Jul 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm #1276629
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
A trip from a few weeks ago. It was my friend Ed's first time camping and my first lightweight trip (though, as you'll see, some of the lightweight part was accidental). In fact, it was following this trip that I went UL for serious and Ed went as UL as his girlfriend would allow.
We arrived at Bear Valley visitors center around 4pm on a Tuesday, having no idea that campsites fill up each night, even at midweek. A Ranger dashed our hopes of camping by the beach and told us that only one site remained for the night, at Glen Campground, 2 miles inland. As it happened, this was a lucky break…
It turned out that I had left both poles and fly for my REI Quarter Dome (which I had, up to that point, thought was insanely light at just 4lbs for the plus model) at home. As it happened, there were enough branches and anchor points around to jerry rig the inner wall into a bug shelter and bathtub floor, at the very least, and the forecast suggested no precipitation was imminent.
Our makeshift camp now pitched, we backtracked to the trail down to Wildcat Beach, and found this lovely view along the way…
This plant grew in pockets everywhere. As a recent East Coast transplant, I'd never seen it before, and when they were looked at from the right angle en masse, they seemed to mimic a Gaussian blur, which I thought was pretty cool…
After a total of less than 10 miles, Ed's overloaded pack had already rubbed his hips raw. This was his first time camping, but he loved to cook, and thought it perfectly reasonable to bring whole cans of beans and tomatoes, jars of spices, utensils, etc. for our chili dinner. His pack must have weighed near 40lbs for about 24 hours on trail. We forgot our pain once we hit the coast…
Ed promptly set to dinner, and though I doubt he'll bring so much weight in food next time, I was grateful for the feast he prepared…
We had hoped to cook on coals after having a proper campfire, but scouring the beach (the only place from which we were allowed to collect wood) turned up only enough small branches for a token campfire.
The tide came in while we were eating and we had to climb around on the cliffs behind us to get back to the path into the beach. Unfortunately our hands were too occupied with holding on to grab a photo.
We were blessed with a full moon for the hike back to camp from the beach…
All of these photos were taken by me using Ed's Nikon D3100 and 18-55 kit lens. Light was either found or provided by headlamps. Post processing of JPGs was done on the ride home on my iPad 2 with PhotoForge 2 and Snapseed by Nik Software.Jul 13, 2011 at 8:31 am #1758836
@ahemphillLocale: Bay Area
Nice report! I know the spot pictured just after the plant. I'm hoping to make it up to Point Reyes before the season is out; the last time I backpacked up there was a few years ago. (We got Sky Camp and it was amazing.)Jul 13, 2011 at 9:27 am #1758848
Nice quick hike. 40 pounds for 24 hours! Yikes! I did a 4 days there out of a Golite Ion a couple years ago, and had a great time. The plant is a horsetail (Equisetum) – they are very cool looking.Jul 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm #1760316
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Nice trip. I went there last fall to wildcat camp and we all hung out at the same beach next to a campfire. Probably until 2 in the morning. We probably burnt every piece of wood within a quarter of a mile. Sorry…..lol.
We got in when it was dark, I didn't see the bear box, left my food on the table, came back and it was gone. Stupid raccoons….
There was so much moisture in the air that my sleeping bag got wet and all of the clothing I was going to sleep in, which was placed on the table, was soaked. Very miserable night. If I wasn't on a barren coastal bluff and I was in a woodland with firewood around, I would have burned it, regardless of regulations. That's how cold I was.
On the way out we went by the waterfalls.
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