So here I am in the tree. You can't tell in the picture, but that is a good 18 feet up in the air. Believe me, it felt a whole lot more like 50 feet. In the distractions of the morning, I failed to get a picture of the steps headed up to the stand. You can kind of see the tops of them to the left of me in the picture.
Here is a close up. (It almost took Joe as long to get the camera figured out as it did me climbing the tree for the first time. Haha...just kidding....sort of.) If you look really close you can see the "tracks of my tears". Wow...there were some tears shed heading up that thing the first time. And there may have been some sobbing as I worked my way down. It took me more than a couple of tries to work up the courage to get it climbed and seated. I stayed up there for awhile....had Joe walk around to where my shooting range was...and took a couple of pictures.
This is the view from my stand. I am told it is quite pretty as the sun comes up. I was trying to enjoy it, but he SWAYING TREE kept distracting me for some reason. So I came down from the tree. We walked over to Joe's stand which is about 100 yards from mine. Then we came back to mine and I went up and down it like a pro. I knew if I went up and down it once without dying that I would be fine. And I was. I should be fine next weekend. Which is why we set up this:
Yep, a blind. Seriously, I am planning on hunting from the tree stand, but if it is really windy or rainy, I am not climbing the tree. And a final picture.....