Coyotes, Hammocks, Tiny Bats, Oh My!

Several times during the night, a pack of Coyotes howled/screamed at us from directly across the Current River to our site. That was unnerving. I had a lot on my mind, the baby cried throughout the night and come sun up, I hadn’t slept much at all.

Mr Outdoors makes his own breakfast.
Mr Outdoors makes his own breakfast. He condescended to use my Flash Boil instead of his Optimus  mini stove, mainly because it was on the breakfast table. Although I love my Flash Boil, I will admit the Optimus stove boils water much faster.

Thankfully I could leave my sleeping baby with my husband and found Spencer had already built a morning fire, I was free to feed myself without juggling an infant. I pre-cut most of the food that wasn’t boxed, like the oatmeal, before we left the house. Apples and peanut butter make a great campout morning snack, along with raisons and sun flower seeds.

While I sat eating my breakfast, I looked at my mother dressed in full Himalayan winter gear sitting next to the fire and she reminded me that she was raised in the south where it rarely gets cold…and when it does, you stay in side with the heater on. Not everyone is cut out for the Polar Bear Club.

DSC_1181As the morning wore on, the temperature rose. We all started pealing our coats off.

After breakfast, we lounged around in hammocks for a while – one of the luxuries of camping – no where to be? No problem.

Most of our group owns Grand Trunk hammocks, but Spencer brought his ENO hammock; which, Spencer being my go-to baby helper, the baby spent quite a bit of time in that ENO.

Baby and Daddy, just hang'n out.
Baby and Daddy, just hang’n out.
Even Mom braved the sunshine by removing her parka.
Here she is folks, in all her glory! My Mother.

Later in the morning, whiled I watched the baby and ate more food, the men folk went exploring.

They came back an hour later, having found some caves. Mom and I werent too interested in going inside of them – we are both claustrophobic – we were interested in a hike.

The temperature continued to rise and we were starting to sweat. How about that? from 30° (F) to the upper 70’s (F) in a matter of hours. Nice. Good thing I packed shorts and sunblock, in addition to heavy fleece.

Dan manned up and strapped the Baby Kat'an on his chest. It got so hot, we stripped the baby to a diaper. The more naked the better according to baby.
Dan Manned Up and strapped the Baby Ka’tan on his chest. It got so hot, we stripped the baby to a diaper. The baby loves being naked, but who doesn’t?

The first cave our group encountered together had a sign posted warning that bats lived in there and explorers had to have “four flashlights per person” just in case something happened in the cave and other proper equipment… yada yada and my mother was saying, “that is probably dangerous..you could get hurt in there.” To which my nineteen year old brother said, “that’s why we’re doing it.”

Mom says, "you could fall and break your neck and it would be very difficult to get you to the hospital from here...and with no rope, this could be bad."
Mom says, “you could fall and break your neck and it would be very difficult to get you to the hospital from here…and with no rope, this could end bad.”

According to Dan, there were twenty or so tiny bats in there and some cave dwelling creatures living in there…troglodytes. Mom and I were ready to move on.

They all went in
They all went in

After the first cave, we went to a second cave they had found earlier. The second one was bigger and colder and more wet.

DSC_1207My mom kept saying things like, “I hope none of you are claustrophobic, because if you get too far in there, in a tight spot, you might start to panic..” “the sign says four flashlights per person, you only have one per person..” “What if it caves in and you get suffocated?” Nineteen year old replied again, “we have one flash light each, we’ll share the four between us.”

The boys were humored about listening to “The Worst Case Scenario” as imagined by mother.

It's all good.
It’s all good.

She was serious.

Let's keep walking. Let's walk along the river.
Let’s keep walking. Let’s walk along the river.

Oh, the river…that was our next adventure.

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