Hammock Camping at Ratcliff Lake

March 19-20 was a nice trip to Ratcliff Lake campground to meet some of the Hammockforums personalities and see some different hammocks. Unfortunately, I notice I took fewer pictures of people than I did of the hammocks and stuff. I seem to have that tendency.

Slinky got there sometime on Thursday to do some fishing and snag us a campsite or two. I arrived early Friday afternoon under sunny skies and warm temperatures. I proceeded to set up my Eno Doublenest hammock with its guide gear tarp for my first night of hammock camping.

Ratcliff Lake 19-20 March 2010

Four C Trail, Davey Crockett National Forest, Ratcliff, TX

I’ve been working on planning a hiking trip for this trail. Unfortunately, there’s really not many good maps out there. I found a SINGLE map, but it was just an image without coordinates in the margins. How is someone supposed to use a map like this? It’s really not a map if you think about it…it’s just a picture. You can’t even use a compass with it. But I suppose the folks who created want you to buy the real thing, but that’s still a bit dangerous.

ENO Hammock Test Hang

Today’s a nice day, and I finished sewing loops in my tree huggers last night, so I did some test hanging.

I’m happy to report everything went off without a hitch. I hung the hammock from my newly built pergola. It uses 6×6 posts, and the short side is about 14′ wide. I figured doing it in a controlled setting like this would go off a bit easier than trying to find the right two trees in the woods at the back of the yard for a test hang.

I’m using a whoopie sling/tree hugger setup with a couple of SMC rings, too.

Building a Pergola

This has been in the makings since my wife and I bought our first home in 2008. When we bought the place, it was new, and the builder hadn’t bothered to do anything with the yard. No grass, no landscaping, nothing. It was just a bare sandy lawn. We decided then that we were going to make this place look nice while we lived here.

This is what it looked like when we moved in:
Backyard & Patio Building
I was beginning to lay out the patio and pour the concrete footings to prepare for the pergola nearly 2yrs ago.

Suspension Rebuild and New Grips

Today was maintenance day for my old 2003 Specialized Stumpy FSR. Very little of this bike is stock anymore. Basically just the frame, fork, and rear shock (and a few drivetrain bits believe it or not). Being that I’ve been sick and haven’t ridden this bike in so long, I figured it was due for some maintenance. Suspension maintenance in particular. I’ve slacked a bit, and never even changed the oil in this fork or re-lubed the seals. Nada. I was cautiously hopeful that I wouldn’t find a problem.

My First Ride

Ok, so it’s not REALLY my first ride. But it’s my first ride since kicking leukemia in the @$$ almost one year ago (dx on 3/10/09 and remission on 4/10/09).


First Ride

:edit, my plugin is doing something weird connecting the city hall waypoint with the end of my ride. I look at the file on multiple programs in the original .tcx format and the .gpx format, and I don’t see that problem. I don’t know what it is.

So You Want a Mountain Bike Trail in Your Area?

This is an issue that has come up in a couple forums I use in a couple different ways recently. Most discussions on this topic seem to devolve into shouting and uncivil behavior and I wish they wouldn’t. Good behavior with these issues is important because as mountain bikers, we’d like to be seen as responsible trail users.

So, you want a legal mountain bike trail in your area? There are a few things you need to do.  I had a great big long post in the neighborhood of 2000 words, but I just didn’t like it.  I’ll just keep things simple for now.