John Pasmore's Occassional Blog

Interruption Irene by John Pasmore

I was looking forward to my first day-trip with Outdoor Bound this weekend. A quick trip up to Lake Skenonto. Busier work gets, the greater the challenge to get out so I was looking forward to even a quick trip upstate. Then there’s the weather. Irene. Interrupted.

In retrospect we could not really have pulled off the day-hike. Even though the storm was scheduled for Sunday, the rain arrived Saturday and the drive and the hike would have been more hell than it would have been worth.

The weather turned and instead of hiking we were camping — urban camping. My kit is more complete than it probably needs to be due to my never ending adoration of good gear. My gear motivates me out the door at times, just because I want to see it work. This would be indoors.

The drill was pretty simple, be prepared for 3 days of camping. As a sometimes sailor, I wasn’t focused on weather reports like The Weather Channel, instead I like the NOAA reports and Jeff Masters Blog. I understood the high tide scenario in Lower Manhattan (use Aye Tides), but a Cat 1, hitting North Carolina seemed like it would be a bit spent after its interaction with land and then the colder waters after. Having ducked a North Carolina low thanks to a weather router in a 55 foot piece of land (Tayana) en route to St. Martin from New York, I just get the sense that we were safer by many degrees here in NYC in a building built in 1890 with enough steel to create a battleship.

Irene kept her Cat 1 intensity, was certainly no joke and I know many businesses and families have been seriously affected by the storm.  Again, Irene was no joke and for some deadly. In any case, I was thinking one-day of camping. We were ready with food, water, batteries, and light(s). Lately I’m a little less focused on cell/communication — sure we should be ready to make an emergency call, but between my wife and I we have three phones (2 iPhones, 1 Blackberry), 2 computers, and an iPad. In NYC you can pretty much always assume you’re within 100 yards of a person, unlike sailing where you can get very lonely and I always rent a Sat Phone off-shore.

But camping was pretty posh as the lights stayed on and very little gear was actually put to use. My 4 year-old was very impressed with a head-lamp with a red filter which he thought could zap any alien hiding under the bed. But dusting off the gear has me wanting to get out for a some quick trip.

Think I’ll squeeze in an overnight with Outdoor Bound end-of-September. Till then, be at my desk, running over the bridge in the morning, and maybe kayaking in the river if it clears up. And looking at gear…could use a new dive light….

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