Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trip Report: Snow below the gnat line

 The Deep South....known for alot of things. Grits, sweet tea, Chickfila, Coca-Cola, the list goes on. One thing that is not synonymous with the south is a good old fashion snow. Every so often the jetstream dips just enough to give us a blanket of the white stuff, which will be replaced in a day or two with temps that every outdoor enthusiast lives for.
 +Jason Byers and I had recently competed an overnighter on the  the A.T from Unicoi to Dicks Creek Gap, we made camp at Addis Gap next to the old Mill Creek road bed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2NVG12ZwXM over the campfire that night we decided to revisit this spot on the bikes, seemed like the thing to do since the old road passed rite thru...Feb 2nd would be the day...
 After much deliberation (Snow started falling about 11:00) we decided to make a go of it ...after all, if its difficult and dumb why not?

Driving up Mill Creek towards the old dirt road it started to get a little slick so we decided to hop on the bikes here.


After just a few min on the bike we realized this was gonna be an all uphill type of adventure, but with cold fingers and frozen toes we pushed on.

                                                                      +Jason Byers

Jason B.
After crossing the forrest Service gate, we passed a hunter with a dog, we spoke briefly and he warned us of a nice patch of Ice hidden in a patch of snow just past the next little rise.

Sure enough he was right...I found said patch of ice and after what seemed like five min of sliding, I finally found myself on the ground...no harm no foul...and we got a good chuckle out of it.

we rode on till the snow got so deep and sticky it was beginning to bind our wheels to our frame

at this point we turned back and made the long cold descent back to the pavement, it was a cold but fun trip. Feels to me like a fella may consider investing in some cold weather riding gear if he's gonna take trips like this often.

Turning back into the road headed to my house....this day reminded me how the addition of snow, or the changing of the seasons can make a familer place look so different.

Next time the deep south gets a deep snow...skip the trip for milk and bread, get out and do somethin different. You wont regret it!

-saw em

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gear Review: DriDucks Ultra Lite 2 Rain Suits

Gear Testing, Old Age and some High Quality H2O.
 Gear testing…silly? Probably (see pic below)  Necessary? Eehhh, depends on how adventurous you are or how much misery you can withstand when new gear fails on the trail. Typically I’m a Pac-n-go type guy, meaning I pack the night before and I go in the morning, leaving the rest to chance….the way I figure it, if I forget it, I didn’t really need it, and if it fails, it was garbage anyway so who cares!  If you’re cheering right now (to quote the late Billy Mays) “wait there’s more”! As I get older I’m leaning more toward the tendency to “be prepared”….with all that being said lets slap on a DriDucks Ultra Lite 2 Rain Suit and hang out under a stream of high quality H2o.
 Starting with the facts, this review will cover Frogg Toggs DriDucks Ultra Lite2 Rain Suit in size XL.
For size reference purposes I go about 6’ 4” and weigh in at about a cheeseburger shy of 245 large and in charge! I typically wear a 38x36 pant and an Xlt shirt. I purchased these at http://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/Hiking.shtm for 19.99 and they shipped it for free. BONUS!! Not to mention I got them in less than a week BONUS! BONUS!! They are guaranteed to be 100% waterproof and are breathable.
 When I ordered these, since I would be wearing over my clothes, I seriously considered sizing up to a 2xl. After checking their sizing chart (which was very clear and helpful) I decided on a size XL. Frogg Toggs states that these things are plenty roomy and there is no need to up size…good call guys! These puppies are super light, but not quite as packable an I would prefer.
DriDucks arrived flat folded in this handy bag.
It seemed to weigh about as much as the jacket itself so I think I"ll opt out, it also appears that flat folding
may create creases that could compromise the material over time. Just my opinion and we all got em. For that reason I'll be rolling mine, and you can see how bulky they appear to be.

Here is a look at the rain pants as compared to a pair of 38x36 Carhartt carpenter jeans, I had no problem getting these on over these exact  pair of jeans, they left me with plenty of length to cover boot tops.

Here is a look at the rain jacket compaired to a xxl North Face Denali fleece jacket.

The sleeves are a touch shorter than the northface but still gave me plenty of coverage on my long orangutan arms, the wristcuffs fit tight but were not uncomfortable.

Over all these things seem to be a heck of a deal!...

Light weight: exact weight Im unsure of but 12-14 oz seems about right,  prob lighter for normal size humans.

Roomy: goes on over clothes easily and offer plenty of room to move around in

Price: great! free shipping and you can get em fast when you're in a pinch

Durability: To be determined, lets just say I wouldnt run thru a briar thicket in em, and I keep them away from my 10 month old because I'm positive she could chew a hole in them with her new found teeth.

Waterproof?...so far so good. pass the shower test with flying colors.

Sooooo...as I metioned earlier, gear testing...silly? Well ,you be the judge!

I'll do a review of this review (wha?) this spring during the monsoon season..

-saw em!!

Update: Turns Out the XL weighs in at 10.9 oz

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

 So, this is my official introduction to the blogosphere. Seems a strange word, any who, we will be calling this blog, back porch adventures! Why? Boy I’m glad you asked.
  Wikipedia defines adventure as an exciting or unusual experience, a bold or risky undertaking. Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger.  ( don’t believe me) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure  Let me be the first to tell you leaving a woman and a baby at home for a hiking or biking trip holds plenty of physical danger! Yeah c’mon!!  As for the backyard, I am fortunate enough to live in the most beautiful place in the world, where you’re always just minutes away from  lakes, rivers and vistas from mountain tops….The Appalachian Mountains!
 Stop by this back porch anytime, you may find some gear reviews, trip reports and who knows what else, if your into hiking, biking, misspelled words and run-on sentences pull up a rocker because this is the porch for you!!