Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Walk Thoughts #200: final approach and beyond

The next and final batch of images for today is of my final approach to a dam with a long name: 합천창녕보, or Hapcheon Changnyeong Dam. Quite a mouthful. I also have pics showing when I passed the dam, plus a few images of my riverside campsite, which wasn't too hard to find.

I chose to set up camp on a sandy, beach-like area. Actor Hayden Christensen gets a lot of grief for his corny "sand... it gets everywhere" speech from "Attack of the Clones," but the fact is that sand does get everywhere if you're not careful, and it gets everywhere even if you are. To solve the problem of sand getting past the lip of my bivy sack, I dragged the bivy so that the opening sat pointing upward on a plant-covered hill. I also figured out the best way to insert myself into the bivy while simultaneously solving the problem of how to unroll the foam bedroll inside the sack. To do this, I sat cross-legged at the opening, inserted my feet, then shuffled inside, using my feet to unroll the bedroll as I slipped deeper into the bivy. This definitely felt like the reverse of the birthing process, as if I were crawling into a giant uterus or being vaginally swallowed by Bilqis in American Gods.

The bivy is warm enough inside that I don't even need a sleeping bag. The weather will be comfortably cool without being cold, so I have no worries.

You'll note below that my camp stove works beautifully. It uses a chemical briquette that is a pain in the ass to light, but once it gets going, it can definitely boil a small pot of water.

Speaking of water: I also fished out two liters of water from the river using one of my plastic bottles. I blasted the water with iodine tablets plus a supplement to remove most of the chemical-y taste. I'll filter the water through my Grayl in the morning, adding it to my CamelBak to bring me up to full capacity.

I'm now in my bivy, having used my portable charger to recharge my phone's battery. Because I'm worried about condensation and humidity, I'll be storing the phone and charger in a plastic bag for the night.

It was windy while it was still light out, but there's no wind now. I tried to take a picture of what seemed to be a full moon, but cell-phone cameras never do justice to celestial phenomena.

I thought I had this area all to myself, but some Korean guys have been traipsing about. One of them waved his flashlight at my bivy, so I know I've been found. Just my luck, right? This is just like what happens to me in public restrooms: right when I think I have the restroom to myself and can sit down to take a peaceful shit, some asshole barges in thirty seconds after I sit on the throne. Never a moment's peace, I tell you.

Oh: I guess I should explain the camp cooking. If you've read my 2008 walk blog, you know I did an extensive review of several brands of freeze-dried camp food, and the brand Mountain House came out the clear winner. I've stuck with MH ever since. 

Prep is easy: boil water, rip open food pack, remove desiccant sachet, pour in boiling water, stir, zip-seal food pack, wait ten minutes, then eat. As I said: easy. 

One last thing: as you see, my final destination, the Nakdong River Estuary Certification Center,  is now under 150 kilometers away. Woo-hoo!

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