Sometimes , a hot cup of coffee and a quick trip into the woods is all you need for a short, pleasant escape from life’s bullshit. Yesterday afternoon’s hike was no epic adventure, but it was a lot of fun and I’d like to share the experience, so here goes.
Lately, most of us at Virtus HQ have been bitten by the bikepacking bug. The idea of strapping a ton of gear to your bike, riding great distances and camping under the stars with friends is overwhelmingly appealing. Thusly, we’ve been accumulating some untested gear.
One such item is the Vargo Hexagon Woodstove. I saw this thing on http://www.pedalingnowhere.com and had to have it. Its low weight, very packable, and there’s no fuel to buy…you simply load it with wood you find laying around. Win-win.
So like I said, I needed a coffee break. The plan had been to ride my bike to an undisclosed location and test out the stove. Unfortunately it had been raining all day, so I decided to go for a nice trail-friendly hike.
Arriving at the trailhead, I saw two shirtless men grappling in the parking lot. Awkward. I hiked past them slowly, avoiding eye contact.
With no clear destination, I simply followed the trail and tried to enjoy my surroundings. Barking squirrels and passing geese took over my senses and it just. Felt. Great. A pair of nearby deer were also fun to watch.
A small rock ledge overlooking the river seemed like a good spot to stop, so I set up shop and got the stove going. With all the recent rainfall, finding dry sticks was slightly challenging, but using cotton soaked in hand sanitizer, the fire was burning in no time.
Water was boiled, coffee was brewed and life’s bullshit was forgotten. I even brought almond milk and splenda for that extra something special. I sat there until dark, just stoking the fire, sipping the brew and listening to squirrels bark.
At first I was glad to be alone, but it didn’t take long before I was wishing there were friends to share the moment.
When it was time to go, all I had to do was pour water over the fire, pack up my crap and hike back to the truck. Thankfully there were no shirtless men wrestling in the parking lot this time.
If you’ve got a few hours to kill, you should treat yourself to a short trip like this. All it takes is a little bit of time and a little bit of coffee.