So, as could be expected, I waited until the last weekend of March to get my camping trip in. I was really hoping it would warm up and stay above 40F over night. That wasn’t quite the case, but it was bearable.
I started planning on Wednesday for my over-nighter on Friday. I made a few emails to attempt recruiting participants… no such luck. Jen was into the idea until she saw the forecast: over night lows around freezing. I have gone camping in far colder temperatures and had a good time, so I wasn’t too concerned. This would be the first time that I have ever gone solo, and I was really looking forward to it.
I decided on a Kansas state park about an hour away. Jen and I had gone there in 2006 and found a hike-in trail with several campsites along the lake. It was exceptionally windy that day but still a good little trip.
I left work early, ran a few errands and got my stuff together. I left KC right around 6:00PM and arrived roughly an hour later. I didn’t bother looking up directions to the hike-in site, because I figured I would remeber the way once I got there, or I could ask somebody.
I paid my day-pass and asked where the hike-in site was (yeah, memory not serving me well). The friendly park staff pointed me in the direction. I got to where they told me to park and hiked in. I pretty much knew from where I parked that this was not the same area as we were in last time, but I thought I would check it out regardless. The sun was beginning to set and I wanted to get the tent pitched and a fire started.
I hiked in the the area they pointed me to. It wasn’t the trail that I had remembered. It was the boy scout walk-in area: pretty much an open field with a short trail at the back that lead to a smaller wooded campsite. Onsetting darkness provoked me to explore the back area. I followed the back trail past the wooded site to a trail intersection, and headed toward the water.
Now, I really don’t know if this area was still included in the hike-in/walk-in camping area, but the map made it look like it was. I found a nice rocky beach area that would be suitable for camp. I pitched the tent and then got a fire going. There was a ton of dry driftwood that would keep me warm for the night.
Not much happened through the night. The only thing of note was a skunk that came down from the woods to eat some dead fish. He didn’t seem to mind me being there. When he got within about 20 feet, I stood up and turn my light on him. Luckily, all he did was run away.
Ok, one problem I had, was I set my tent on a bit of a slope to the side. So while I was sleeping, I kept sliding off of my mat. That’s what I get for setting up in the dark and not paying attention.
The cold set in around 3:00am, I knew this because of the inevitible bathroom break. I probaly shouldn’t have had that 32oz hot cider before bed. Cleaning up camp was a pain. The wind was blowing, and it was the coldest it had been the entire time.
One of my friends was starting a 24 hour adventure race, at 8:00am, so I was going to try and catch him before they took off. They ended up winning the 2-Person Open. Good work INERTIA.