At a trip planning meeting for our backpacking trip on the AT this weekend, we were about to wrap up when one last thought occurred.
“Oh, and be prepared for the nights,” I added. “They can be long.”
Really, really long.
This weekend, for instance, sunset is at 5:44 p.m. where we’re headed. However, both nights of our stay we’ll be camped low on the mountain, meaning we’ll lose sunlight a good half hour earlier. Sunrise the next morning is at 7:39 a.m. — again, because we’ll be well below the ridge, let’s make that 8. That’s nearly 15 hours of dark — cold dark. If there’s enough dry wood and we can get a fire going, we can shave 2-3 hours off the front end of that. Still, that’s more than half of a 24-hour day confined to a space not much longer or wider than you are, and that you can barely sit up in. That’s why adding be-prepared-for-the-long-nights as an afterthought is more than a small oversight. read more
We’re taking some time the last two weeks of the year to get our head together, to regroup, to not have to think too much for a few days. So today, we bring you our year in backpacking condensed down to 165 seconds.
These aren’t all the places we went, but they are a good cross-section: the Appalachian Trail from Max Patch to Hot Springs and also from Carvers Gap to US 19E, Wilson Creek, the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, Rock Castle Gorge in Virginia and the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness. read more
We hiked in in the cold (about 40 degrees), the rain (roughly two inches would fall over a 36-hour period), the dark. The one consolation? The frozen rain that had been in the forecast failed to materialize.
In the end, our trip to the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness was the best trip in a year full of pretty great trips. read more
We’ve got one backpack trip left in 2019 — this weekend, to the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness — but already we’re looking forward to next year. We’ll be visiting some of the same places, the places you’ve demonstrated that you love to explore. But we’ll also be exploring new terrain, and adding a new component that we’re especially excited about. First things first, the first four months of 2020.read more
Imagine, if you will, a first weekend of November that begins bright and sunny with a temperature in the 30s, a temperature not likely to get out of the 50s during the afternoon peak. And a weekend that, throughout much of the state, will be festooned with the best fall color of the year. Imagine, if you will, this weekend … .read more