Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Many Are Cold, Few Are Frozen

I took a glance at the Weather Bureau National Weather Service website last week, and saw that the projected low for Friday in Garden Valley, ID, was 32 F (273 K). Much like milk goes horribly, convulsion-inducingly bad when the clock strikes midnight on its expiration date, all fluids, including blood coarsing through one’s veins, instantly freeze when the temperature dips below this level, and I recognized that that night might be my last opportunity for a sleepless 8 hours of terror, clutching my axe and waiting for the wolves to attack peaceful slumber in the woods until next spring.

So I went and did a little shopping at lunch, took off from work around 2:00 pm, haphazardly threw a bunch of crap into my car, and headed north. After a stop at the grocery store on the way out of town (“Ding-dang it! I need ice! Oh, and probably some more beer. OOOOH! And pistachios!”), once more in Horseshoe Bend (“You know what would be a good snack? Fritos! Oh, and I probably should get some more beer.”), I neared my destination and saw this:

Above: Undoubtedly the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Mist.”

I’ve never know the NWS to be wrong before, so I was quite confused, as that, dear reader, is not simply a low-lying cloud, but a fog of razor-sharp ice crystals ready to shred one’s lungs with each breath, otherwise known around these parts as Rocky Mountain Liquid Nitrogen. After a few minutes of somber reflection, I decided that I’d lived an okay life, and pressed on, though surely death awaited.

I must have chosen a spot in a small high-pressure zone, because I was able to function well enough to get things set up in short order. I posted a while back about buying a new camp table, which has independently telescoping legs, allowing leveling of its surface on uneven ground. BEHOLD:

Above: The best $40 dollars I’ve spent outside of Reno.

Note the extreme slope of the ground (almost 70 degrees, I would guess, and akin to bivouacking on Halfdome); and yet, the stove is in no danger of sliding off. (I don’t suggest trying to adjust such a surface while the grill and a lantern atop it are both lit, and after several beers have been consumed. Seriously.) Also note the strategic placement of the camp chair, directly upslope from the fire pit. I really probably shouldn’t camp alone.

I did make my way down to the Dirty Shame to watch a quarter of a football game in which the local collegiate “team” was playing. This was an actual conversation I had with the comely, albeit surly, server after two beers:
Comely, Albeit Surly, Server: “Would you like another one?”

Dead Acorn: “No, I think I’ll square up and head up the road.”

Comely, Albeit Surly, Server: “No, you’ll have one more, then you can go.”

Dead Acorn: “ummm … yes, ma'am.”

Maybe I don’t really go up there for the camping.


Sarah said...

I keep forgetting to tell you this so now I will:
I was going to buy one of those tables after you told me they were on sale at Cabelas. I didn't because it would require me to drive more near Milwaukee. I found myself returning from the 5B on labor day weekend and Bri yells out, "WATCH OUT!!!! THING IN THE ROAD!!!" I calmly swerve into oncoming traffic, flipped a u-turn in the middle of the road, jump out and haul the THING IN THE ROAD!!! into the back of my car. Do you know why?!?! It was one of those tables! Once again I am rewarded for my bad behavior. BAM!

Sarah said...

"more near"? That makes sense, right?

sarah said...

Sorry about all the switching of tense. I was excited to tell you my story. Also, you're welcome for what seems like a lot of comments on your post.

The Dead Acorn said...

hehehe "OOOOOHHH three comments! THREE COMMENTS!!!"

Nice luck on the table! They really are the best camp thingies EVAH.

Acorn Woodpecker said...

While that table sounds quite nifty, I don't believe it can even come close to approaching the "Best Evah" status so aptly applied to the Sven Saw. If you don't believe me, ask Catdaddy!

The Dead Acorn said...

Acorn Woodpecker: I must admit to not being familiar with the Sven Saw, but I am impressed, having checked it out on the googly-tubez! I can't say I do a bunch of sawing when I go camping, but that just may change, now that I know this is out there.