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Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The tent was dry inside. However, before I even got back to it last night the rain had changed to snow, so I awoke to this. (Actually, I awoke to the lining of my sleeping bag, but you know what I mean.) And I did awake, which means I got some sleep, but the grain dryers won most of the battle last night. You'd think I'd be tired enough to sleep anyway, wouldn't you?

Fly Creek tent in snow

This is the first time I've had this little tent out in rain or snow, and it is great. Not wet inside at all. It's hard to get out and in without bringing some snow in, but that's true of any of these small tents that open at an end. This is the Big Agnes Fly Creek Tent. I'm still very happy with it.

The car door was frozen shut, but I got it open and discovered a winter wonderland on the windshield.

ice crystals

Even with eating breakfast, breaking down camp, and driving to my starting location, I was walking at 9 am. Pretty impressive for me. Hey, you don't think so? You haven't dealt with me in the morning.

This fellow was a bit more lively. Yes, he has 6 points.

6 point buck

I'm afraid this post isn't going to be too artistically written. I'm getting sleepy. I think it's the combination of little sleep and finally warming up. I slept warm enough in the tent, but the air didn't warm up much all day, holding just a little bit below freezing. Those northwest Ohio fields sure do look bleak in the winter, and there is nothing to stop the wind. On the outward trip, it was more at my back and tolerable. This lovely crossing of the Portage River was one of the prettiest sights of the day.

Portage River

But when I turned around for the homeward journey. Wowzers! That was one cold walk. Flags were standing straight out from their poles. That puts the wind speed somewhere around 15-20 mph. It was sunny, so that helped a bit. Sunshine on the shoulders really does make me happy. But still cold.

Here's a question. What is the value of a small woodlot like this one?


There are all kinds of answers involving the ecosystem, wildlife habitat, preserving botanical diversity. Practical answers like "as a woodlot, duh." But the plain and simple answer to a hiker walking through harvested agricultural land is that it is a place to pee! Very important in peopled landscapes.

The sun was setting as I drove through Grand Rapids. Saw my first sun pillar at sunset. It was spectacular, but almost faded by the time I could find another opening in the tree line and stop on the Interstate. In just those few seconds it had faded almost away, but you can see the last of it just to the right of center in this picture.

sun pillar

I'm heading for bed. Forward progress on the Buckeye Trail this week- 18 miles. Total miles walked- 34 (managed to cut off a corner on the way home today, and walked an extra bit yesterday, so the total is not double the progress).

See Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Ear
See Sun Pillar in Pink
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Ann said...

That looks like one cold morning and rather like the one I woke up to yesterday and today. BUT, I woke up in my nice warm bed...lol
Pretty sunset and I can see the remains of the sun pillar

The Furry Gnome said...

Joan, I've just been reading your other blog about your writing, which is amazing. I'll be poring over the details. Your writing looks very interesting.

RNSANE said...

Since I have never - or rarely - ever hiked, I really enjoy seeing your adventures. I'm glad you stay warm when you are sleeping out like that. Pretty scenery, too, and a glorious sunset for your efforts.