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Crazed and Possibly Homeless Camper

We camped last weekend with some friends in Caspers Wilderness. We were a party of eight (and it was a party, I can tell you), so we needed two camp sites. When I made the reservations, I asked for two adjoining sites. And indeed I did get two sites next to each other, but they were separated by a brier patch of beaver tail cactus a la WWI trench warfare barbed wire. (We tried to get another site that was more “adjoining” but the rangers said all the sites were booked for the weekend. So whoever had site 38, but never showed and never cancelled – THANKS A LOT, YOU TURDS!)

Friday night was fine and fun. But in the late afternoon of Saturday, this crazy lady showed up at the site next to ours and claimed all she could see as her site, which left us with essentially a parking spot and a rocky patch (enough for one tent) next to the parking spot. She was adamant about having “site 35 for the next 14 days.” Essentially she was squatting.

Very diplomatically, Travis asked a ranger to come over and mediate the situation rather than argue. The ranger indicated that we were entitled to what we were using. But the problem was that we were trying to reason with crazy. You can’t reason with crazy. Luckily we had plenty of room on out other site and we made it work (a la the Tim Gunn talking bobble-head). And by the next morning the only thing on the site was one single tent. Just plain nutty.

But I know that crazy lady is still at site 35 in the Live Oak Campground at Caspers Wilderness until 28 March, 2008. Site 35 in Live Oak. I’m thinking of leaving a menacing looking lawn gnome in front of her tent. Though I am not sure if it is better to leave the gnome facing the tent for her to see when she wakes up in the morning, or standing at the door facing out for her to find when she returns from her crazy, homeless errands. I also feel bad for anyone else who has site 8 reserved for the next two weeks.

Camp Fire

Warning: Don’t touch this thing.

Blister Ball Thingy

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The Forlorn Camper

My WTC group is currently camping in the Sierras just west of Bishop.  I caught a most unfortunate and untimely cold that prevented my going.  I have a brand new sleeping bag I was pumped to try out on this trip too.  It is a Marmot “Never Summer” that I got on super sale from REI for $107!

Instead I have taken up temporary residence on the couch and have come to learn that my favorite food is Ricola. Though I seem to only have claim to two-thirds of the couch now. I recently got up to use the restroom only to find my dog, The Nudge, curled up on the last cushion citing “Squater’s Rights.”

I keep looking at the clock and wondering what the group is doing “right now.”  Right now, they should be on their way back from a short hike to due at camp by 5pm for dinner and happy hour.

Snow Camp 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Actually this isn’t much of a resolution, nor is it resolutions plural. This is more of a goal for the year that probably won’t interest you much.Last year I completed the Wilderness Travel Course offered by the Sierra Club‘s Angeles Chapter. (In the last few years I’ve really become a fan of hiking and camping.) The course was super fun and I recommend it to anyone who has even a fleeting interest in hiking and camping.While completing WTC I learned about other sub-groups within the Sierra Club that group people together with similar interests – groups for photographers, kayakers, mountaineers, skiers, dog lovers and so on.One such group is called the Hundred Peaks Section. As you may have guessed from the name, this group is comprised of people who collect peaks. The group has a constantly updating list of peaks in Southern California (currently about 275) for hikers to summit. Once you’ve completed 25 peaks you may be admitted into the group. And once you hit 100 peaks you get a sweet patch and the satisfaction of knowing that you bagged 100 Southern Californian peaks.So my goal for this year is to get up to the requisite 25 peaks for admittance into the group. So far I already have 7 completed. Follow up goals of getting 100 peaks and finally all 275 are also on the agenda, but obviously I won’t complete those by this time next year.Let’s hope my knees hold up!