Down the Line
After parking in a nearby suburb, we used the power lines as an access point to enter the forest. Long grasses made the entry slower than expected. With a bottle of water and our clothes, we headed down the line.
Entering the Woods
Ditching our shoes significantly slowed travel, and required a heightened awareness of each individual step. Small brush becomes a major obstacle without footwear. Thorns and poison ivy were not a friend.
In the Creek
After upwards of an hour trekking through grasses and brush, we spotted a distant ravine. Desperate to wash off and hoping to find water to do so, we headed towards the hill and spotted a babbling creek.
To avoid the dampness of the ravine and lower ground, we climbed a hill and looked for a clearing. A dead trunk served as a central support to a cone of sticks and branches.
Dead bark peeled from a nearby fallen tree, and smaller sticks woven perpendicular to the first branches laid base for the rest of our roof and insulation.
Invasive honeysuckle sprouts populated much of the underbrush. We wandered about picking as many as we could carry.
Adding the Sprouts
With several dozen uprooted honeysuckles at hand, we covered the wooden structure heavily with greens. Still green, the sprouts were malleable and easy to weave even at acute angles.
Piles of leaves from the surrounding forest floor stacked on top of the honeysuckle created a barrier against wind, bugs, and hopefully the coming cold. By checking for light from the inside of the shelter, we were able to spot thin areas and evenly distribute our leaves.
As the sun set and the temperature dropped, we entered the hut, laid on the floor, and prepared for the long night ahead. Despite the high ground, the dampness of the floor did not help in keeping us warm.
As the temperature dropped into the mid 50s, the cold became unbearable and our shelter inadequate. To stay warm we cycled in and out to keep from freezing. With our eyes adjusted, we could see almost everything. We slept little, and spent many hours looking west hoping to see the sun.