Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nights 177 and 178

Hi and welcome back!

I'm sorry that I am posting later than usual, but I was at my sister's gymnastics recital. Good job with your routines E.M.C.!

Last night we were hit by a major rain/thunder storm. It started around 6:30 and lasted for about an hour, so thankfully it was long gone by the time I went to bed.

Today when my mom and I were descending the second hill during our road ride, a groundhog ran across the road about 5 feet ahead of me. At first I thought that I was going to hit it, but thankfully it ran acroos the road faster than I expected.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nights 175 and 176

Hi and welcome back!

Welcome to the new reader from Cape Verde and the people who have been reading in Portugal!

Aron Ralston
I've been reading a book called Between A Rock And A Hard Place by Aron Ralston.  If you don't know his story, he was hiking alone in a canyon in Utah a few years ago, and his arm got pinned between a boulder and the canyon wall.  After almost six days he amputated his own arm and then hiked out of the canyon.  It's a really incredible story, and the book is very good.

On Tuesday night while I was reading, I noticed that there was a mosquito flying over my head, so I got out of my sleeping bag and tried to catch it. It was hard, but I did manage to catch it and throw it out of the tent.

I think I told you that I got my first road bike a week ago, and I've been riding it a lot.  I should reach 50 miles so far on Friday.  And don't forget that the Tour de France starts on Saturday, if you like that kind of thing.

Yesterday when my mom and I were riding we saw over a dozen rabbits. We also saw a skeleton from a deer carcas that we saw every bike ride last year.

On Wednesday night I bivouacked in the yard. Around 3 a.m. I woke up freezing, since I was just in my sleeping bag liner. I tried to warm up, but I couldn't, so I went into the tent. I had my 40 degree bag in it, and after that I was warm.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nights 173 and 174

Hi and welcome back!

Greetings to the new reader from Latvia!

On Sunday I forgot to tell you that earlier that day T.S. dared me to eat a cicada. I accepted the dare, so I roasted it in the campfire. Once it was roasted I pulled off its head and wings, pulled out the guts, and I ate it. It was better than I thought but it still tated like seafood that had gone bad.

Yesterday when my dad and I were in our yard we found a cicada that was just a head, wings, and half of its body. Amazingly it was still alive and able to move.  They have been really loud here the last few days.

The last two nights dad and I have hiked past the pond to the graveyard behind the church down the road.  There are a lot of stones from the 1800s, including one soldier who was killed in the Civil War.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Night 171 - The Great American Backyard Campout

Our Campsite
Hi and welcome back!

Last night my friends G.S., C.S., I.W., T.S. and T.S. camped out with me. The first thing that we (T.S., G.S and I) did was light a fire that we all roasted hot dogs on.

After that we all went on a hike. At one point early on in the hike C.S. disappeared. Right after that he jumped out of some tall grass and tried to scare us. Then I.W. kept trying to catch fireflies. I think he ended up only catching one or two.

Once we got back we lit another campfire, roasted marshmallows, and talked around it. After my dad went inside to bed we all tried to light a marshmallow on fire with my magnesium fire starter, but that ended unsuccessfully.

Heading out for a hike
The fire

Right after that we went to our tents. Only T.S. fell asleep easily. The rest of us had to listen to C.S. sing until 12:30.This morning C.S and I.W. started climbing the tallest tree in our yard. The tree is at least 60 feet tall. I.W. went at least 3/4 of the way up and C.S. made it all of the way up. On his way down a branch that he was on snapped in half. Thankfully he was holding onto a different branch with both hands, so he didn't fall. After that nobody else came close to falling.

Making Fire Sunday Morning
If you slept out last night, tell me all about it.  Did you have fun?  Did you get rained on?  Did you see the supermoon? (I have to thank the older T.S. for telling us all about the moon last night.)

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nights 169 and 170

Hi and welcome back!

Welcome to the viewer from Thailand!

On Thursday night when my dad and I hiked we went to the pond. On our way back we saw a meteor. This surprised me  because the next meteor shower isn't until August.

On Thursday night I slept in my parents' Sierra Designs Polaris without the fly on, even though it was probably the coldest that it had been in the past month and half. Once or twice while I was reading I was even able to see my breath.

When I woke up yesterday morning everything in the tent was wet. I think that it drizzled overnight and since there was no fly on the tent it all soaked through the fabric.

Since tonight is the night of the Great American Campout I am having a few friends come over to campout with me. Tomorrow I will post and talk about everything that I do with T.S., I.W., G.S., and C.S..

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nights 167 and 168

Hi and welcome back!

Happy late birthday E.M.C.!

