Raindrops Fallin on My Head (and Hammock)

Living in a four season climate has many advantages, but it can be challenging when certain favorite activities become either non-doable, or require enough modification that they are often avoided. The second case is one that I have been trying to challenge myself to adjust for as much as possible, and I continue to strive to streamline my outdoor gear towards this aim. In the spirit of this mindset, I took my summer hammock with me along with my 80s vintage down sleeping bag to a spot in the hills by my house, currently BLM owned that I frequent often for trail running. I did my run in foggy, light rain (quite enjoyable actually) and then moved my car down the road and grabbed a flashlight, book, hammock and sleeping bag and trotted off into the woods in search of a spot I had strung the hammock during the warmer spring months .  Unfortunately the Feds had clear cut the acerage around the area for tree rot control, and my previous spot was razed. Making do with an alternate spot, I strung the hammock, stretched out my bag and hopped in, jeans, flannel shirt and puff jacket included.  Of course, I failed to account for the fact that I stretched the hammock more than usual, and the slipperiness of sleeping bag on hammock almost dumped me into the mud. I recovered, and after a minute or so of trying to wiggle the bag out from under my back up to my neck, I was able to relax and enjoy the woods in a much different light than usual.  I have always enjoyed being in the woods and looking up into the top reaches of the trees, and being soothed by their swaying rythym and silhouttes. This time of year, if the snows haven’t come and the ground isnt frosted, the woods appear rather ethereal and mysterious, as opposed to the inviting warmth of the springtime and the harsh stillness of the wintertime. The dampness of the earth becomes quite apparent in the wet Autumn months and as much as I dislike being wet and cold, I found myself embracing the slow drip of the drizzling rain on my face.  I left with my gear at dark , and headed back to the car, satisfied, relaxed, and wanting to come back, sunshine or not.

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