(Disabled ratings because of multiple photo contributers)
I took 7 other guys out on our annual Manmping trip this past weekend.
Manmping: no tents, must bring weapon, must have knowledge of Fight Club & Boondock Saints, must bring own unaltered measuring tape, etc, etc.
Loaded up the vehicles at 2pm Friday and headed up to the 260. The 142 can still be done dry in 2wd with clearance but I let the tires down to 10psi this time to smooth out the ride. It took the usual 45 minutes to get from pavement to the trailhead. We saw 3 fatty turkeys strutting in the woods.
We unloaded our packs, did a manly pose picture and then hiked down. The bulk of us made it down in 27 minutes and had plenty of sunlight to set up camp at the bottom and scavenge for wood. 4 of us slept on the big slab, two on the smaller, and one on the ground. It didn't take long for the Ring Tails to find out we were there and they were bold enough to come up to within 2ft of us (I caught one in the branch 3ft above me watching me sleep in the moonlight).
The next day we headed downstream to the narrows for some sweet jumps. Even brought the Charlie Bronson rope to make a swing. It worked out just fine. We played there for a few hours then made our way towards the gardens.
I always worry about the weakest person getting hurt when we're out. Maybe that's where my mind was when I took my last solid step. It wasn't even an odd placement, my ankle just 90 degreed under me when I came down on it and audibly gunshot me down. Once the pain leveled off my fireman friend Jared, (who I helped out of Fish Creek with 5 broken foot bones) wrapped it up with his shirt and some sticks. Worried by their scared faces that I had ruined the day, I put my brother-in-law, Jonathan, in charge and instructed the others to keep going. Jared stayed back with me and after they had moved on, we began our long slow way back to camp.
We finally got back, rested up and then went fishing just upstream. We ended up catching 5 small trout and 60 large crawfish for dinner that night. The others made it back around 4pm and then we boiled the crawfish with lemon and Tony's and used the same in the frying pan for the fish. Everyone at least tried one except for the out of shape guy who never moved from his hammock after returning until morning. We hung out until around the fire until about midnight then turned in.
The next morning 3 of the guys decided they were done, and packed up for the climb out. We worked out a gunshot system for when thy made it to the top. One, they made it fine; Two, they needed help. After a while, we were convinced that we must not have been able to hear a shot from down where we were, but after an hour and fourty-five minutes we finally heard it! Did I mention how out of shape one of those guys was?
We stayed until after two, chilling in the water and helping Jonathan "landscape" the camping area. It was a good thing we didn't have another full day there or we would have had to carve out benches and furniture. The fire patio lounge area did turn out nice though
Everything got packed up and I got wrapped up extra tight with strips I cut from a pillowcase. I also secured a smooth stick to lean on and help on the way up. I had been pretty worried about how that was going to play out, but I carried back up what I had hiked in. I took it slow and used the stick a lot. We put a long arm guy in front of me just in case and the bigger guy behind me. It only took me 56 minutes to negotiate my way to the top
We saw 5 more turkeys on the way out and stopped for ice cream in Cape Verde.