Feb 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm #1285899
Thanks to everyone who came out in the beautiful weather to enjoy themselves in the revelry that is the GGG. Please post your photos and such here to share. You were a great group this year!
The gear to be seen of course did not disappoint. Many mouths agape walking around camp, Awesome.
More children this year. They had a good time as well. Quite a few repeat offenders this time. Nice to see you all again.
The dynamic has changed though. We now have more people than can converge around a single fire anymore. We were more spread out this year. Also this year marked the change that more people came out for both night instead of just Saturday night.
Wide range of topics discussed. Always someone to geek out with.
I really appreciate all the good feedback and words of appreciation and encouragement from everyone. So much so that I'm game to do it again.
You are the reason the GGG is successful. With such a wide range of ages and social and economic backgrounds being able to come together and play nice with each other. So funny to hear from so many how they usually do the solo thing, but were glad to have come to this event.
Special thanks to the cottage manufacturers that attended. Dave from Gossamer Gear was great and had some interesting things to show off. Russ, his son and his brother Lee from Trail Designs were a hoot as well, also bringing a few surprises. Peter Vacco, living legend, and owner of Peter's Headnets always brings a special flair to these events and is always a welcome addition. Dear friend and the knitting powerhouse behind Mountaingoat Hats, Katharina makes every trip a pleasure and spreads warmth one head at a time.
Thanks to Hikin' Jim for the marathon stove demo. A long drive for him as well. I wound up with your cooler.
All my helpers this weekend made my weekend all not work, so thanks to Tony Wong, The Real Jack Elliot, Iceaxe, Cameron aka B.G. for the fantastic home brewed beer. Jay Wilkerson, Dave Lutz(sorry to stick you with the trash, unintentional, but fortuitous),Marc Eldridge, and Josh Billings. Thank you all so much.
Diana V. Pure pleasure, thanks for the single malt. And a proper glass to drink from.
Henry Coe Ranger, Jennifer Naber and the volunteers were easy to work with and appreciated the cooperation they received from our "well prepared bunch".
Thanks again to all of you.
I made some new friends and hopefully hiking partners. I'll keep you all in the loop.
I kept too occupied "working the room" to take any photos. So don't hold back, post yours here.
Got a lot of constructive suggestions for next time from the optimists. If you have some thoughts on how I can make this event better, please don't hold back. PM me if you would.
I look at the members here at BPL as an extended family. I gladly put this together for all of us to enjoy. I'm so glad that 60 out of 70, could have been a few more I lost count, turned out and participated. It looked to me like most were having a enjoyable time, and many said that they were.
To those who were on the fence about coming and did not. Well there is next year.
Thanks again to Ken Helwig for thinking up this event, and getting Trail Designs and Gossamer Gear to show.
Thanks to to BPL for the site/forums that make the largest gathering of your members happen. Even though you seem to be fairly unaware that this event goes on. I think we got some new members for you.Feb 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm #1841789
James DeMonacoBPL Member
@jdemonacoLocale: San Francisco
I had a great time, thanks again to everyone that came and to both the kens for getting this thing together every year.
This was my first time at a GGG and I'm hooked, already can't wait for next years!
I forgot my camera, but I managed to snap a couple pics with my phone.
Gear Swap in the parking lot
Feb 20, 2012 at 7:52 am #1841844
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
James, bummer I did not get to meet you!
It was a lot of fun this year. I kept telling the other Ken how great the weather was this year. In years past we have had rain, showers, snow flurries…but not this year….sunshine!Feb 20, 2012 at 9:57 am #1841905
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I am hoping this won't sound like a silly Oscar speech, but I want to call out some of the wonderful people that attended this year’s GGG. Several of these folks I have been lucky to get to know on many of the hikes that I have enjoyed so much. In no particular order and leaving too many out.
My thanks to the Kens, what more can I say, all the hard work and good attitude paid off once again. Jay, always ready to go and a big smile to boot. My friend Josh, happy welcoming Josh with his palace complete with a wood burning stove. Cameron, hard to find a brilliant mind of his caliber combined with the gentlest of souls and never bragging even though he could…. . David Lutz, easy going and always willing to help. Marc Elridge, providing wood ,water and good company for the whole group. Peter Vacco, sharing invaluable information to anyone that cares to learn. Tony, making sure nothing goes undocumented…Jeremy and his delightful son. Jack, fun, funny and ever so resourceful and generous. Greg Gressel, in between his running and training , we were able to keep him still long enough to enjoy his company around the fire. David Wage, another reliable smile and good attitude toward all. Lisa Frugoli and her husband, a wealth of knowledge, indulged me in my plant and soil rantings. Diana V., friendly and kind under a no nonsense go out and get it done attitude! Manfred and his lovely wife, bringing a bit of Europe to the scene, as well as some great gear. Casey with his little son and his wonderful parents; can’t wait to hike with you again. Debbie and her legendary brownies. Matt (Iceaxe) for having such a contagious and uplifting good spirit. The Steuttermans and Lundquists showing us how well couples can do on the trail. Everyone else that shared their company around the fire and contributed to such a positive event, my thanks.Feb 20, 2012 at 10:06 am #1841911
@rick778Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
"Tony, making sure nothing goes undocumented"
And don't forget Tony's awesome fire building skills
Feb 20, 2012 at 10:47 am #1841927
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Kat, that was very poignant.Feb 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm #1842033
Kat listed already so eloquently all the people who contributed to the success of last weekend's GGG IV, that I won't repeat any names — besides saying Thanks to Ken & Ken.
