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primitive camping

We had a free weekend for some reason, so we called some friends to go on a getaway: an over-night stay at where ever we ended up with whatever we packed in.  RC answered the invite.  We hiked in about 3 miles and camped for the night.


Here are the guys at the beginning of our trek in.


  Along the way we saw this amazing mossy old oak tree.  It resides just a bit off the path.  The undergrowth is not as dense beneath it as it was around it; as though out of respect by the rest of the plant life.  The center hole was not occupied by anything large enough to see at a glance.  It seemed to me to have the look of both majesty and old horror movie.




Here is one of many pretty fungi we saw along the way. 



A small clearing leads back to a beautiful grove.  The ground conditions suggest it had been explored on many occasions.



As we walked and began seeing wild edibles, it became part of our trek to seek out and identify them.  RC identified this as wild sweet pea.



Here is bull nettle.  The roots are edible.  The hair-fine thorns will make your life miserable... so harvest with great care and at your own risk.



We were able to photograph one of the protected toads of the State Park.  He is so small he could have rested comfortably on my fingernail.



We came upon this murky pond over a rise.  Surface movement indicated life beneath, but we did not investigate.



There were many ground spiders along our path.  Most of them were hard to photograph but this one was nice enough to pose for the camera.



Here we have green briar.  The bright green shoots at the tip are edible and taste like nuts.  Just don't get the rest of the plant wrapped around your ankle.  The thorns are wicked.  (voice of experience)



We spotted dewberries growing as well.  Dewberries are both edible and tasty. These are still red, indicating they are not yet ripe.


Next we came upon this beautiful yucca plant growing amongst the trees.


The bright green end of the yucca stalk is edible.  The leaves of the plant can also be used to make cordage.


Here RC points out heart wood... good for fires.


The lovely Prickly Pear Cactus.  This is both edible and medicinal.



More pretty fungus growing along the path.  Can anyone identify this one?
(really, I would like to know)



The guys poked around this rotting log looking for anything edible, but all they found were fire ants.


More dewberries!  Some of these are ripe.


Dewberries are this dark purple color when ripe.  They are a sweet and juicy berry.  This one was already being feasted upon by small insects.


Another pretty fungus.


and more fungi.



Off the path and through some trees we came to this clearing.  The clearing proved to have water, wild edibles, wild flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and other wonders...


This common thistle we saw in the clearing is both edible and medicinal.



And again, the cactus, both edible and medicinal.  The cacti growing in the clearing were in full bloom.


I took this picture because  I like the flower.


Here we see signs of another wild edible... venison.  There were both large and small deer tracks through the clearing.



And growing on the opposite side of the clearing was plantain.  This wild plant, often considered a weed where we are from, is also both edible and medicinal.



We also found bones in the same area.  Something enjoyed a meal.


Also on the edible list, pine needles.  Pine needle tea is wonderful.



This young cactus leaf is perfect for harvesting.


And there were more pretty fungi.  (can someone ID this one too?)


And more fungi.


Another picture for reasons of beauty.


Back on the trail, we came across this small lake...


This lovely lake was most definitely occupied by aquatic life.



After some more hiking, "we" found a great campsite off the trail.



The guys declared the campsite suitable.  It was time to set up camp.


I had packed in the 2 person Tube Tent


Yes, I made him set it up... so I could take pictures of course.


Tie one end of the rope to a tree...


... string it thru the tube tent...


... tie off the other end.  Here CW uses stones to weight down the corners.


All done.


Meanwhile, RC was putting up the bivy tent he is famous for making himself.


I realized he had netting and we did not.  I would be envious before the night was over



And here RC blows up his air mattress.  It gave me a giggle until about 3am, when, once again, I became envious.


CW decided to tarp the tube tent for good measure so we would have extra room on the ends to store our gear and boots.


RC completes his set up.  It is a very nice set up.


RC puts on his lovely blue camp shoes and gets comfortable.



Because of my height and small backpack (the Maxpedition Baby Condor), I was able to wear this rig at my waist.  This is my old tried and true Maxpedition Proteus with accessory packs on the belt: mini Rollypoly with Nalgene, M-1, M-2, and Rollypoly medium.  Also on the belt was my Howler in a custom sheath by Armoralleather.




After a while it was dinner time.


CW sets up one stove...




RC sets up another stove...




CW carves an eating utensil while the water boils.


RC completes the dinner preparations.


Dinner was delicious.  But the camera batteries had run out.

Reports indicate we had a young skunk visit us in the night.

Obligations made for an early departure the next morning.

We had a great time and look forward to doing it again.

Thanks for joining us RC!



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