Monday, August 11, 2008

NNY08SCT

Despite scary weather predictions, 8 brave souls braved the wilds of Northern New York to come up to Little Green Pond for the 1st Annual Northern New York Summer Camping Trip...we got really lucky with the weather, almost no rain while everyone was at camp, and we had a super time!



Everyone arrived on Friday afternoon, and setup camp...as seems to be the rule when ZSers get together, we had much more food and booze than was needed ("It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"...if it's true for the zombocalypse, than it's probably true for camping trips in the summertime, when the living is easy)...


We had everything from hardcore 4-season tents to sleeping tarp setups to hammocks, which was nice (as was the case with the rest of the gear that we all brought along) for an ongoing show-and-tell throughout the weekend...


With Outoforder2day's new stove and duster coat and hat, there was definitely a little MORGAN in him...


After everyone got set up, we wandered around a bit, checking out gear and beer and pretending no fear (about the scary clouds on the horizon...which didn't end up drowning us)...


Lord Osis and Deschain, the Canadian contingent, were the last to arrive...on foot no less...we soon found out that they had taken a wrong turn not to far from camp, and had gotten Lord Osis's Miata (BOV of choice in the smooth-road-pocaylpse)...we made our way out, and in true ZS fashion got it un-high-centered in no time at all...well...less than 3 hours anyway...


There were some storm clouds in the distance that threatened, but didn't deliver, a deluge, but the downed birch trees in the pond looked cool to me, and made me think of bleached bones, picked clean by fish...


Famine and Outoforder2day made some dutch-oven pizza...sorta...but the dutch-oven cooking got better during the course of the weekend, which is, after all, one of the things we do these weekends for...live-fire practice with our stuff...


After dinner, we started in to drinking, lots of bourbon and scotch and a few sips of Bad Medicine and some yummy mead and some raunchy (yet strangely popular) coffee flavored brandy and some moonshine and some Rhum and some vodka and some beer and some cigars...


Add all of the above to a chilly evening and some earlier exertions (camp setup and digging out the Miata) and comfy campchairs and a warmly flickering campfire, and you can understand the campin' coma that all of us fell into shortly after dark...


Famine isn't as scary/sociopathic as this picture would seem to indicate, but try to take his spork and he'll cut out your spleen...with the spoon end...


I woke up the next morning, from a blissful and comfy sleep in my Hennessy Hammock, and found the camp strangely quiet at a bit before 7am...the blue thing that you can see hanging from the tree to the right is my Katadyn Base Camp water filter...I hate pumping water filters, and this thing eliminates that whole step in the process, weighs almost nothing, and doesn't take up much space...yay!


It was a pretty morning, which promised good things ahead, although it was a chilly start to the day...


I went in to the pond to get some water for tea, and it felt dramatically warmer than the air...


Despite our best efforts the night before, there was still plenty of booze left over for the second night (although we did need to resupply our beer cooler)...


This cooler has a handy table that worked great except when I flipped the lid over and sent bottles flying all over the campsite...


Once everyone was up, we had a war council, and planned out the rest of the day...getting from one side of the car-eating bog to the other was the first order of business, and we had some people walk alongside the cars, ready to provide a push if/when needed...a trip to the range (such as it is) was the next stop...


It's not much of a range, but the hours are great, I almost never have to deal with crowds, and it's free...we set up a bunch of zombie targets at a distance for rifles...


...and a few more for shotguns...with a few shotgun shells for tricky-shooting...closer up...


We started off with a safety talk, and set up the firing lines, and gun "tables"...some fun was had with all sorts of firearms and loads, from the super-silent Aguila Super Colibri rounds to 12G buckshot to M1 Garand...


Everyone had a chance to try out all of the guns (we had more guns than people on this trip)...


I had fun shooting and sharing my new (to me ) SKS with the assembled multitude...sure, you can fire it with the bayonet folded in, but why would you want to?


Famine and some others took a crack at firing my project-gun, a 20G single-shot break-action shotgun that I chopped down to 18.25 inches and painted fluorescent orange...it's a silly gun, but I have had fun playing with it...and it still goes bang...and I'm not likely to lose it if I drop it in the grass at the range...


We took a pause in the middle of the range-visit to conduct a scientific test of emergency rations...we tried Mainstay, MayDay, Datrex, and SOS...we all evaluated each bar on taste and how thirsty it made us and how long it would take us to get sick of it...the clear winner was the SOS bar, and the MayDay bar was the loser...


I did the traditional run-around picture at the redneck range, having had a great time shooting a variety of firearms without incident or injury...


On the way home, we stopped off at Donnelly's Ice Cream for a cone of superb ice-cream with the best view in the Adirondacks...


We got back in the hottest part of the day, and a bunch of us went swimming and swinging off of the rope swing that our campsite offered brave souls (which we all were, although I was brave first)...everyone got out without picking up any of the redonkulously long leeches that we saw later in the evening, and it was a great way to cool off and prove that Ivory Soap still floats in a lake (and is a fun way to get unstinky after a sweaty range-trip)...



For supper that night, we field-tested some Wornick Squad Trays, the cornbread stuffing and the pork ribs in BBQ sauce...they went very well together, and although none of us would like to live off of them in the long term, they are a fine option for feeding groups of hungry people reasonably good food that is easy to afford/store/prepare...the 8 of us finished off 18 servings of each, and still had room for booze aplenty later in the evening...


There was a beautiful sunset on Saturday night, with no serious threats of rain or even much wind, so we just sat around and enjoyed each other's company until dark, when it was time for the movies to begin...


I have a power inverter that I got from Amazon.com that runs off of my car, that is capable of powering a TV/DVD player for hours without consuming almost any gas (we watched 4 hours of zombie movies on Saturday night, and my gas tank indicator went down much less than a 16th of a tank), and it eliminates the hassles one sometimes has to deal with when running a generator...noise, shelter from the rain, moving the thing...all taken care of because my Element becomes the generator...

We watched "Shaun of the Dead" first, followed by, "Special Dead"...both are hilarious movies made better by good company and goodly amounts of liquor...


Outoforder2day may or may not be asleep in this picture, as the night wore on, it became an increasingly thin line for us all...the important thing is that he never dropped his drink...


Deschain and Lord Osis watched and probably enjoyed the movies, although they, and everyone else looked at me with some degree of horror as "Special Dead" began...


Sunday morning was mostly spent cleaning up camp, lingering over breakfast, and enjoying the last few hours of what had been a truly great camping trip with a super group of people...no duds in the lot...Festus Hagen brought down some dishes to wash, and ended up washing everything, himself included in the pond...

I had a great time, and can't wait for the next NNY camping trip this winter...the winter trip is hard and tough, and the summer trip is the payoff for the severe cold that we braved this last February...the 2 trips balance each other very nicely, and I honestly can't say which I prefer, but having to choose from between these 2 great outings definitely means that I'm already in the high country...thanks everyone for coming, and helping, and for making this such a great weekend...I hope that you all had as much fun as I did!

Jamie - nfa