And now… A ridiculous heat wave!

At least I have a better excuse than being lazy for not going out to the mudpits. +40°C with the humidity is definitely not safe weather for trudging through the forest.

Apparently, we’re expecting one more day of this ridiculous heat, then a day of storms and rain, then back to normal weather for the weekend… So I will try to get out again in a few days.

It’s sure been a roller coaster or a year so far!

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Great… Now I can’t get myself motivated

Granted, the nice creeky marsh I’m planning to mush around in is a bit of a trek through some rather unforgiving forest. It’s great because chances are noone else wants to go there… But it makes for a tough trek when you’re all fat and out of shape from sitting around all winter…

But, thankfully, the weather is cooperating. It’s turned out to be a pretty dry spring, so I’ll probably get right to the shoreline bits that I usually can’t reach until late season. Oh man. If it works out like this, I’m going to have a very good season!

We’re well about 20°C during the day now. Still a bit cool at night but that’s changing rapidly. Blackflies are absolutely horrendous right now and mosquitos won’t be far behind. I’m planning to get a bug net for my head before I go out…

And, what’s even more exciting for me (yes, my life is that boring), is that I have a nice pair of neoprene boots coming from MEC. Snail mail is pretty slow with the pandemic bullshit, but I’m expecting them this week. I bought them for a few reasons… I need something on my feet so I don’t stab my toes wandering around. The low-cut water shoes I’ve been using in previous years tend to get lost in even shallow mud, so I’m hoping these stay on my feet. Watchatink?

So anyway. I have a few relatively quiet days ahead of me, so I’m hoping to drum up the motivation I need very soon. I think I’ll be spending a few days in the bush, rather than the short to-the-point trips I mostly did last year. I hope to get some nice photos also. So check back often!

I might beat the timer!

As I’m writing this, my little fun time timer is telling me that I should be dipping in some muddy fun in 36 days. I think I will beat this timer! 🙂 It is looking like I’ll at least be out for a hike in the next week or so, and with any luck it’ll be at most 3 weeks until the ground is defrosted enough to get my feet dirty.

It looks like we’re in for some decent weather this week, which means I’ll probably get a good feast of errant blackflies on my first hike of the year. Maybe my coronavirus mask till come in handy for that…

Speaking of the Great Pandemic of 2020… My normally isolated nature means there’s very little risk of me catching this thing and/or spreading it around. I just have to be careful not to get close to any citiots who are already fleeing the city in droves… This isn’t usually a problem, so I feel pretty good about it,

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Spring is springing

All the muddy looking fields is such an encouragement. It’s a sure sign that the ground is thawing and I’ll be checking out mud pits soon!

COVID-19 has me a little concerned that there will be more visitors around my favourite mud pits this year. It’s not what I want, really, but I find my paranoia goes away when I get off the road and into the woods.

The trees are a bit reluctant to bloom this early, but animal life abounds, and some early bird plants are greening up already. I wonder what effect this nasty flu will have on wildlife patterns this year. I sometimes ponder whether any local species could be possible carriers for it. If it starts being carried by mosquitoes, it could spell game over for this whole season! 😱

But let’s stay positive! If I do get out early and often, I’ll have lots of stuff to talk about!

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And so it’s well into 2020 now. Some weather know-it-alls are predicting an early spring. I can vouch for the snow melting already – and not too fast. I predict none of last year’s flooding, assuming the snow keeps melting slowly and we don’t get tons of rain. I can’t help get a little bit excited about that after the last week of even-more-self-isolating-than-normal.

I’m not planning to spend much real actual money this year. I have a few random gift cards to use up. That being said, I keep getting into conversations that end up with my shopping around for various articles of WAM-worthy clothing to, well, WAM in…

Latex looks like a viable change from the standard spandex fare I’m used to. Yes, I know latex isn’t as ‘easy’ to deal with… I’m pretty sure I’d reserve it for use during cooler weather that we seem to get a lot of. What I really wonder is: Mosquitoes can’t bite through it right? 🙂

I am planning to map out at least a few soggy looking hikes for the year. Spring time is a great time to be out in nature before the fuggin bugs start fugging bugging me… In fact, I’m so much into doing some hiking this year that I may even join up with some other more regular hikers, just because I’m sure by June or so I may be aching for some social interaction that doesn’t require tapping on something.

Magic Number

I decided I need some sort of date to look forward to. It’ll help get through the winter blahs to have a plan. Thus, I’ve decided that the magic number, based on historical spring runoff times, is the 160th day of the year, corresponding to June 8, 2020 (it is a leap year!).

And so we count down!

So worth it!

I went back. I went back to the stirred up pit that I so much feared just a few nights ago. I did not regret it. As it turns out, it’s a bit easier to hide from the truck lights than I thought.

So I parked in the same spot I did the other day, and hung out along the side of the area. I didn’t venture into the nice looking mud in the foreground, but instead stomped around the side a bit farther from the road. It was more than good enough.

As I trudged around testing out a few areas, it quickly became clear that the 4-wheelers had done a remarkable job of stirring the pit up real nice. There was one point where I stepped in right up to my waist, and it was glorious!

The mud was very soft and mushy and it was an absolute thrill to play in, if not just a little bit on the chilly side. Some tree branches and such under the surface and all that, but absolutely zero stones, and none of the stupid little twigs that frustrate me so in most forest-side pits.

