Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Return To Utica Reservoir

Last weekend we'd planned to scoot out of town to Utica Reservoir with another couple to introduce them to back country canoe camping but work got in the way and they had to cancel. Kathy & I had already put in for the day off and we were pretty much packed and ready to go anyway so we went without them....you missed out suckas!

We were able to snag out favorite campsite (from our original trip, HERE ) at the NE end of the lake though doing so wasn't much of a challenge. There were very few people at the lake. I guess now that school is in session through most of the state people are heading to the mountains less...it pays to be a married couple with no kids!

The weather was a bit of mix, it was overcast on Saturday and we even had a brief shower, just long enough to duck into the tent for a flat-out lazy afternoon nap.

Wheeler Peak to the left (~9000') and Bull Run Peak to the right (~9200')

Outdoor Gear Review - Northwest Woodsman Folding Bucksaw

Among the more pleasant elements of a trip into the back country is the time spent at days-end beside the fire. Somewhere deep in our DNA remains an atomic post-it note that tells us the fire is not only a source of warmth but of safety and of comfort and a place for fellowship. That time spent alone with your thoughts sipping the spirit of your choosing or with a buddy or wife is a big part of why we seek the distance from "civilization".  If you are as lucky as I, in that your wife is also your best friend, well so much the better.

Making a fire is easy. We learned the necessary skills in Boy Scout or YMCA camp as kids. Making a GOOD fire is another thing. Collecting deadfall works fine in dry places where wood doesn't remain damp or quickly begin to rot. If you find yourself in a more damp environment you need to find standing dry wood which is often still firmly in the form of a tree, albeit a dead one. The challenge is in turning a 4-8 inch diameter 12 foot tall dead tree into a useful pile of firewood.