Well once again our plans that are always “etched in Jello” changed this Saturday morning. An opportunity to dig through some mine tailings for minerals and rocks specimens got rained out. SO, we decided to go tour the historic Fort at Harrodsburg, KY. I’m posting the link to the video here while sitting in the Bandy Creek campground in a bushcraft event and gathering. So here’s the video, the pictures and more stories from the fort will follow later.
Would you think it possible to live in a space as small as this?
This week I met someone who is not only living but having a great time doing it. Below is a video where he explained the features and reasoning of the engineering he put into this wonderful ride. The Prius is an interesting vehicle in it’s own rights. Follow this link to go to the Toyota site.
But the ideas and engineering that Brent has put in is pretty sharp. Like the house battery installed behind this panel that also holds a voltage display, 12 volt power outlet and USB charging port. He runs an inverter and charger off of the vehicle’s main battery which the Prius is monitors and starts the engine to recharge automatically. In fact he can set the thermostat in the Prius to start and maintain the temperature where he is sleeping.
Brent’s engineering background was evident in excellent utilization of nearly every inch of space. He designed this table to use the door’s tension to hold it in place against the little white wedge block. AND, it works on either side of the car. He explained this is something that anybody can design for their vehicle using cardboard templates to trace the shape of the door and the fender well.
His use of space was not only designed in square inches, he considered cubic inches. Here’s an example, under his bed is a well laid out storage area divided into compartments and beneath that is his water storage. So his design has used every cubic inch behind the front passenger seat to the fullest. Very impressive!
I had a great time interviewing Brent and learning how to make a very small space work as an efficient roving home. Below is a link to the video posted on YouTube where he goes into detail all of the features.
Today during the GTG (that’s Get ToGether) at Raccoon Creek Wildlife Mgmt Area in northeast Alabama I got the chance to examine Gypsy Jane’s portable hammock stand. Now having seen it, and lusted after it on the internet, it was real exciting to see it put up.
She made this setup herself out of a couple of different sizes of EMT conduit. The pieces simply slip together to form the stand from a package small enough to be carried in her van.
The tripods are made from 1″ conduit with “eyebolts” in each leg, tied together with a shackle. The shackle also supports the spreader pole and the hammock.
As you can see Jane is tying hammock to the spreader bar. The spreader bar is used to keep the hammock stretched out. She told me it’s best to make it out of two pieces each of 1″ and 3/4″ conduit. The reason for this is the bar needs to be about 15′ long and conduit is sold in 10′ lengths. she slides the 3/4″ piece inside the 1″ piece, being sure to offset the joints for strength.
As you can see here she’s living large set up in an open field with no trees.
Since her hammock has an insect net zippered onto it, all she needed was a rain fly for a complete shelter.
I’ll do some more catching up in the next day or two, laptop battery is going down and I’ll have to charge it tomorrow. We had rain here today so it was overcast and the solar wasn’t kicking in so well.
Yes I know that’s what comes at the end. But this weekend made me realize perhaps that’s where I should start this time.
If you guessed the permit station for the Red River Gorge you’re right. When given the chance to go somewhere for the weekend this is a good place to “Get Out”. Stop here buy your permit for 1-day or 3-day use (only a few bucks) the funds go to help with the continuing care and development of the Gorge. Yes, there is a fee. Because this beautiful forest has more than 40,000 visitors a year walking through it’s beauty. With that much traffic we have to be good stewards of what’s been created for our pleasure.
Because we are such a mobile people moving freely from one place to another we can bring about change very quickly with little or no effort. The ecosystems around the world have reached a state of balance through time. As visitors to these we can inadvertently upset that balance and lead to the setback or even destruction of a system. Whether it’s forest, desert, seashores, or swamps, nature has balanced and nurtured those things within. We must maintain a watch over what we bring when we visit. Some forest areas right now have lost millions of ash trees to an invasive insect, the Emerald Ash Borer. The beetle larvae can reside in the firewood brought from another location. Another example is the “white nose syndrome” that is killing bats in some of the caves around the country. The impact of this invasive is as much as a 80% reduction of bats in some areas. That’s why there are “shoe wash stations” at most all of the public caves now. Just like the “brush station” above, the simple act of removing invasive species from our shoes helps to protect the forest. So, learn what you can do to protect the area you “GetOut” into and yourself.
This is one of several world-class rock climbing locations. Because there are many verticals and even negative angle cliffs to enjoy. However, not paying attention or acting irresponsibly can lead to one becoming a statistic of the Gorge. There are 1-3 people a year that die from falls in the Gorge. Stay on the main trails, explore camping areas off trail carefully, don’t get drunk in the Gorge, get high on the beauty not drugs, and if you get up in the night don’t wander without a good light.
