Archive: July 2015 - Low Brau

Recovery Gear Tool Box

Recovery Gear Tool Box

20150705 - Recovery Gear Box

 

Previously I had a big plastic foot locker that was from my college days that I would cram a bunch of random camping and recovery gear in.  It wasn’t very organized, and was kind of a catchall for any off-road trips that I may have been headed on.  With the addition of the winch, picking up a tree saver (had the tow strap already) and a couple of other items, I decided it was time to have a tool box that would cover the recovery and tool basics.  I didn’t want to pick up one of the very pricey options that you can find all over the place, and after searching Home Depot and Lowes, finally settled on a box that I saw for sale at Lowes.  It’s pretty sturdy, has a gasket to protect the interior from water infiltration, has a nice handle, and was a decent size.

At the moment, here is what I packed into it:

  • Tow strap
  • Tree saver strap
  • Camo tarp
  • Bear Grylls Gerber knife w/ fire flint
  • Gloves
  • Entrenching tool for shoveling needs
  • Axe/Machete sharpener
  • Knife sharpener
  • Head lamp
  • D-Ring
  • Safety glasses
  • Winch remote
  • Machete
  • Survival waterproof bag (has more fire starting material, 550 paracord, and other survival odds and ends)
  • Bundle of rope
  • Carabiners and other fasteners
  • High calorie nutritious snacks
  • Not Pictured – allan wrenches, screw drivers, and some other tools

I think over time, some of this will grow and develop further.  Some of these items may end up finding other homes, but for now, I felt that this covered at least a decent amount of  my recovery and tool concern for the time being.  Wasn’t able to add some of my other camping gear, and I’ll have to find a temporary home for the growler cooler. I’m planning on adding a drawer system and some other storage components that will help down the road.  Still think this is a good start none the less.

Second Annual VT Alumni Beer Fest & Hiking

Second Annual VT Alumni Beer Fest & Hiking

June 26-28, 2015

We headed down mid afternoon Friday to Blacksburg, Virginia in preparation for an early morning before heading to the Beer fest.  The drive down saw some periods of rain, and plenty of traffic.  Seems many are getting a jumpstart on their Independence Day Holiday, lots of RVs and roof packed vehicles.  After a bit of baby uncomfort on the way down, we pulled into town around 8pm.  We grabbed a quick dinner and settled for the night.  Only main disturbances were my disagreeing stomach from something eaten previously, and a over tired little one.

150627 - VT Beer - Heidi Drill

Heidi taking a break on the Virginia Tech Drillfield.

The next morning, we were up early, the norm now, so grabbed some breakfast and headed to campus.  Decided to throw the ball with Heidi a bit in hopes of tiring her out.  Eli was onto his nap at this point, so we just kept throwing.  There was a dampness in the air, and an occasional sprinkle but not the rain that was forecasted.  After a quick visit to a university bookstore to update our school swag and an additional umbrella, we dropped Heidi off at the hotel and headed to the beer fest.  We met Mark and Virginia in the parking lot and were admitted early.  There were only about twenty breweries there, but a decent mix of locals (Bulls & Bones, Roanoke Rail) and bigger craft names (Sierra Nevada and New Belgium).  We did spot a ShockTop tent and there was plenty of Bud and Miller advertisements.  Only a few food vendors.  One of which was a pizza vendor, we ordered the Jack & Balls, a pizza with all meats and veggies available, topped with meatballs.  It didn’t last long and inspired our partners to grab one for themselves.  The souvenir glass was a shaker pint, and there was plenty of stickers, bottle openers, and other merch up for grabs.  With entry, the bracelet had 15 samples on it.  Some of these pours however went above the 4 oz line (helped slightly by our new free beer coozie covering up part of the glass) resulting in Linda and I having to pass our bracelets on.  Time for another nap.  We met up later at Mellow Mushroom, for yup, more pizza.  The app showed up late, but everything was pretty good.  A little on the pricey side, especially for Blacksburg, but worked none the less.  We were headed for an early night.

150627 - VT Beer - Natty Greene

Cool Natty Greene draft handle and excited beer volunteer.

150627 - VT Beer - Beer Fest

View of a portion of the beer fest.

150627 - VT Beer - Pizza

Jack & Balls Pizza

Sunday morning was another early morning and breakfast.  After running some errands around town, we met up with our partners and headed north.  We decided after a few nap time hours on Route 11, we would hit a hike.  The day was beautiful with perfect skies and a nice breeze.  We stopped at the Belfast Trail outside of Natural Bridge.  Parking was minimal, but pulling up on the side of the road is not a concern for the 4Runner.  The trail heads to the Devil’s Marbleyard, which exposes itself after almost a mile and a half of gradual and then more extreme upward slope.  It literally looked as if someone’s dump truck accidentally tipped over or something.  I stayed at the base with Eli as the others explored further.  Seems I’ll have to try this one again based on the pics.  Eli and I played with tree bark, dirt, and leaves after a snack.  The downward trip was much simpler and went smoothly.

150628 - VT Beer - Belfast Trail

The start of the hike.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's MY Me

Made it to the top.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's MY Rocks

Lots of rocks heading up.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's MY View

View from the top.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's MY Linda

Linda and Heidi posing with the Marbleyard.

We decided during the descent that lunch and beer were in order, hopefully together.  Sadly, Devil’s Backbone lodge was a bit out of the way, so we grabbed burgers, shakes, and donuts at Pure Eats in Lexington.  Great little joint and we got to eat outside.  Then we stopped in at Devil’s Backbone Outpost brewery for a flight.  Since we had Heidi, he took advantage of their beer garden, which has a great shaded view of the mountains.  I picked up a couple of bottles of 16 Point IPA for the cellar and this was where we parted ways.  The remainder of the journey proved to be quiet, and we got home in time for buddy’s bed time.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's BB Tanks

Fermentation tanks.

150628 - VT Beer - Devil's BB Beer

Flights in the beer garden.

150628 - VT Beer - Devils BB - View

View from the beer garden.

Was a nice little trip, though journeys like this leave me yearning for more.

Info:

VT Beer Fest
Holtzman Alumni Center Lawn & Terrace
http://www.alumni.vt.edu/beerfestival/

Devil’s Marbleyard
106 East Washington Street
Lexington, VA 24450
http://www.hikingupward.com/JNF/DevilsMarbleyard/

Pure Eats
107 North Main Street
Lexington, VA 24450
www.pure-eats.com

Devil’s Backbone Brewery (Outpost)
50 Northwind Lane
Lexington, VA 24450
540.452.6200
www.dbbrewingcompany.com