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Backpacking

Sunny fall day on the trail
Another thing I've gotten nostalgic for, lately, is backpacking. The above photo is from a trip in the northwestern Adirondacks in October 1991 with my college chum the Ott Lake Rambler. We hiked in Dolly Sods Wilderness Area of West Virginia before that. And before that, in 1986, was the big canoe trip in the Adirondacks (backpacks were involved). I hiked in the Hoist Lakes Quiet Area in northern Michigan with a coworker around 1989 or 1990. And I solo hiked in Pictured Rocks earlier in 1991, in the relatively flat east-central area of the park (written about in mid-October).

Then I got into my western road trips. I'd use the backpack more as luggage, and I would camp right next to my car. But I was alone and there were things like rattlesnakes, so going into the backcountry was probably a little risky for an easterner. I didn't feel right proposing a trip with the Rambler, since it would take him away from his young kids. But I didn't know anyone else to hike with. The local friends who had outdoor experience had different experiences in their youth, which were pretty much incompatible with what I wanted. I bought the house, which affected my ability to travel. And I got fat and out of shape anyway. I have a lot of excuses. The point is, the only camping I've done in the last decade has been at folk festivals, which is kind of like claiming you love Mexican food because you get the enchiladas at Ram's Horn Family Restaurant.

When I was a kid, I thought about through-hiking the Appalachian Trail or one of the other long trails. The Pacific Crest Trail seemed awful challenging, and the North Country Trail wasn't completely mapped out yet in the late 1970s and early 80s. At this point I'd be happy doing something like a few days in Pictured Rocks again. I have all the old gear; whether it all works is a question to be answered. Then again, I always did like gear shopping...

Here's another pic in my Flickr stream from October 1991 in the Adirondacks:
Adirondack waterfall

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
changeling72
Mar. 19th, 2012 09:09 am (UTC)
Looks great. Is it something you would do now?
songdogmi
Mar. 19th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
I'm interested in it (at least this week; next week I might have a different scheme going). It's hard to know when I could do it, though, since I tend to be pre-committed for most of my time off from work for other events. It might be something I could do in the fall, assuming I figured out where to go and other logistics. I don't think I'm too old for it yet. :)
jjfmi
Mar. 19th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
Great shots! I've taken waterfall photos before (usually in the Smokies), but could never capture the water quite that well...
songdogmi
Mar. 19th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I should say, the pic of me was when I handed the camera off to the Rambler (whose name is Dave, hence I use a moniker to avoid confusion).

A tripod helps a lot, although I probably did this one without a tripod. I was pretty stable twenty years ago; now, I don't know if I could pull it off without a tripod. It was pretty bright out that day, so the shutter speed didn't have to be too long to get a good exposure, but it did have to be at least 1/4 second because that's when you get the effect of the water flowing like salt.

Edited at 2012-03-19 06:15 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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