Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Journey Begins

Today was rather uneventful. I got a later start than I had anticipated (something that turned into a running theme of the trip.) K and E stayed behind when I rolled out around 1:30 p.m. and made my way to Atlanta to pick up my pack and tent from REI. I got there in plenty of time (they closed at 6 p.m. and I got there not long after 5), and I picked up the pack and tent from the rentals department and then picked up a few supplies for the trip. I got this cool green shirt and really lightweight pair of hiking pants. Both were synthetic, quick-drying fabrics. This is a good idea since we're taking a river trail that seems to have more time spent in water than on land from Mickey's description. I also picked up a couple of extra pairs of hiking socks, snacks and a couple of other things I thought might be useful on the trip.

Things started going horribly wrong when I finally made it to Mickey's parents' house. I mentioned to him that I picked up a tent along with my pack and he looked at me like I was an idiot. It's true that I am an idiot, but I didn't realize that I didn't need to get the tent. Mickey had said that he had anything that we would share along with a sleeping bag and pad. I've seen Mickey's backpacking tent and I know that I'm not his romantic partner. Not only did I have no interest in sleeping on top of or spooning with Mickey in the tight confines of his ultra-portable tent, I'm not sure both of us would have fit safely. I'm more than double the mass of his real girlfriend (his imaginary one is freaking huge, though) so it'd really be squeezing three people in a two-person tent, and those two-person tents aren't really intended for two American people.

Turns out that Mickey had intended on just hanging a tarp from two trees and calling it shelter. That thought hadn't even crossed my mind. Now that it has, I'm not so sure that I like it so much. The idea of camping in the middle of the largest roadless wilderness area in the state in a place where black bears live didn't sound wise. Sure the flimsy walls of a tent wouldn't stop the strong limbs and sharp claws of a bear from ripping into my flesh into shreds, but at least I couldn't see him coming.

After dinner and organizing my pack under the watchful gaze of Mickey, I lay awake in my unfamiliar guest bed, wrote this post and trembled in fear at the thought of the coming night in the wild.


Meaghan said...

Next time, take him to a beer gathering and make him feel like the idiot!

Yeah, I can't imagine sleeping under just a tarp. The bugs alone would keep me awake all night.

Mickey said...

Good call picking up the synthetic clothing, huh?

Meaghan- Yeah, that's the problem with the tarp, and the bugs did keep me pretty bothered.

Julie said...

I just finished watching "Into the Wild" so I have no sympathy for your fears.