A S24O is a sub 24-hour overnight trip. The RCCS has been wanting to do one for quite a while. Why not February?
So Saturday afternoon, Tim, Timothy, Patrick, Asher, and I all headed for Jefferson Memorial Forest. Asher went on ahead to deal with firewood and paperwork, while the rest of us rode together after a meet-up for coffee and snacks.
I’m not supposed to be riding my bikes, other than the recumbent, per doctor’s orders. The ‘bent isn’t set up for hauling a touring load. Riding a drop-bar bike is out of the question. The only choice I was left with was to ride the Big Dummy. It has a more upright position which is easier on the neck. It can also easily deal with hauling a load.
I don’t have winter camping gear. My sleeping bag was bought at WalMart 13 years ago. I have an even cheaper sleeping bag I brought along as a second pad to supplement my foam pad. My tent is an old but serviceable dome tent. I also brought my regular pillow from home to help with my neck.
We wandered through town hitting a few extra hills to warm up (Tim claims it was just one extra hill, but I’m not convinced.)
We eventually made our way out to Mitchell Hill Rd then to Holsclaw Hill Rd. Somewhere along there we got to enjoy a backyard firing range, 80s heavy metal blaring from a stereo, and an aggressive driver in a Mustang.
My fitness level is way down. My weight is up. I was riding a heavily-loaded cargo bike. I fell behind the group on Holsclaw Hill Rd, well, because it goes up a hill! I actually got off the bike and walked… for about ten feet. The loaded bike was too heavy to push. I got back on and continued pedaling.
I didn’t bring my camera on this trip. I brought my iPhone to use as a camera. I have mixed feelings about it, which I’ll write more about later. I didn’t take a lot of photos.
While approaching the entrance to the campground, the gang was at the top of the hill waiting for me. I attempted a steep uphill climb off-road as a shortcut, and fell in the mud. Oops.
We rolled into the campsite. Before I could even unload the bike, someone pointed out I had a flat tire. Sure enough, the rear tire was completely flat. I unloaded the bike and changed the tube.
We all set up our tents. Asher got a fire going. Asher, Tim, and Patrick built a bench from a log and two rocks. (I brought a camp chair). Patrick prepared an awesome meal of pasta and sauce. There were also prepared meat balls that just needed to be roasted over the fire to warm them up. Beer was shared.
Another group of five who were mostly U of L students were also bike camping a short distance away. They invited us on an after-dark hike on a trail to a cemetery. I was feeling the effects of the alcohol, and joined them. The others in my group declined. I enjoyed the hike. The peaceful darkness was nice. Flashlights were kept off unless needed. The hiking warmed me up in a way the fire couldn’t.
Once it got late, we eventually crawled into our tents to sleep. I stayed completely dressed including hat and jacket. I only removed my boots. Even cocooned in my sleeping bag I was cold. I slept poorly and was glad when I woke to sunlight. That meant I could get up and move.
I’ll finish the story later in the week. I need to get to sleep.