Next to a nasty hemlock blowdown on leg 5 of the Nutbuster.
DAY ELEVEN TRIP 150
TRAIL Nutbuster 33rd Climb
CAMP Lonesome Ridge on Leg 6
COLD AT 3 A.M.
CONTEMPLATING HUNTING DOGS
The damn dog is bothersome and this time I blame Robert from NC who left his "pet" in the woods to pester me and to never leave. This particular dog is desperate for company and thinks there's hope and a future with me but there ain't as I'll be in the woods for at least the next 8 days and I'm going past no roads. She's also desperate for food but leave it to a hunter to just abandon his "pet" to the elements without supervision and without food. Why do they do this? Because bottom line they don't care about these creatures and are slaves to the human desire to "hunt". So, killing bears is major damage and abandoned dogs are collateral damage. Such dogs are property---see the painful brands and scars and the hateful 3 collars which no human would want to wear guaranteed----and then understand the nature of these humans who allow their dogs to shiver all night without food but just don't seem to care.
"Oh, we care, numbnuts!!!" How so? This particular dog is unsupervised which means abandoned temporarily which means alone, cold and hungry which in my book means the owner did not care upon release to see his dog end up like this---glued to me like his new found friend. Where is the hunter? Sleeping at home in central heat? The hunters counter, "Hey, Idiot! Our dogs love to hunt! They live for the hunt!!"
So what? It has nothing to do with what happens after the hunt when a dog sits abandoned and glommed onto me for several days. Every backpacker I see out here complains to me about these dogs in camp and these dogs following them for several days. The dogs are pests as they will steal your food because many seem to be starving, and they whine and shake and try to lick your orifice when you try to pee. Not good. And then their collar batteries die possibly and they will never be found, like old yeller from TN who looked to be out here for over 10 days and who would eat a roll of toilet paper if you happen to drop one.
The hunters assume their locator batteries will die after what, a week? Then what? The whole thing is about irresponsibility. You just don't have a "pet" and dump him off in the woods and then walk away. It's bad manners and wrong. I see the dogs but where are the hunters? Up in Fat Gap sipping hot coffee and eating a crystal burger next to their trucks? Dayhikers and backpackers ruin their little slavery ring cuz the dogs don't know better and stay with the dayhikers and backpackers they find. It's a very imperfect system.
IT'S A ONE DOG MORNING
I have to use my fist when I unzip the tent vesti door to force the stray dog out of the tent and keep her away as I prepare morning caw-we. She wants inside my world in the worst way and it looks like she will be with me all day as I climb part of the Nut trail. Where I am headed is up for grabs but of course Buckeye Camp is on the route as is open cove camp and maybe even Lonesome Ridge Camp which is possible and usable but first needs to be cleared. I have never camped on leg 6 of Lonesome Ridge. It's a scary proposition and must be explored. It there even room for the massive Keron? Doubtful. Leg 6 begins past the giant reststop boulder at the end of leg 5 and climbs hard up to the top of Lonesome Ridge which makes you turn right on the ridge and climb. However, once on top you can look left and see the ridge continue as a finger where my potential campsite is located. Water can be retrieved at a creek near the end of leg 5 so no problem there. This camp could be problematic with its steep drop offs and possible towering dead hemlocks---so more exploration needed.
OPEN COVE CAMP ON LEG 5
Buckeye was open but it's too early in the day to contemplate such a stop so I pulled leg 4 and now sit at the beginning of leg 5 in Open Cove Camp. The dog won't leave me alone even though he follows straight on numerous switchbacks but still swings back around to catch up. It's demented but there's nothing I can do short of injury, torture and pain. Such behavior can't be tolerated. How did this particular dog end up with this particular human on this particular trail? Only God knows and I'll leave it at that. Let's do the impossible and move thru leg 5 (have the Felco's handy) and get water somewhere and shoot for an impossible camp on an impossible ridge.
LONESOME RIDGE CAMP
Wow! this is a first but I got water a hundred yards back on leg 5 and hoofed it up to Lonesome Ridge and got my campsite squared away by moving several dead limbs and by opening it up a little to squeeze in the Keron tube uterus. Several years ago this used to be a campsite as several years ago it was much more open but over time everything has clogged it up. With water I can camp here and be right in the belly of the nutbuster beast even though it'll be a tight squeeze. Right now it's a brownie lunch with cold coffee and then the big attempt to put up the lodge. It's windy on this old ridge, this old lonesome ridge.
The dog seems to like it but she'll have to move very soon and get out of the way. I have never camped this high up the Nut but I always wanted to. Let's hope the Keron fits. BTW, leg 5 is in about the best shape it's ever gonna be and should stay this way until the spring of 2014. Let's quit jawin' and put up the green tube.
But heck the tent fits with room to spare.
WONDERFUL NEWS FOR ANGELA MERKEL
German president or chancellor or whatever accuses the US NSA of spying on her phone calls and/or emails. We of course deny it and say "we are not" but don't say "we have not." If it's true then we've become a nation of snitches and little J Edgar Hoover sneaks. It's disgusting. If this news is true then somewhere in some room there's a freedom-loving American human being happy to do such spying which is the darndest thing of all. What American would agree to such a thing? Have we all become converts and lemmings to the jack-booted thugs?
"Here's your job---spy on Americans." Response---"Hell no! Who do you think I am? What kind of twisted program are you running here in back rooms and in secret? I'll whistle blow your ass!" And so it goes. Heroes must fight such nanny gotcha "show me your papers" surveillance. Otherwise tyranny gets accepted and the Constitution is shredded by pissant dictators who know what's best for us. Meanwhile as more and more of our money is taken away in tax revenues (Obamacare seems to be a tax), a computer glitch causes one of our 3,000 nuclear bombs to detonate over North Carolina (as one almost did in 1961). In other words, is the same govt computers running our nukes also running healthcare.gov?
It's tomato soup with lentils, corn and brown rice and now sits in the pot cozy for 23 more minutes. Lonesome Ridge is indeed lonesome as no one has hiked by today. Now I wait for food.
What can be said for camping on Lonesome Ridge? Well, it's a fantastic place. If anyone hikes the Nut today I will know it. As usual I'm excited and anxious to pack and hit the trail tomorrow but there is still a full night to go.
FEEDING THE DOG
Okay, I can't stand it so I gave the dog the last of my brown rice dinner and a whole fig bar. She's happy now.
Next to a nasty hemlock blowdown on leg 5 of the Nutbuster.