Last weekend I got away to central New Hampshire for another NEHHA hammock hang. We were over in a cove at the end of 5 miles of dirt road, tucked down at the base of Mount Cardigan, on 270 acres of private land.
This is a view up to the northwest over the back side of what is known as Firescrew. In the earlier part of the last century there was a huge forest fire in the region, and the top of this particular mountain produced a “firescrew” hundreds of feet tall where the winds swirled coming over the ridge. The forest has regenerated and re-grown to the point that it has already been lumbered over at least one since then. Our hostess’s property runs up along that first ridge going up Firescrew, and then much further up this ridge [behind where the picture was taken] and then off to the right a good ways. 270 acres is a sizable bit of property. We were camping in a hemlock grove quite far down this hillside, about on the left-hand edge where you can see that there’s a stream valley before it rises back up to ridges on Firescrew.
We had about 35 hammocks scattered through 4 or 5 acres of the grove on both sides of a “singing” stream that tumbled along a deep-cut bedrock course just below us that provided incredible background music to fall asleep to.
In the second photo, my AMOK Draumr is the green tarp on the right just past my friend Chazz’s “SuperTarp”… You can see why it would be called that.
It was down to 23°F when I got up Saturday morning. However, I had slept completely warm and toasty, and in perfect comfort in the Draumr. The difference between the experience on the ground, even in a tent, is extraordinary. My only problem was my inflatable pad blew out one of the seams between the baffles while I was setting up Friday afternoon. It was sort of like having two loaves of French bread stuffed down one side of the pad. Then around 4 AM, I heard a “Fwupht” and the adjoining seam blew out. This had me rolled over to the left hand edge pretty badly, but I was still able to fall back asleep until around 6:30.
Typically of me, I didn’t actually end up taking that many pictures because I was having too much fun. Quite a few of this crowd are very accomplished backcountry chefs, and food just kept rolling off the fires, the stoves and grills, and the Dutch ovens. I had brought along the chain saw just in case, and I logged quite a bit of standing deadwood to assure that we left our hostess with more wood than we used. This ended up being a good idea, since we needed a four-inch bed of coals just for the 35 packages of chicken breasts with brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, carrots, and bacon the one of the guys “casually” through together. And bacon… Did I mention that one of the other folks brought 16 pounds of smoked bacon? A-yuh.
This is the second time that I have hung with these people, and I’m even more convinced now than I was before that this is something I will want to continue to participate in. I turn 66 years old next Friday, so I know my limits, and I won’t be planning on anymore events before spring. It is simply too cold for my blood after this point. However, come April, I’ll be back “hanging” with these people… Just for the food.