Dreaming of Warmer Weather

Western North Carolina has been blanketed with snow today. We’ve been expecting it for several days and we’ve been like “sitting ducks” here planning for the worst. It looks like Asheville only got about three to four inches – enough for the Carolina Mountain Hike to be canceled today.

So I started to prepare for my trip to Big Bend National Park next month. I’ve signed up on a Sierra Club trip for six and a half days of hiking and primitive camping.

Big Bend, in Western Texas, is not easy to get to. I’ll be taking two days to get to the park – heck, I could have been in New Zealand in that time. I fly into Midlands, TX, spend the night there and then carpool 200 miles to Marathon,  the closest town to the park entrance and spend another night there. The trip officially starts at 9 A.M. the next morning.

They’re a very organized bunch and I’ve received lots of material from the leader including a packing list.

I practice packed today – tent, sleeping bag, pad and ground cloth. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to use a ground cloth but it’s on the list and I’m taking it. The list also specifies water bottles for four (4) quarts of water. I can’t see drinking four quarts of water, never mind carrying them in my daypack but again I’m not second guessing, just following instructions.

All my equipment fits into my Macpac, a travel backpack with some interesting features.When you check the bag at the airport, you can zip up a flap that covers the shoulder straps, thereby lessening the chances that it will be ruined on the plane. My travel backpack is too heavy for regular backpacking, but great to travel. I can handle it on my back much better than pulling a suitcase.

I reread the trip description – temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Now that’s something to look forward to.


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