Early Winter Hike
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Location: A set of hiking trails near Old Forge
Dates: November 17-18, 2007
Who: Chris & Matt S., Ben D., Mike & Brian Fitzsimmons, Jim Derrane, John Ivory
Notes: Three scouts were brave enough to manage the early snow and cold to do this first (of several) requirements for the Backpacking merit badge.

Although cold, the weather was extremely cooperative for us on this trip.  Clear skies, no precipitation, pretty much no wind.  Even then, as cold as it was, after only a half mile or so, most of us had stripped off most of our outer layers.

The trip was about 7 miles out, then 8 or so coming home.  We had very little trouble finding our way, working off some nice maps the were (fortunately) accurate in telling us about a lean-to near the lake we settle on (sorry... don't remember the name).

Finding wood went well, and started the fire easily enough, and then the cold started to settle in.  Not too much before dark, other hikers arrived to discover that our lean-to was completely full.  Not at all sure what became of them.

As tempting as it may be to occasionally grouse about the cold or the effort involved or the quality of the food, it almost always comes out to be worth it all to have the solitude and beauty and camaraderie come through on trips like this.  Check out the large photo below for an example.

The stars were out in full force that night as well.

Food for this trip was almost exclusively dehydrated stuff, which worked out quite well (although I don't think any of us much enjoyed the morning eggs).