Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fair Weather Campers

The last couple winters were something like 2 months of additional fall and a month of "never knew spring to start this early."  This year winter has been winter.  Oh, we could use more snow but at least what we've gotten has generally stayed around for a while.  

Last Friday, Jan. 24, the conditions needed for a good winter camping adventure were in place.  Below freezing temperatures and snow on the ground are the main prerequisites.  A few years back we did the "really, really cold camp-out".  While those who participated like to talk about the -10 temperature, it seems we all have no qualms about "fair weather camping" these days.  And those were the conditions of our camp-out this year.  Temperatures were in the mid 20's and while a blustery wind was blowing, we were sheltered in the woods with high bluffs on two sides of our camp site.  Good weather, good food, good company; it was an adventure!

I have no photos from Friday night.  But thanks to Bruce, I have these from Saturday AM to share.
First, from the fire looking South.

And looking North.

We found a downed tree and cut it up for firewood.  

Next: pull out some coals and turn Bruce loose on breakfast.

We could often hear the wind howling in the trees above us but rarely did we feel the gusts.  It was, however, slightly breezy.  From all directions.  The swirling breeze sent the smoke in all directions on the compass and try as we might, we couldn't stay out of it for long.  It appears Bruce just got a face full.

Bacon is a wonderful invention.

New this year.  Fried crescent rolls.

I take a turn cooking.

Myself, Kenrick, Rob, Andy & Don

A first.  Rob goes for a tent - and didn't feel bad about it.  :)

Don's comfortable digs.

And my abode for the night. 

Kenrick hauls supplies back the the truck as we prepare to leave.

Rob, Kenrick, Don, Anthony, Andy and myself.

Bruce takes my spot.
Doug and Trevon had to leave early and missed the group photo.

For Rob's version:  Click Here

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hot & Cold

It wasn't Minnesota or North Dakota cold yesterday in central Illinois.  But it was cold by our standards.  Sunday had brought enough snow & Monday enough cold that the morning newspaper wasn't delivered, the mailed didn't come, and numerous business in Eureka closed all or part of the day; including the library, school, grocery store, etc.  As a matter of fact, I didn't go to work either.  So it was a good time to go shovel driveways for some friends & family.

The temperature when I started shoveling was about -12 with a nice breeze out of the north that produced a wind chill of about -35; so said the weatherman.  I figured my t-shirt, flannel shirt, windbreaker & sock cap would be enough since my body produces a rather substantial amount of heat when I'm working. 

Well I was wrong, it was more than enough.  After a few minutes, sweat is running down my neck so I tossed the cap.  Ahh.  That was better.  Let some of that heat escape.  Except about 10 minutes later with the perspiration starting to dampen the t-shirt I figured it was time for the jacket to go.  That worked pretty well.  Somewhere about then Brenda looked outside.  She opened the door far enough to ask me where my hat and coat were.  You see, she finds 72 to be about the bottom limit of her comfort zone.  She just doesn't understand!  :)