Instead I would like to list four things that made this years's event even better than last year's. These four things enhanced the flow of ideas and exchange of best practices for backpacking enormously.
1) Couples — My wife came along and we met several other couples. It was fun to exchange tips with them. Couple quilt vs. zipped together sleeping bag was only one of the interesting discussions. Seeing the gear right then and there and even being able to borrow a quilt for a while to see how it feels, how drafty it would be in the wind out there is priceless.
2) Kids — Although we had decided last minute not to bring our children, other people brought them. Exchanging ideas about including children in our favorite past time, about gear that works for kids, etc. was great. Seeing the children at the camp fire with smores made for some memorable moments. Sunday we went geocaching with some children — it was amazing to see how they picked up their pace when looking for a "treasure box".
3) Scouters — We backpack as a family and also with scouts. Meeting other scouters and exchanging ideas about how to best introduce scouts to lightweight backpacking, how to convince their parents that the "better rated" sleeping bag is not better, how to offer lightweight alternatives that are not breaking the bank, etc. was very valuable.
4) Vendors — Gossamer Gear and Trail Designs were present during the weekend. Not only was it great to see some of their new ideas, but it was also exciting to see how open they were to ideas. These vendors were truly interested to hear from the community what works, what doesn't work, what would be a great new product or great improvement to an existing product. On top of that both provided excellent customer service. I got things repaired/exchanged right there, just by asking how I could fix a certain problem.
So for next year. I can only encourage any of these four groups to show up in bigger numbers. More couples, more kids, more scouters and more vendors will make next year's event even better.
Thanks again to everyone who came and thus made GGG IV a success.
ManfredFeb 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm #1842044
Claire and Kano had a great time doing geocaching with you and Michelle. They just finished telling their grandparents all about it. Thanks so much for a wonderful time. Looking forward to next year.
JimFeb 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm #1842121
Thanks to everybody for making the weekend such a good time! It was great to chat with and meet many of you. Julie and I had a blast. We're already looking forward to next year and hopefully a few trips with some of you between now and then. Here's some of the pics we took….
The primary gathering area
The Kens and others chatting with the Trail Designs folks (I think)
Jack cruising down the hill
The good stuff. Thanks again, Cameron!
The secondary gathering area in campsite #10
Setting up the Trailstar
Most Uniquely Pitched Tarp
Josh's smokin' setup
A view inside Josh's pyramid
Cooking with wood
Gathering around the campfire
No event is complete without some colored lights
Julie's flaming silhouette
Bed time for MorganFeb 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm #1842144
Joshua BillingsBPL Member
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Hey everyone! I just wanted to say how much fun you all are! I had so much fun hanging out in my tent around thethe woodstove with you guys and around the campfire. Good stuff. Big thanks to ken Thompson and Ken Helwig. Also big thanks to Mark for the water and wood( and the late night entertainment).Those hammocks can be tricky after you've had a few. And Cameron! Man that was grand to have 4 kegs of sweet homebrew on tap! Thanks again. Was super fun meeting the trail designs brothers. So approachable and fun to hang with. I love their products so we had much to talk about. So let's do it again! Too many friends to mention but you are close to my heart! Thanks again.Feb 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm #1842162
The wonderful thing about our little hiker community is the way you get to meet some of the best friends you never knew you had.
You are the best!
Here is my photo essay of BPL's GGG IV in chronological order (kinda).
Thankyou Ken, Ken, Cameron, Kat, GG man, Jack, Jack, Mark, and so many others…
Thankyou so much everyone for making me feel so welcome at GGG.
Kegs were drained, gear was geeked over, some hiking was done, some eyebrows were burnt, some hurling was had (it's okay Mark.. i wont tell a soul!)
I had a total blast!Feb 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm #1842168
Diana VannBPL Member
Good times! That's a good way to describe the time we had. What a great group of people. I enjoyed seeing a couple of old friends and making a bunch of new ones. A particular delight was sharing food, beverages, and stories of the trail. It was a bit overwhelming, but wonderful, to see and to touch so much gear that I had previously only read about. A big thanks definitely goes to all who helped make this event a reality, especially Ken and Ken.
Several of you asked about my combination kayaking and hiking adventures. As promised, I have posted some information about them in this
BPL forum thread.Feb 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm #1842182
Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East BayFeb 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm #1842208
@ Jay, lol!
@ Manfred, Good suggestions all and duly noted.
Keep the pictures and words coming. It went by so fast…Feb 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm #1842213
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Jay, who was the bearded imposter?
–B.G.–Feb 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm #1842216
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
A huge success indeed. Thanks for making this happen.
Friends, it was great spending time with you all. Be in touch about future trips.