I am so glad I went back! At the same time, though, I’m saddened to realize that is my one and only trip to that spot. I will not likely return there, at least not until next fall.

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All I want is just one more…

A few years ago, I remember not going out much during the summer. I came to regret it all winter long.

This fall, the same thing seems to be happening again. I don’t much like this feeling. It’s nasty, like I’m wasting my life. That being said, I have a few more nice days until our first real blast of winter hits, and I can’t decide what to do.

On one hand, I can go out to the spot I discussed in my last post. It’s really really risky but I feel like if I do go, it will pay off big. The other alternative is to return to one of my more local spots, but that means cleaning up and walking home in complete darkness, which isn’t really good either.

The third alternative is to wait till the weekend. It’s my last weekend before the popular hunting season starts, and the weather forecast is pretty gloomy and somewhat chilly. This isn’t such a problem because I know I can layer up and be nice and toasty, and I know that the ground is still warmer below the surface, so this might be the best possibility.

Today I’m a bit tired and not really in the mood to frig around on the side of the road. Tomorrow is the last warm day this week, and after that, the risk of exposure at the place I found yesterday increases exponentially.

I’m kind of regretting not having a camo suit made up. I had the money for it this year, and I have my measurements sorted out also, but I just didn’t bother ordering one because I’m still hung up on getting a microfibre one (which, of course, doesn’t come in a camo pattern)…

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So tempting!

Yeah so I took a nice Sunday drive today. At this point, I’m kind of regretting it because I found something that looked very tempting, but so totally unsafe that I sat there for 3 full hours in full gear, ready to jump in at any moment, but so full of hesitation that I ended up going home instead.

And you can see why…

Yup. It is what it looks like. Someone came across this dried out vernal pool and took their 4-wheeler through it a few times. This is like a dream spot for me, similar to Truck Hole Trail, but in this case it’s most likely much deeper… Already softened up and mixed around and everything!

Except, it’s literally right beside the road. I was standing on the road when I took that photo. I swear I was ready to cry when I finally drove away and went home. The universe can be so cruel! 🙁

And so I sit here sadly writing about the adventure that could have been (but wasn’t)… I even took a stroll around the area looking for somewhere away from the bright truck lights of passers by. I found a spot and approached it, until I noticed a goddamned trail cam. Fuck me!! I really hope I noticed it before I entered it’s field of view. If not, it could be very embarrassing.

Despite the cam watching the area, I did find a deep swampy place outside of it’s field of view (I hope) to squelch around in a little, but it was so full of tree branches I couldn’t enjoy myself at all.

Still, I’m tempted to revisit the site tonight. I wish I could put my car somewhere else, because people drive by, see the car, and start looking around for it’s owner. There’s nowhere to hide at all. Even the surrounding bushes just don’t offer any good cover because all the leaves have fallen to the ground by this time in the fall. *sigh*

I can’t stop thinking about how I can get into this mud. I can certainly don my full zentai suit, which covers my head and face too… But the car on the side of the road still gives me away… I can wait until it’s dark but truck lights are powerful and will see me. I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself going back there and repeating the disappointing hesitation that gripped me last night.

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Seasonal Thoughts

Well the summer was way too short. It certainly was a good one with decent temperatures and lots of sunny days. As the season wraps up for another year, I’m finding myself a little disappointed that I didn’t get as much mud time as I would have liked. Worse of all, is that I didn’t take a single photo during the entire season. No wildlife, no pit shots, nothing.

I did make one trip at the end of September. I found the bottomless bits to finally be usable, and after picking out sticks for what seemed like hours, I was able to get nice and stuck and had a great final romp. At least this area is pretty much ready-to-go when I step in it, and I didn’t have to spend too much time mixing everything up to get the right consistency.

I am tempted to venture out in the 10-12°C fall weather to visit the pits one more time. But, with the leaves mostly gone and my cover essentially gone for the year, combined with my rather extreme lack of motivation and energy… It may not happen.

On the other hand, something I would like to do this year is some prep work on the little clay hole I was using 2-3 years ago. It has a few advantages over the bogs I’ve been playing in recently, such as…

  • It’s essentially 90% clay
  • It’s available early in the season
  • It’s not as far of a trek to reach
  • It’s almost completely absent of sticks and stones

So what has to happen there is that I need to get a shovel and dig as deep as I can, which is a lot of work, but the weather is right for it, and it will get me out of the house doing some sort of physical activity… I’ll end up with a hole full of clay chunks, which by themselves are useless, but when the snow melts the spaces between the chunks should be full of water which would hopefully soften the chunks up enough to make them easily agitated into the awesomely smooth texture I keep returning to this spot for!

And then, with any luck, by next year I will be able to order up a microfibre zentai suit for next season. Why microfibre? I have a few microfibre towels that I use for cleanup, and the clay just rinses off easily. The other stuff I wear seems to really collect those miniscule clay particles and I spend literally hours trying to clean all that stuff out. I’m also told that they are somewhat more durable than the regular spandex/nylon blends I’ve gotten previously, which would be nice.

I’ve got my measurements pretty close. The microfibre suits aren’t quite as stretchy as the regular spandex ones, so I hope I will have the measurements absolutely correct and get a perfectly fitting suit. Otherwise, I could be in for some disappointment since they cost somewhere around five times the price of the cheaper ones I’ve been getting.

Anyway. Hopefully I’ll be back with another post or two before the white crap starts falling…