Yesterday when my dad and I hiked around 10:00 it was sort of cloudy. Even though it was cloudy the moon still illuminated everything.  It was a really nice night.

Also yesterday my brother J.A.C. and my sister E.M.C. were going to sleep out with me, but of course they wimped out. I hope that my friends that are coming over for the Great American Campout won't do that!

Last night I was hoping that it wouldn't rain, because one of the vestibules was unstaked because all of my stakes are bent. Thankfully it didn't rain at all over night.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nights 165 and 166

Hi and welcome back!

First I would like to welcome to the visitors from Chile and Sweden!

Yesterday the Huffington Post had the article my dad's colleague K.P. wrote after he came to our house to interview me. It is currently on the front page of their ''Green'' section.

This has been my first full week of summer vacation so I have been riding my bike a lot more. A couple of times I have ridden up the hill, but daily my mom and I do a loop that we call Twin Hills. It is a ride that usually takes us about 25 minutes. We  call it Twin Hills because one road that we ride on goes over 2 steep hills that are side by side.

The other day while my dad and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail my mom took this picture of  2 deer that were behind my tent. She said Maisy went crazy trying to get out at them.  It was taken through a screen, so it's not really clear, but you can definitely see them!

Yesterday our neighbor told my dad that he had seen a black bear up on the hill and that we should watch out.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nights 163 and 164

Hi and welcome back!

First, welcome to the new reader from Cyprus!

Last night I went to bed earlier than usual because I was planning on waking up a little after 3:00 to go hike a small section of the Appalachian Trail near our house.

My dad and I were originally planning to be on an exposed ridge called Knife Edge by 5:30 eating breakfast and watching the sun rise, but unfortunately we both overslept and woke up at 4:30 instead. We decided to still hike, even though we wouldn't see the sunrise while eating breakfast.

It was good that we didn't try to hike in the dark, because it was very rocky, and even with headlamps we would have been tripping a lot on the exposed rocks and roots.

Some of the rocks on the way to Knife Edge

LRC eating oatmeal and looking at the view
Here are a more few pictures and videos from the hike:

We stopped to take pictures at an
outcropping of rock

We also met a thru-hiker while we were on our way back the car.  He told us that he started in Georgia exactly two months ago, and he's already more than halfway to Maine.  He was making really good progress!  He mentioned that he had camped at Powerline View, which is a clearing where power lines come over the mountain and you can see at least 15 miles to the north and south.  That was when we realized we had actually seen his tent when we were on our way in.

Powerline View to the north

Our total distance for the day was a little less than 6 miles, and we were back at the car by 9:00.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nights 161 and 162

Hi and welcome back!

Yesterday morning Maisy woke me up because she wouldn't stop barking. I was a little freaked out, because she was barking really loudly, but thankfully it was just my mom coming out to get Maisy to hike with her.

Yesterday afternoon I realized that the cicadas on the hill were getting loud. At first I was wondering what was making this constant buzzing sound. Then my mom told me that they were cicadas and that some of her friends had been complaining about them.

Last night I was woken up by some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard. It was so loud that it even made the ground shake a little bit. After that I slept soundly, except for when the loud rain woke me up for good at 7:45.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nights 159 and 160

Hi and welcome back!

Before I hiked yesterday I found a small toad on the patio. At first I wondered if it was one of the tadpoles from the container, but then I realized that they were all still in there, and they haven't really changed any in the last few weeks.

On Monday my dad and I went on a very wet hike. It had been drizzling earlier, but of course as soon as we left it started to rain harder. Thankfully we thought to wear shell pants because we knew that we would be walking through soaking 3 foot tall grass.

That night it POURED, but I managed to stay completely dry. I think that was because every once and a while I would get rid of the puddle (that sometimes leaks) that's on top of the tent.

Also on Monday, my dad's friend K.P. came to talk to me about the blog for an article he's writing.  If it's published I'll be sure to give you a link to it.  After we talked he had dinner with us and told us stories about all of his travels.  I think he's been just about everywhere!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nights 157 and 158 (my 100th post!)

Hi and welcome back!

On Friday night I took Maisy out to the tent with me. I was worried about her running away again, and I made the mistake of tying her to one of the tent poles. Overnight she must have been bored, because she chewed right through the leash and got away.

What's Left of the Leash
Our neighbor brought her over in the morning, and mom was mad at me--mainly because Maisy had chewed through ANOTHER leash.

Yesterday I hung all of my sleeping bags on the clothesline to air out after the rain, and I put my tent on its side so the floor would dry off. Because of this I kind of was forced to bivouack. 

I used the same gear that I used before, but I was very uncomortable this time. Halfway through the night I woke up hot and clammy. I realized that the bivvy wasn't breathing at all, so all of the moisture from my body was staying in the bivvy. I suffered through that for the rest of the night until it was 5:30 a.m., and then I ran inside.

