Yes, I learned to sew. Actually I learned to sew back in Middle School. We all had to take Home Ec for nine weeks or so, and the raging battle-axe that ran the class made sure we knew how to sew well and good, damn it, because who knows when you might need to mend a prom dress and you don’t have any Duct Tape. Actually it could come in handy, if you ripped her prom dress off and need to get it put back together after you’ve satisfied your teenage lust and need to get her home in time for curfew. So – guys, one reason to pay attention in home ec.
Another reason – saving some money and preventing yourself from freezing to death in the woods. Down hammock quilt? $250 and up. Home made hammock quilt? Around $100, provided you already have a sewing machine.
If that’s too much to read and comprehend, just scroll all the way to the bottom and look at the thing laying on the floor like a deflated air mattress. That’s it. That’s what I made. I just tested it in the yard under attack from a thousand gnats and mosquitos, and I have to say, the damn thing works. It works pretty well. Gone was the cool breeze under my back, the airy hammock feeling. Replace it with the feeling of hanging in a sauna. And that was without the rain fly being in place.
Now I just need some Fall. That’s it, just some Fall, and I’ll be ready for a field test. Oh, and a compression sack, because the damn green monster takes up the whole backpack without one.
In non-hiking events, I had some interstate fun over the weekend. Although I’ve seen my share of backups on the interstate, it’s rare to be within a few hundred yards of the accident, and rarer still to get to see the life-flight helicopter arriving on scene.
The reason the helicopter was arriving on the scene was because someone decided to see if their SUV was more fuel efficient sliding sideways on the roof. While it was very fuel-efficient (in fact, it used less fuel than any other Chevy vehicle), the vehicle was not designed to slide on the roof, and despite pressing the gas pedal, it came to a stop and blocked traffic.
Unfortunately we were at the crest of a hill, and couldn’t really see the rest of the wreck. With the Emergency Motorway Tieup Service (EMTs) and the Freeway Interruption and Relocation Effort (FIRE) people in the way, we couldn’t continue on towards our intended destination. So we did what anyone would do. We all got out and milled about in the middle of the road, wishing we had arrived a little sooner so we could get close enough to take better pictures, and kicked ourselves for leaving the telephoto lenses at home.
It wasn’t long before we started praising Georgia for being cheap, and neglecting to put the aircraft cable thing in the middle of the road. You know, the one that stops people from driving into the opposing lane if they fall asleep at the wheel. No need for that sort of thing EVERYWHERE…
Some of us decided to test the median for drains, mud, culverts, and poisonous snakes. Finding none of the above, we contemplated turning around to take a shortcut. Emily the Crackhead GPS insisted on us using the interstate. Why isn’t their an option to touch the screen and say “road is blocked here!” so she will reroute you? I guess that needs to be a software improvement, along with an option to “avoid the bad part of town”. Toll roads I’m cool with. Keep me out of places I might witness a drive-by (I’ve done that), get carjacked, propositioned or molested in some other way. WTF Garmin?
So, seeing as how the nice cops stopped traffic going BOTH WAYS we had an easy clear path to turn around. I looked up the google map on my iphone, and saw that the road led through a little town and then back over the interstate a scant five miles away. This is important later, as you will see.
The median was sort of steeply contoured, so we encouraged the people with big trucks and SUVs to go first. After all, on the commercials they show them going off road and over rocks and through shallow streams. A Ford Subdivision should be able to handle a highway median, right? If not, it would at least provide some comic relief for the rest of us. After a few cars turned around, I hopped back in the old Honda CRV and followed the Mercedes sedan from behind me. He also had to get back to South Carolina. A lady in front of us was headed to Augusta, and didn’t know how to get there except going straight. I told her to follow us. Her mistake.
We turned around, went a mile back to an exit, and then five miles around through BFE, Georgia. Then we went over I-20 and stopped. The five cars in front of us kept going. We just went over I-20. Where was the damn on ramp? I zoomed in on the iPhone and discovered there was no ramp. To get back to I-20 we had to go south 8 miles, east 2 miles, and back north, all the way around Lake Oconee. We did it, and after a wrong turn, a dead end, and a near-hit with a stupid deer we made it around the lake and back onto I-20. Honestly how much work would it be to hunt deer to extinction? Just tell the hunters to bring down as many as they can until there’s none left… I’m sure southerners could wipe out at least the southeast in six months, all at no cost to the states.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been on an interstate and been THE ONLY ONE in sight, but it is an amazing lonely feeling. Normally to be completely alone it needs to be three a.m., when the only ones out are the long haul truckers, the drunks trying to get home, and the drug mules betting the cops are all off duty as they drive the big stash cross-country. It’s a weird feeling during the day, though.
So we finally got out of there. I never did get to read or see what happened in the wreck. Maybe I’ll google it, but probably not. It sure was nice to get home.