The PolarBears, left to right; Dan Waddell, Greg Fante, Mark Thieman, Greg Shade, David "Fudd" Albright,
Tom Takacs, Jim O'Toole. Pat Devore, Mike Broderick, Rick Walters, and Pete Ramsey.
The Deam Wilderness area, located off IN 446, is nestled in the Hoosier National Forest next to Lake Monroe. We arrived on Friday night and stayed at the Blackwell Horse Campground (map). Because of the convenience to car camping, we were able to enjoy some of the finer amenities of camping. Comfortable lounge chairs, charcoal grilling, plenty of fire wood and tunes cranked out from the car stereo. Also, due to the uncertainty of the 2002 Polar Bears weather forecast, we could easily stock up on extra coats and clothing (just in case). Once again, food was in abundance, with fares of Chicken, Steak and introduced for the first time, Pizza (thanks Mark). The traditional chips, pretzels and peanuts were also seen.
The Lord blessed us with a spectacular clear starry night. Mark and Mike were able to point out a few constellations and planets. Both of them wished they had telescopes. The flat topped horse fences also made for a very nice bar area. Polar Bearers had a wide variety of Bourbons and Whiskeys to choose from. Some choose more than others...
The next morning, some campers thought they might still be feeling the effects of the night before, when they saw a midget ride by on a pony...and what were those damn metal rails for?
By noon that afternoon, with temperatures rising into the upper 40's, the Polar bear campers loaded up and proceeded to the Fire Tower (pictured left) parking lot. After checking out all 133 steps and a beautiful view, we headed off to find our campsite. 1.5 miles into the Sycamore trail, we were able to find a excellent campsite in a stand of pines near a creek. After a few hours of hanging out in hammocks, chairs and just standing around, a small group lead by Greg S. decided to check out the rest of Sycamore Trail. The 5.0 mile lead us through beautiful stands of trees, with several nice campsites along the creek and a few near some small ponds. A cemetery can be found near the half way point with excellent camping near a good size pond in the same area.
That night was filled with cigar smoke, tall tales and reminiscing of days gone by. These are reasons we love to camp. The weather cooperated and rained while we were sleeping, stop just before we arose the next morning. Warm temperatures Saturday and Sunday made this one of the milder trips, but no one was complaining. Especial Rick, who came prepared with a 0º bag. Tom past the initiation test, and didn't seem to mind as much as David did last year. (He must have done it before).
All in all, good fun and fellowship has had by all. Another successful Polar Bear.
Click here for some photos taken by David and Tom.
E-mail me at Polar Bear email