Monday, June 16, 2014

Team Waterfall Camping Weekend 2014-06-14

"Team Waterfall" Camping Weekend
Somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina
Friday, June 13th through Sunday June 15th, 2014

Good Times!

We received a tip about a series of virtually unknown waterfalls.  However our source asked us not to share any directions or information about the location of these waterfalls.  The reason is that these are located completely off trail and the terrain is susceptible to serious damage and erosion if too many people found out about these.  Not to mention the safety factor!  Only experienced bushwhacking enthusiast should attempt to reach this type of off trail waterfall.  Therefore, I will respect the promise we made to our information source and not post any location details or directions.

I will say that it is a bit further away from home than we usually like to travel for a day hike.  So we decided to make a “Team Waterfall” camping weekend out of it.

There is an ongoing joke (based on fact) that it always rains when I go camping.  Since I haven't pitched my tent in quite some time the clouds would be storing up for one hell of a storm!  

 I was the first of the group to arrive at the campground and pitched my tent under perfect camping weather conditions.  I was planning to go for a short hike after setting up the tent, but just as I hammered in the last tent stake the clouds started to form and minutes later one heck of a storm came through! 

My tent before the storm.  
In about 45 minutes that bucket will be filled with about 3" of rainwater
Note:  I like the sign at the campsite!

I waited it out inside my truck, enjoying a couple of FABs while marble sized hail and some of the heaviest rain I had ever experienced bombarded the campsite and my truck!  I watched the outside temperature gauge on my truck drop from 75 degrees to 55 degrees in a matter of minutes.

After the worst of the rain passed, I grabbed an umbrella to check out the damage.  No noticeable hail dents on my Tacoma, but a river of muddy water was flowing through the campsite directly under and around my tent.  There was over 3” of rain water in the bucket I had sent out before the storm hit.   

The creek next the campsite that I could have easily rock-hopped across an hour earlier was now a raging torrent of muddy water.  It was very close to overflowing its banks, which would have really spelt disaster to my tent!  Fortunately my tent stayed remarkably dry inside with just a few small puddles around the zipper area.

Even though the rain had subsided to just a light drizzle, my hike plans were thwarted since it would require crossing the now raging creek.  So instead I decided to just hike up the road for a ways while waiting for the others to arrive.   

By the time Andy, Van, and Johnny arrived, the rain was done for the weekend.  Since nobody thought to bring along any dry firewood, it was quite the challenge to get a campfire going, despite our best efforts.  We did have a very enjoyable evening around our pitiful campfire which we only managed to keep going with the help of the occasional squirt of lighter fluid.

 Van and Johnny

 L to R:  Andy, Van, Johnny, Boone, and Me

The next morning we met up with a few other “Team Waterfall” members including Brenda, Darrin, and Bob.  Again, I will not post any details, only the photos.  I will say that this series of waterfalls did not disappoint!  But it certainly was one heck of a bushwhack!

Here are some of the photos:

 Van Jumping off the Rock

 Darrin Jumping off a Higher Rock





After returning to the campground, we briefly discussed going on another short hike, but ultimately decided that food, FABs, and relaxation around the fire was a better idea.   

 Van relaxing at our campsite

 It is going to be a good evening!

We had much better success keeping the campfire going this evening.  And had some great times hanging out around the campfire!  An awesome ending to an awesome day!

 Hanging out around the campfire!

The complete set of photos form our "Team Waterfall" camping weekend is posted here:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Amy's 40th Birthday!

Amy's 40th Birthday
June 7th, 2014

Yesterday we had a bunch of friends and family over to celebrate Amy's 40th Birthday.  Here are a few photos from the party.

 Steve-O Photo Bomb!

We could not find any candles