L.R.C., A.H., and L.H.
Last night dad and I hiked to the pond with Maisy, and we took this video of a red winged blackbird.  I couldn't believe how loud it was! You can see some of the swallows flying around, too.

Today I took my rock climbing harness, some rope, a belay device, some carabiners, and a sleeping bag up into a tree in our yard and rigged up a way to be able to hang and sleep in the tree. Sometime this summer I will have to sleep up in the tree instead of my tent and tell you how it goes.

Also today my family went on a hike at a local trail with some of our friends. Part way through, A.H. (who I've told you about before), L.H., and I went down off of the trail to skip some rocks in the lake. Somehow it turned into a competition in between L.H. and me. We ended up tying with a best of 5 skips.

Tomorrow's the last day of school!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Nights 155 and 156

Hi and welcome back!

I would like to welcome the viewer from Thailand!

Yesterday around 2:00 it started to rain.  It wasn't heavy, but it kept up for more than a day. When Maisy and I hiked it had been raining for a while, so all of the grass in the field got me soaked up to my waist.

Snapping Turtle (from Wikipedia)
As we were passing the pond I noticed a rock near the edge that I had never seen before, so I went over to look at it. When we were about 10 feet away from it, Maisy started to bark at it. That's when I realized that it was a turtle. When Maisy went up to it, it tried to bite her on the snout, which told me that it was a snapping turtle! Right after that we practically ran home.

All last night it was raining. A small puddle formed on the top of the tent. Overnight as it grew it started to drip down into the tent. Thankfully the only thing that it dripped on was my pillow. But unfortunately my copy of Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer was ruined by the rain.

Tonight dad and I hiked around the field as the rain was ending.  We went back to the pond to see if the turtle was still there, but it was gone.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nights 153 and 154

Hi and welcome back!

Before I forget, greetings to the new reader from Bulgaria!

Yesterday during our hike my dad and I saw a doe run 25 feet in front of us. Unfortunatley Maisy was not on her leash so she chased after it. But after a while we managed to get her to hike with us. We were both amazed by how fast she can run. When she's chasing something (which is most of the time), she can be on one side of the field, then just a few seconds later we hear her 300 yards away in a different direction!

Later during our hike yesterday we found a bone half buried in the dirt. Dad and I agreed that it was probably a deer bone, because it was about 1 and a half inches in diameter. Too big to be from a groundhog or coyote.

Today instead of hiking I went on a walk with my brother J-- and my mom. During our walk I saw a small rabbit and 2 horses. One of the horses was all brown but the other was brown with white ankles, mane, and tail.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nights 151 and 152

Ready for the 22n
Hi and welcome back!

First, I would like to welcome the visitors from Morocco and Finland!

My dad's colleague has 2 year old grandson who already has his tent set up for June 22. Here's a picture of him, taken in his backyard in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I can't wait to hear how you do sleeping out in a few weeks!

On Saturday night, when I was about to go looking for Maisy, she ran into me while I was still in our yard. I was surprised because after that she stayed within 10 feet of me during our whole hike.

Yesterday during our hike my dad and I noticed that the puddles had shrunk so much that there no more than a dozen and a half tadpoles still alive.

Last night at about 11:00 I was woken up by a sound that was coming from near the pond. I realized that it was a turkey gobbling down in the hollow behind the pond.
T-Shirt from The Muir Project

Today my mom, Maisy, and I hiked all of the way up. We had a really good time up of about 11:30. 

I've been meaning to tell you that my friends at The Muir Project sent me an awesome t-shirt. Here's a picture.  The letters JMT (John Muir Trail) are made up of a bunch of locations on the trail. Thanks guys!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Nights 149 and 150!

Hi and welcome back!

I want to welcome the visitors from Montenegro.  Even though I don't know where that is.

On Thursday night my mom tried to sleep outside again. She brought Maisy with her, but because she was so crazy (the dog, not mom), and because her allergies were bothering her, she didn't stay out for more than 15 minutes.

It's been hot here the last few days.  At night it's usually very warm until about 9:30, but after that it's fine, and sometimes it gets pretty chilly over night or very early in the morning. Depending on what time I go out, I've been either sleeping in the liner or with the 40 degree bag unzipped and laid over top of me.

I'm about to head out for a hike by myself in the dark to look for Maisy. She ran away when she hiked with my dad about two hours ago and she's still not home. I think she smelled a rabbit and wandered off. She doesn't go far when she runs away, but we worry about her getting sprayed by a skunk or fighting with a porcupine or something, so I need to go look for her.

Thanks for reading!