl back into my sleeping bag, and put the stove between my legs, it will warm up enough to ignite.
- To leave half my breakfast at home (eggs). But I still had my oatmeal. So I at least had something warm to eat.
- To actually consume some gas station coffee. I needed a little more fuel for the windy ride home (remember no eggs), and learned that it was serviceable in a pinch.
Trails are more rugged than they appear…and, yes, more foreshadowing
- To learn that my GoPro camera, threaded to my tripod and covered snugly with my Carradice flap, can be shaken loose and lost as I bounced along with all my gear on the trails. Actually, I didn’t discover that until after I arrived back at home, and that one still stings a little.