– I had an amazing encounter with a Gray Fox on the drive in. It stopped me to play in the road. Bounded all around, spun in circles, ran up to my open car window, play some more. It stayed for a minute.
– Meeting the tribe. Ya'll are awesome. Let's do it more often.
– Hiking an abandoned road on Saturday with fellow BPLers.
– Cameron's homebrew made from a rare/boutique variety of hops.
– Finishing the weekend with a ~40 mile loop in the Orestimba Wilderness. Coe's trails and roads are disappearing due to lack of use. I was a stone's throw from millions, walking valleys and ridges that see fewer people than obscure Sierran locales.Feb 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm #1842220
Hey Bob that's no impostor. That's our Beer Guy.Feb 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm #1842236
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
It was great meeting everyone this weekend. I kept talking to person after person and without exception everyone was friendly, had interesting stories to tell, and were great company to hang out with around a campfire. I hope that some of the Bay Area folks will get together again for a trip sometime soon… Ellen and I try to make it out at least once a month if not more and are always looking for people to come along. Don't hestitate to drop me a line if you want to get together for a trip sometime.
Jack- how was Orestimba? I've been meaning to make it out there for awhile, but for me it's probably a 2 night trip and I haven't gotten around to devoting a 3-day weekend to it yet.
AndrewFeb 20, 2012 at 10:23 pm #1842270
David W.BPL Member
@davidpcvsamoaLocale: East Bay, CA
I had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. I look forward to hopefully hiking with everyone before next years meetup. It is outings like this one that makes this online community special. Thank you Ken!Feb 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm #1842291
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
Orestimba is great! It's a uniquely Californian landscape, and one that's under appreciated. I walked three long river valleys and up and over two ridge systems. The reputation for steep trails/roads in Coe is well deserved. It can be extremely steep!
My trip had little shade outside of the oaks in the river valleys. I believe that all of the water is seasonal, and much of it is cow polluted. One lake that I visited had quite the diversity of water fowl.
It's not a place that most would devote more than a weekend to. Therefore it's well suited for distance backpackers. Since there are so few of us, and few people know about the area, and fewer people care for the vegetation types, it's hardly traveled.
I'd say the only traffic that it gets are from people heading to Mt. Stakes the long way. A couple of people a year (most on Coe's "Backcountry weekend"). Some areas are trafficked by ranchers (Paradise Valley for one) but I'm not sure about the rest of the region.Feb 21, 2012 at 9:26 am #1842380
Matt, in the photo below, is that a Bear Paw or a Patrol Shelter? And what is the inner?Feb 21, 2012 at 9:35 am #1842383
Jeremy PendreyBPL Member
FYI, Tony has started posting his photo thread, though he is far from done:
Had a great weekend, and my son did too. He is already in for next year!Feb 21, 2012 at 9:45 am #1842389
Paul, I noticed Jay answered the same question in another thread.
"that is a BearPaw Wilderness Designs–Canopy 2 Tarp, olive green cuban fiber at 13.5oz.
Bug net is Yama Mountain Gear 2.0 Bug Shelter at 15.5oz"
I believe Matt's first photo is the cuben Patrol Shelter.Feb 21, 2012 at 9:51 am #1842393
JASON CUZZETTOBPL Member
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
THANK YOU SO MUCH. I am at a loss for words… Well not really… The fact is you all said it so well. I brought my daughter for her first backpacking trip and she loved it. The perfect distance for a 9 year olds first trip! She required a little more attention than I expected so it put a bit of a damper into some of my mingling. However, I got to meet a lot of people and even found a potential hiking partner or two. THIS GGG IV EVENT Rocked!!!
Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
I am working on an article for BPL and am very excited to read all of your posts and put this together the best I can. I will contact anyone who I think has a great picture for an article. I would love any write ups anyone wants to do on specific aspects so we can put more content in would be fantastic.
After telling my wife about it we may have an additional participant. She was even interested in putting together some children's events for next year – go figure she is a pre-school teacher.
Ken – you are way cooler than in your posts!!!Feb 21, 2012 at 10:06 am #1842402
d kBPL Member
Ken, thanks so much to you and everyone who contributed to the success of the weekend.
I really enjoyed seeing other people's equipment (got to see a few things I'd been wondering about), the stuff the cottage manufacturers brought, Hikin' Jim's stoves, Cameron's beer, Diana's shared breakfast stuff, Jack's oven and muffins, and especially just meeting everyone and putting faces with the names I read so often (I remembered quite a few from last year, always something to be grateful for at my age!). Though he's decidedly not a gear freak, Larry still enjoyed the people and the experience, more than either of us expected. My "enlightenment" is still a work in progress; on the way home we discussed how the big limiting factor for me is my need to be warm, and I seem to get colder than most people. Much of the weight and bulk in my pack is aimed at that; clothing and sleep options will probably always (until a lighter alternative to down is discovered) keep my pack bigger than I'd like. But I can still work towards a more compact cooking setup, a more suitable tent, and try out different pack options (lots of MYOG in my future, I think). Plenty of inspiration there this weekend!
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