The Donner Party Hike

You know you’re in for a hike when you see the weather report and wind up jokingly renaming it “The Donner Party Hike”.

If you haven’t seen the weather channel movie “The Donner Party”, at least google it. The Donners and several other people headed west around the turn of the century (the 1900s, not the 2000s). They took a shortcut hoping to get to California for better land than everyone else that started the same time. So, by trying to cheat, they got seriously behind. A lot of the wound up dying, and their was a disagreement on the trail that wound up in a stabbing. They spent the winter eating the cattle and each other.

A few years back, we were discussing this ill-fated trip while trying to plan a hike in the South Carolina Upstate, and were wondering what parts of people might be tasty in such an event.

So – when we recently planned a hike from Elk Garden to Damascus, VA the weather wasnt bad. Mid 40s and a little rain. Then the rain disappeared from the forcast and they dropped the temperatures to the high teens overnight.

I’ve never slept out in the teens overnight. I’m anticipating waking up to an ice palace inside the hammock. I’ve been into the high 20’s before, but the teens are another thing entirely. I have a feeling our group is going to be the only group of idiots out this weekend in this particular section. They’re predicting a little snow Saturday night, and there is already a little snow where we are going. Hopefully by the time you read this I’ll be through the worst of it.

This weather is drunk. Last weekend it was 60 on the trail. This Saturday it will barely get above freezing all day. How do you even get water when it’s freezing? I’ve never had to chop water before.

But, if worst comes to worst, I’m taking the pork rub. Wish me luck.

Apparently there’s also some sort of sporting event this weekend? I might miss it.


Author: theosus1

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