We didn't hit the road till around 7, and after a few pitstops we reached the Bridgeport access to the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Study Area around 10:45 PM. It was dark and already cold. I pitched the tent in the parking lot, fluffed up the sleeping bags, and the three of us assumed the fetal position hoping to retain any bit of warmth we could. Sleep was tough to come by. Our sleeping bags, rated at 30 and 15 could do very little to shield off the 4 degree temperatures outside.
We got up quickly at first light, boiled some water, ate some oats and a poptart apiece, decided it was against our best interest to brave another frigid night in the canyon, and headed out for a day-hike.
I fashioned a dogfood can into an alcohol stove before heading out on the trip. Using about 1 fl oz of denatured alcohol a pint of water begins boiling after about 6 minutes, 30 seconds, with another minute remaining until the alcohol burns out.
Enjoy the photos.
I think next week I'm going to make my way out here (solo and with a warm sleeping bag), I have three days for hiking allotted and think I can dial in an 80ish mile loop, utilizing the North Uncompagre Wilderness and the Tabeguache trail, that would be great practice for the AT.
|The tarptent set up without the interior/bugnet/floor. Extremely lightweight, simple, requires only trekking poles and stakes.|
|House, built in 1901|
|Nature's dog house, built over hundreds of thousands of years|
|People on horseback. Alligator snapping turtle??|
|Mel sitting by the frigid Big Dominguez Creek a few miles before it feeds into the Gunnison.|
|Home away from home.|
|Pulled one of these guys out of Luna's foot- ow.|
|Luna elected to cuddle next to some trekking poles for her afternoon snooze|
|Hitched a ride back to the trailhead|
Meanwhile, somewhere in the east, Rob has mapped out a feasible route for a run across New Hampshire for a second edition of our Runs For Relief project, which had it's first event in Rhode Island almost a year ago. We're looking at a ~73 mile route and a late March execution date. I hope that logistically I'll be able to formulate a way to get out there and join him in the effort!