While falls are by far the large cause of fatalities, encounters with wild life can lead to problems. Stings and bites are the highest number of injuries from encounters with the wildlife. But let’s face it, even though an allergic reaction to a sting or bite can be fatal, nothing grabs the news more than a good old-fashion bear. While these guys can be interesting to see and watch just remember you’re standing in “their yard”. Here’s an account of one such encounter… Victim describes bear attack; Red River Gorge is closed
Having educated ourselves on how to protect ourselves and nature let’s “Go Adventure”….
But that will be the next post. 😉
I didn’t want to set the wrong tone for the story of our trip to Gray’s Arch. AND, I’ve got to get a few things together to continue work on the “Vome” in the morning. If you haven’t been following the build out of the new “Vehicle hOME” then click on the drill down arrow in the menu bar at the top.
In a post earlier I showed the way into Tumbling Creek, I hope you enjoyed the ride. Now that we’re here I’ll catch you up on a peaceful damp weekend. Dyck had a nice camp setup to survive the storms that came through this area almost every day.
We had just the three of us here, JR, Cuz Dyck, and myself with Julie on her way on Sunday.
Oh and of course the girls Lacy and Layla.
JR (Jimmy Ridley) and I took a couple mile long hikes with these two in between the watering sessions. Which by the way the rain falling on the roof of the van was a wonderful symphony at night. A welcome sound when we turned in…
Sunday morning Master Chef Ridley prepared some hashbrowns, cheesy eggs, and bacon for breakfast.
Assisted by none other than Sous Chef Dyck Tracey.
A great weekend in the forest, and very relaxing. More relaxing for some of us than others…
Gee your highness I didn’t mean to wake you.
It’s a shame but I’ll have to end this relaxing time tomorrow by having to pull out.
Today Layla and I took the new van for a maiden voyage. I wasn’t real sure where we would end up but I just knew I did not want to head west. Why??? Well this is the start of the Kentucky derby and I didn’t really want to be anywhere around Louisville. So, east it was. After travelling for a little while I decided to go check out one of my favorite free spots near Morehead, Ky. Surprised I was to find two of the forest service roads in that part of the Daniel Boone Nat’l Forest closed. I’m guessing the water was still too high. Which brings a point, it’s easier (and cheaper) to call the Forest Service and ask questions about an area before just driving there. So we headed back to Boonesboro State Park where even with the flooding there would still be places to stay.
When I first moved to Kentucky this is one of the first “beaches” that I could come to and pretend to be near the ocean. It was a great place for family fun and picnics. Public restrooms and changing areas, tables lined a very nice covered pavilion.
Today there are no restrooms, no public bathrooms or changing areas, and no crowds of families playing on the beach.
What happened!?!? Well here’s an excerpt from the local paper…
Jan. 20, 1990 (The Winchester Sun)
For the second consecutive year, the Kentucky River has caused problems at Fort Boonesboro State Park. The park’s beach was closed after water conditions became unsanitary for the second straight summer. Heavy flooding also damaged park grounds and buildings. A local group is working to get a new swimming pool for the park in hopes of increasing its attraction to tourists.
The Kentucky River became sick. Who’s to blame? Well that’s a hard question to answer and even harder to fix. Here’s a report from the “Kentucky River Basin Assessment”…
Though this really saddens me there are some great times to be had at the state park. They have added a wonderful swimming pool with kiddie pool and sprayers, and of course the monument for the original fort is within the state park.
Not to mention Fort Boonesboro with the reenactments and demonstrations is a short drive or hike on a nature trail away. Fort Boonesboro website.
But what about our voayge??? After a little rest it continues…
Where to I’m not sure yet… but today it will continue.
OK, Ok. I know it’s been about a month since I posted any adventures. Because the last month has been spent doing repairs and making adjustments to my gear. But we were on the trail this last weekend, rain and all.
I met up with some of “the tribe” for a backpacking trip in Red River Gorge here in Kentucky. Here’s a few highlights of the trip. There are not as many pictures as some of our other adventures because we traveled some pretty tough terrain in a short period of time. However one or two of my favorites…
The suspension bridge was a new experience for Layla.
Layla was low crawling when we first stepped out onto the bridge.
Piece of cake, what’s ahead?
But, Layla follow him he’s with us…
Some shots of the rest of the trip.
While this was really great fun there is a serious side to this trip. Visit my FB blog at Dan-Cordray-Readiness-Resources for a serious discussion about heat related illnesses.
And then until next time, “Get outside, be safe, and go adventure.”