I like it here, nestled in an isolated little ravine with reliable water and the fire-circle I built over a decade ago. Peaceful and quiet.
This is one of the last times I will wear my old hiking boots in the hills. They are comfortable favorites – best damn hikers I ever owned, comfortable right out of the box – but they are over 20 years old and the inside stitching is coming undone, so I want to retire them to trusty work-boot status. I just received a new pair of the identical model from L.L. Bean, and they fantastic. These will take on the ruff duty from now on.
I brought portable music on this bivy. Is this odd to bring such technology along when sojourning in a cool, quiet spot of natural paradise in the forest? Maybe. But when I played the Chinese “12 Girls Band”, their traditional Chinese instruments added additional Ch’an/Zen flavor to my bivy site.
At dark I heard a strange cry from the trail not far above. Eerie. It was a coyote, and another one further up the hill answered, as did another one further off. The near one must have heard my music or seen my lighter, and the word went out to the others that there was a stranger in the ravine.
In the several bivouacs I’ve done here at Pine Tree Point this year, I’ve never yet built a fire in the fire circle. Instead, I’ve brought along a candle lantern, and I haven’t done any cooking.
Soon, I’m hoping to do a long backpack and multi-day bivy out in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) at my more remote site I call Dharma Point – if and when I can find someone to drive me out there and drop me off, and later have someone pick me up a few days later. I will need to plan a more serious menu with cooking gear. I’ll need to do some shakedown bivies locally with the gear to test the systems. It’s been a long time.
Got to get out to the back and beyond.