Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Mountain Biking and Camping

Monday, June 18th, 2007

It was another great weekend. Sarah had a class Saturday morning, as she will the next several weeks, so I planned to go mountain biking with Dave at Brown County. He was still a bit sick, but wanted to ride anyway. We opted for a change of pace and headed directly to Hesitation Point from the lower parking lot. We were both riding really well, especially considering the fact that Dave was sick … and I developed a headache right before we started riding. I was feeling a little sluggish, so I was riding a little slower than usual, but I wasn’t making many mistakes.

I don’t often ride Hesitation Point, largely because it has a lot of technical obstacles (mostly rock gardens, and one rock waterfall). But this time, following Dave, I was able to clear most of the obstacles. I watched what line he took and tried to follow his lead — and for the most part, it worked. He did a few surprising things I wouldn’t have thought to try, like suddenly turning the handlebars at key points. I need to learn a few more tricks, but now I can finally see how if I can learn what line to take, maybe someday I’ll be able to clear everything there. We also rode the North Tower Loop “backwards” (counter-clockwise) on our way back.

Sarah and I had planned to go camping at Morgan-Monroe State Forest Saturday night. This was our first time camping together, and the first time either of us had gone camping in a very long time. We bought a tent a little while back, a Eureka Tetragon 7, but hadn’t had a chance to go camping yet. We were anxious to give it a shot, and borrowed some gear from my mom and bought a few other things.

We got off to a pretty late start, and didn’t arrive at the state forest until it was almost dark. We picked up a registration card at the forest office and went to find a campsite. We found a pretty good site, with its fire pit set back toward the woods, and a good place for the tent not far from it. We pitched the tent and realized we had forgotten to bring pillows. We also needed firewood, so we figured we’d go find some and drop off the registration card and camping fee ($8).

Finding firewood was a lot more difficult than we expected. Morgan-Monroe State Forest is near Martinsville, a terrible town infamous for its large population of KKK members. A lot of the people there are just plain scary, in a Deliverance sort of way. It’s like a whole town full of the kinds of people you find at Wal-Mart at 3:00 am. And among other places, we ended up at their Wal-Mart. We looked for firewood at several different places, and even Wal-Mart didn’t have any — but we bought a hatchet there, which we should have had anyway. The gas station outside Wal-Mart did have firewood, so we bought a bundle there and drove back to our campsite, forgetting to drop off our registration card and fee along the way. We figured we’d worry about that later.

Once back at the campsite, I started a fire while Sarah poured the first whiskey and diet cokes. We never used to drink Diet Coke in any fashion, but with this diet, even just the whiskey itself has more calories than we should consume, so we went the Jack and Diet Coke route — it’s surprisingly tolerable, especially once you’ve already had a few. You really don’t even notice at that point.

Us

Sarah and Rob by the fire Rob

Rob and me Fire

Since I had the hatchet, I couldn’t resist hacking at some branches we found to supplement the bundle of firewood we had purchased. It was kind of fun for a while. We enjoyed the fire for a bit (even though it was hot outside, the fire didn’t bother us) and waited for it to develop some coals so we could cook bratwurst. We were starving and getting anxious. We decided I was going to make two brats for Sarah and three for myself, but I dropped one of mine into the fire. Whoops. There’s something great about food cooked over an open fire. It just tastes better.

Bratwurst
Bratwurst cooked over the campfire

After dinner, I decided to ride my bicycle down to the forest office, which was only about half a mile away. I was getting a little drunk, and of course, it was extremely dark, but I held a flashlight in one hand. Some fellow campers who were still up watched in disbelief as I rode by their campsite — who is this loon riding a bike with a flashlight on a gravel road in the middle of the night?

I didn’t see any cars on the road. In fact, I didn’t see much at all, aside from lots of lightning bugs.

Night bike ride
The view from my bicycle.

I made it back to our campsite without incident, and Sarah was surprised I wasn’t gone longer. I was gone maybe 10 minutes.

We drank some more and decided it was a good time to make s’mores. They sure were delicious! We each made two and I wanted another one, so I put a marshmallow on a skewer. As I was holding it over the fire, it caught fire and fell off the skewer, landing on the ground. Always thinking fast, I stepped on it — putting out the fire, but also leaving a gooey marshmallow mess on the sole of my shoe.

S'mores Marshmallow on shoe

At this point, we stepped up the debauchery a notch and had hot, wild, beautiful, drunken sex next to the open fire. Thus, we completed number 87 on Sarah’s 101 List and experienced a wonderful first for both of us.

After this point, my memory gets a little hazy. I know we went to the bathroom, put out the fire, and got in the tent. More debauchery followed, after which we passed out.

We woke up a bit after 9:00 am, feeling a bit less than 100%. We had drunk an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, and we had mild hangovers. We had planned on hiking in the morning, but didn’t feel up for it, and it was hot. We ate a small breakfast and hung out a little bit.

Me Sarah and Rob at the campsite

After that, we packed our stuff and headed home. Along the way, we saw this:

Rooster
This rooster was strutting his stuff along the side of the road.

5 Responses to “Mountain Biking and Camping”

  1. John Says:

    I’m a whiskey man also. No coke though. Ice. Crown Royal for this guy. Less filling and tastes great.

    I’ll reserve comment on where the whiskey led. It always does.

  2. Bud Buckley Says:

    Thanks for sharing that. it’s so nice to see you two looking so happy.

  3. Jett Says:

    A bottle of Jack and still you’re getting the light just right for the photos. You’re good.

    I really like the orange light on your faces, but it’s the Hot Dog and Sun Chips that remind me of night-time cookouts during the summer.

  4. Marty Says:

    Sounds like a fun camping trip. My wife and I have talked time and again about going, but haven’t been able to get ourselves organized. But I think it might be a great idea – minus the Jack Daniels, add good tequila, of course.

    Oh, and your dog looks ridiculously happy about your camping trip.

  5. Pete Says:

    Drunken sex in public. Woo!

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