Sunday, October 13, 2013

S24O to Stealth Spot

When I was out running around with the kids this summer, I kept my eyes open for spots that offered the potential for some stealth camping. I expect if I were to check the Dublin city code, it would prohibit overnight camping on city lands. But I'm not going to check, because I want an alternative to trekking to Alum Creek and paying $28 to sleep on hard ground next to noisy neighbors with an RV.

After a summer's worth of planning for this, we had an unusually warm Saturday night forecast, so Henry and I headed out about 4:00 pm. We made one detour on the way there, to pick up the Riverbox at Amberleigh park:

With the two Riverboxes from Henry's birthday party and the three we've found earlier (here and here), we're left with five left to find. Probably next year! We clambered back up the stairs and rolled on--not even going down the river to skip rocks. I think Henry was getting ready for dinner. We did stop for a picture at the dam under Glick road:

We found a convenient picnic table where we stopped to cook our dinner. Henry is laughing here, because he's crushing our Ramen Noodels with his rear:

Ramen noodles and spaghetti-Os, our dinner was a salute to processed foods.

One good/bad thing about camping with a trailer is that there's no incentive to minimize the load's bulk. We played a game of Blokus while waiting for our noodles to cook (we tied):

The big find for the trip was a stand of bamboo. Armed with only a 1.5" mini Swiss army knife, we managed to make a bow and arrow that Henry loved:

We also made some spears and a sword. We were well armed! We also used the bamboo to play Henry's favorite camping game, "hit the stick on a string with another stick":

(this game started from tossing a string over a branch to lift our food away from racoons. With our cooler, no need to do this, but that didn't stop the game).

We set up our tent in a hopefully inconspicuous spot, and settled in for the night. We always forget something when we go camping. This time, we forgot books (and paper towels for cleaning dishes), so we took turns telling stories about a father and son fighting off lava trolls with their bow and spear to recover a huge blue diamond. Father and son always have big adventures in our stories.

I woke up several times during the night, but there was no crunch of police car tires or a spotlight on our tent. We finally woke up at 6:00 am and packed up in the dark. The generator light on my Novara Buzz was giving me issues (I think just a bad connection), so I borrowed Henry's new headlamp to light up the bike trails. We hit the playground at Emerald Fields when it was still dark:

I wonder what the dog walker that passed us thought we were up to. We had a light snack here, but it was soon time to hit the road for breakfast. We did stop to take some pictures with the President's Cup golf balls as we passed them:

before we finally got to our usual breakfast spot:

Sure beats instant oatmeal. We were home by 8:45, where we found everyone just getting out of bed. Another S24O in the books!

Incidentally, last year I made a target to get out for six nights of overnight bike camping trips, and only made four. This year, no target, but I've already done four bike trips and one backpacking trip. Not bad so far--and maybe I can still squeeze one more in this year.

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