We’ve all seen the inviting photographs of the Land Rover with the roof top tent parked in the wilds of Africa with the sun setting in the background and the safari group gathered around the campfire enjoying life. Who wouldn’t want to be there.
Thanks to a friend, who was gracious enough to lend me his Eezi-Awn Roof Top Tent, last weekend I was able to mount the RTT on the Tacoma bed rack and go on safari. Well, not exactly, but I did get to spend the night camping at Green Ridge State Forest in Allegheny County, MD.
Have You Ever Dreamed of an Alaska Road Trip ?
For a few months now, I have enjoyed following the gang at Expedition Overland as they take an extended road trip through Alaska.
The reality based web series follows a group of six overlander’s traveling in two highly outfitted Toyotas, a Land Cruiser and a Tacoma, through remote places of North America, most recently Alaska. This trip is anything but a normal Alaska road trip. If there is even such a thing.
To say the last two weeks have been a little snowy for the Maryland region is a mild understatement. Here at my home in Carroll County, the yard is covered with no less than two feet of the white stuff. At my weekday residence, the streets in Old Town, Va are clean and dry. The park behind the apartment has a dusting of maybe 4 inches of snow. Driving back home on Saturday morning, I watched the snow deepen with each Northwest mile. I was going to get to play with my new toys, snowshoes.
I had really wanted to take the truck and run off to the West Virginia Mountains on Thursday towards the end of the last storm. But the grey yucky sky and falling rain was not very conducive for photographs. So, I joined a friend and drank a few beers over lunch in a local tavern. Today was perfect weather for a snow hike. The sun was out and the thermometer hovered in the thirties.
The First Road Trip
On a $50 bet, Horatio Nelson Jackson, a 31 year old Vermont doctor, embarked on the road trip to begin all American road trips. In 1903 there was only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire nation and most people had never seen a ”horseless buggy”, but that only fueled Horatio’s deep thirst for adventure and in his 20 horsepower 1903 Winton, he left San Francisco and headed East to New York City.
Looking for something fun to do this Saturday evening, February 1? Join Maryland Trout Unlimited (MDTU) at Baltimore’s Center Stage for a screening of “Where the Yellowstone Goes”.
Upside down Fire – The no mess, easy to maintain, all night burn fire.
A while back I read about this thing called and upside down fire and had to give it a try. The theory is that you place alternating direction logs on top of each other similar to that of a log cabin, build a starter tepee fire on top on the stack and let her burn.
The greatest feature of the upside down fire is that you do not have to continually feed the fire. Built big enough, it will steadily burn all night long; thus making it the perfect “sleeping next to it” fire. There are a few cold nights sleeping outside I wish I had built one of these instead of waking every two hours to feed the fire.
An added advantage is the upside down fire will burn steady and not high and low as with the standard campfire, making it the perfect cooking fire.
This past weekend we went out and gave it a try. We made a small test fire. It worked just as planned, the fire that is, the video camera, not so much. Well, see for yourself.
What’s a little Wind and Ice When It Comes to Duck Hunting
The Driver’s side wiper blade broke off the swing arm. The ice had it frozen to the windshield. The arm harmlessly swung over the windshield. As I try to make the repair, the cold wind hurt my hands. The single digit cold pushed by the 30 knot winds bit my face. It was a hurt you cold morning.
Sunrise was more than two hours distant. Back home in Carroll County they had received 6 inches of new snow overnight. Here in Virginia, we had maybe two inches of snow covered with a thin sheet of ice. I would much rather have the deeper snows to play in than ice to contend with. I snapped the windshield wiper back into place and warmed my frozen fingers in my arm pits waiting for the heater to warm the inside of the truck.
I locked the front hubs of the truck, but never slid the lever into 4X4, until I reached the ice covered gravel parking lot and steep hill leading down to the boat ramp. The ramp was covered in ice. I dared not back the truck onto the ramp. I would have to carry the canoe over the ice before sliding it into the icy Potomac River. I slid on my hip boots and wool coat.
The wind blew the river into a frenzy. Two foot plus waves rolled up the boat ramp. The northwest wind blew over 30 knots, so the weather man said. He also said it was cold out, but I already knew that. The numbness in my fingers told me so.
Slowing Down to Enjoy the Beauty in Simplicity of Those Things Around Us.
Last night, I found a few photographs on my camera I had forgotten were there. One day last week, I had gone for a walk in the local park. I spent the late afternoon sitting under a twisted low branch hanging cherry tree. The tree was on the edge of a large grass field. A field the deer and turkeys visit nightly for dinner.