Friday, January 29, 2010

Waiting for the snow to fall

Once again it is snowing here in Western North Carolina. Four inches and it is still coming down. I knew it was coming, they told me so on the radio, and with the distinct possibility that I will not be able to drive all weekend I decided I'd better take the dog for a quick little mini adventure after work. We went to Jone's Gap State Park where I figured there was the least chance of getting stuck.

I had my pack packed but at the last moment decided I would only take a water bottle and would run instead of hike. I did what we call the Overlook Loop that I do frequently with Jonathon during the warmer months - Rim of the Gap to the #6 and 20 Connector and then take Pinnacle Pass back.. Inside my pack I left behind my 'emergency kit' that I always carry. It has everything I feel I would need if things ever go bad and I have to bivouac. Here is what is in it:


The big white thing in the upper right is a tyvek rain jacket and in the eye dropper is bleach for water purification. On a good day there is also a mini bottle of Jim Beam in there. The pack itself has a whistle on it. Other than the whiskey and fire starters I've never used any of it and really don't put myself in situations where I might need to. But it is always good to know I have it.

So, anyway today I left it behind because I was running and runners don't carry extra weight. Like I said I knew the snow was coming so I did take the extra precaution of actually signing in before taking off up the trail. We made somewhat quick work of the steep climb up to the ridge and then only paused briefly at the overlook where I could see the snow rolling in over the next ridge. We went straight back down and within a minute it was dumping snow on us. The technical rocky sections were covered ice and before I saw it I took a nasty spill. Then even after I knew it was icy I fell again. But I came to my senses and stopped running and walked the rest of the way back to the truck. I never needed my emergency kit but won't be leaving it behind again. Runners, lol.


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