About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Camp Site

The hike up Spruce Mountain was exhausting. The cold winds, deep snow, plus our heavy packs contributed to the physically demanding adventure.

Since we were climbing up the east side of the mountain, we were racing to keep up with the setting sun. Just as we were about to give up hope of finding a good place to set up camp, I (Jeremy) heard Jamie send out a cry of victory from up ahead. His triumphant cheers gave us the rejuvenated strength to persevere through the audacious adversities of the mighty mountain for just a little longer. Dylan, Jordan and I quickly caught up to him and shared in his excitement. We had found the snow-covered road, and with it a lovely clearing: perfect for setting up camp.

We took a quick walk down the road, and found out that our site was very close to the East Overlook, which provided a beautiful view of the valley and parallel mountain ranges. We were very close to the summit of Spruce Mountain, and our destination, Spruce Knob.

Since the sun was quickly disappearing on the horizon, we hastily got to work on our camp site. We needed to clear a spot for our tent, create a fire pit, gather dry wood--and obviously--construct a homey and comfortable latrine.

The East Overlook.
We all got to work, and finished setting up our camp more quickly than anticipated. With the wind causing a little trouble, Jamie's expertise helped us get a nice fire going.

Once the sun went down, it got cold. Very cold. Our sweat from the hike and camp site set up rapidly chilled us to the bone. We also noticed that although our fire was blazing, snow that was less that a foot from the fire was not melting. The frigid winter air quickly snatched up any heat we created. We all huddled as close to the fire as possible without our eyebrows, dreads, and/or beards getting singed.

Jordan, our resident chef, got to work on dinner while the rest of us kept the fire roaring and melted snow to replenish our water stores. Before we finished our steaming hot beans with canned chicken, they were freezing cold. We filled our Nalgene bottles with boiling water and stuffed them into our jackets.

Within a few minutes of finishing dinner, we all looked at each other and unanimously decided it was time to sleep. We were all huddled together in our tent, clutching our warm bottles by 8:30.

*And cue cheesy concluding paragraph.*

At the end of the day, we felt triumphant. Yes, we were exhausted, and yes, we were cold, but we were on an adventure, braving the elements and testing ourselves. We had worked together as a team and had accomplished something. We knew that reaching the summit in the morning would be an incredibly satisfying experience. Thus began a long, cold (very cold) night, in and out of sleep.

Beans: It's whats fer dinner.
Our "warm" tent.

Home is where you park it,
The Boys

Post by Jeremy Enns

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