|Hiking along the Chattooga River.|
Getting There is Half the FunAfter picking up 1Arm Bandit, 2/3 of my children, and the dog. We headed out of Abbeville for the Chattooga River. We were in a hurry to get on the trail so we stopped in Anderson to pick up lunch at Zaxby's and got back on the road. Another quick stop at a Dollar General to pick up a soda and take a potty break put us on schedule to hit the trail head at 3:00 pm (we were 10 minutes early).
We bypassed the packed Burrell's Ford parking area for the roadside parking at the trail head to the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area. The day was custom ordered for hiking. We could not have asked for a nicer day. We donned our packs locked the truck and hit the trail...
The hike into the site was just over a mile in and didn't take that long even though we were hiking with kids. The temperature was perfect, birds were singing, the river was talking, flowers were blooming, and not even the thought that we had forgotten to get our frozen steaks from the dash of the truck was going to ruin our day (1Arm Bandit volunteered to return to the truck for the steaks after setting up camp).
We strolled into camp and were greeted by swampfox and a slew of other hammock campers (final totals around 20 hangers). Swampfox walked us through the area and showed us to our designated spot just upstream of the East Fork bridge and we quickly set to work putting up tarps, hammocks, underquilts, and top quilts. I set up Kryptonite's kit in "porch mode" first before setting up mine and Donkey Kong's hammocks in "bunk bed" mode.
|Hammock with tarp pitched in "porch" mode.|
|Hammocks set up in "bunk bed" mode.|
|1Arm Bandit's Abode|
The Great Steak Run
After setting up his new cwhammocks tarp and hammock and Hammock Gear top quilt and underquilt, 1Arm Bandit grabbed his hiking pole and a day pack and headed back down the trail for the forgotten steaks. THANK YOU 1Arm Bandit!!!!!!!
While he was walking, I continued setting up camp, collected wood for the fire, and waited on people to arrive.
JBRanger, Snaggle Tooth, and Joan arrived shortly after 1Arm Bandit returned with dinner. Some of the others to arrive during that period were WFR and Abo, Skinneys11, Matt, and others that I am not remembering. The full roll call can be found here (Roll Call in first Post on this Hammock Forums Thread).
After getting the campfire started, we hung up the community water for our little area and commenced to getting our dinner cooked. Nothing much really happened around our campfire that night - except maybe for a little peep roasting (sorry, no pictures). After sacrificing two packages of peeps to the campfire we sat around for awhile, chatted, and made our way to our lodging.
The next morning Mark (Baby Hooey) and Kayla showed up and set up their hammocks. And after everyone in our little group was awake (Kryptonite slept till almost 11am) we hiked down to Spoonauger Falls and had a quick snack. Then we hoofed it back to camp for a quick lunch. And then we waited for everyone to get back from hiking, fishing, or napping before JBRanger started the raffle.
All except for 1Arm Bandit, that is. He was told he was not allowed to have any fun... So he didn't.
|Enjoying a snack by the waterfall|
The raffle was a ton of fun and I would like to thank JBRanger for organizing the raffle and contacting all the vendors. Thanks to all the vendors for their GENEROUS donations. You really went above and beyond and a lot of money was raised for a great cause (Children's Cancer Research).
|I've got a Golden Ticket!|
A lot of people got a lot of really good gear, but it wasn't the the Grand Prize drawing until things started to get really interesting.
All $5 tickets were put back into an envelope and and then all $10 tickets and their duplicates were put into the hat as well and then Snaggle Tooth (JBRanger's daughter) stuck her hand deep into the envelope and pulled out a ticket and then handed that ticket to her dad. Yep... you are reading that right... "CW"
That was a great big Whoo Buddy! moment right there. I was holding the winning ticket of the Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 30* karo step top quilt. I made sure to get a picture to prove it.
It is not Camping without a Campfire
The remainder of the afternoon was spent checking out each other's gear - some bought, some DIY, but all functioning perfectly to keep each and every occupant off the ground. After checking out all that awesome gear, I went back to where my crew was getting set up for a campfire and claimed a section of ground and enjoyed each others company.
When it's all said and done...
All good things come to and end and this trip was no different. We cleaned up our site leaving it cleaner that it was when we arrived; looked around one last time to make sure we weren't leaving anything behind. Then we packed up under a blue sky and said good bye to new and old friends alike and then we hit the trail.