Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moraine View State Recreation Area

So I was working in my office on Friday and around about noon I just got the itch to get out.  My back was hurting from sitting in my chair and I was losing concentration fast.  I checked the IDNR website and looked at Moraine View since it was about the right distance.  The website indicates that the park has a backpacking trail and primitive camping.  So I wrapped up, packed up and took off for Moraine View State Recreation Area.

I got there about 5pm and the first thing I saw was a bunch of wild turkeys walking around in front of the park office.  I snapped some photos and then headed over to the nature trail.  It is about a half mile and I walked the loop in just a few minutes.  Something happened to the camera while I was hiking the equestrian trail.  It got turned on in my pocket and erased all the first part of the day’s activity.

The main campground host showed me where the primitive camping was and I headed over there.  I hiked some of the backpacking loop and then got onto the equestrian trail.  I took that trail as far north and east as it went and then turned around and came back to set up the hammock, have dinner, and hit the hay.  It was hot and humid, so I put the UQ off to the side at first.  After about 3 hours it got cool enough to deploy the UQ.  Unfortunately, it did not get cool enough for yahoos to stop screaming and yelling all night. 

The Barred Owls were quite loud through the night, the yahoos were louder.  I did see a Barred Owl while I was hiking.  I also saw turkeys, some cooper’s hawks, a kestrel, red tail hawk, rabbits, squirrels, goldfinches, cardinals, swallows, frogs, deer, and mice.  Early in the morning a humming bird buzzed right over the hammock.

On this trip, I used an alcohol stove for the first time.  It was a pop can stove with an open center and side jets.  No pot stand required.  It worked like a charm and within 20 minutes my beef stroganoff was ready to eat.

Total hiked was around 5.3 miles or so.  Pack weight was somewhere around 17-18 pounds.
I must say that under 20 pounds seems to be a tipping point as far as comfort goes.  I walked most of this hike with the shoulder straps very loose and all the weight was on the hip belt.  It was almost as if there was no weight at all on my shoulders.


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