Monday, August 26, 2002

I'm back from my weekend backpack. It was a nice trip but we were a bit disappointed that the only folks to show up for the trip were the trip leaders. Two participants had to pull out two days before the trip. The third participant just never showed up at the meeting time Friday night. I sat around for 45 minutes waiting for him to show. Not a real fun way to start off a trip. Oh well. He never showed up the entire weekend.

I hit the trail at 6 p.m. and went at my fastest pace for the 3 mile trek to Slate Creek camp. It felt a little daring to be doing it solo. I love solo hiking but I don't do it that often. I got to camp at 7:05 p.m. I took site number 1. It was a nice little site. There were 5 sites at the camp ground. I put my tent up but then decided it was too nice out to be sleeping in the tent so I put my thermarest on the ground and dumped my sleeping bag on top of it. I cooked myself some dinner, cleaned up, and then got in my sleeping bag and read my novel waiting for Wen and Ki to show up. They were due to arrive around 8 or 9 p.m. They got to camp at 8:30 p.m. and were glad to see my light. They decided to skip using their tent too. Later this turned out to be fortuitous as they discovered they forgot their tent poles! After unpacking their sleeping bags we all settled in and chatted for a while and then went to sleep. Our sleep was disturbed a couple times by racoons coming into camp. We had bear cans for our food so the racoons were frustrated by us since they couldn't get at our food. We still yelled at them to scat though two times that night.

Saturday we slept in late. The plan for the day was to just hang around camp and relax all day long. I had planned on leading a hike during the day but Wen's knee was really sore and she got some nasty blisters so she stayed in camp and Ki wanted to stay in camp to keep her company. I didn't want to hike alone so I hung out with them. We had a marvelous time enjoying the redwood forest environment, reading, eating, and talking. We also got to observe day hikers pass through and watch other backpackers arrive at camp. At 1:45 p.m. a big troop of girl scouts arrived. They had a real nice leader who came over to us three times to apologize in advance for the noise the girls might make. They were not that bad and we rather enjoyed their rambunctiousness. Our friend Linda was hiking in that afternoon to hang out with us and we thought stay the night but she arrived with just a day pack as she did not plan to stay the night after all.

However, the high light of the trip was Linda brought a backcountry oven, pizza fixings, and brownie fixings and made us pizza and brownies in the oven! The pizza was great. She brought Boboli bread and lots of cool toppings and we each made put on our favorite toppings and cooked it in the oven. It took a long time for all of us to get our pizzas but we had plenty of time and it turned out just great. We joked that we had pizza delivered to us on a backpack trip! It is probably the best meal I have ever had on a backpacking trip. Linda took off at 6:30 p.m. and the rest of us cleaned up real well in the hopes that the racoons would not visit us so much this night. We crawled in our sleeping bags at 7:00 p.m. as it was getting cold. We all had warm bags and had comfortable nights and enjoyed being out in the fresh air instead of in a tent. We chatted, read a little, and slowly drifted off to sleep.

Alas we had more night time visitors that night. We watched one racoon sniff around our bear cans and leave. Then around midnight, I stirred and saw a racoon right at Ki's feet with something in its mouth. I yelled to Ki to wake up and that the racoon had something of ours. It took her a while to realize that the racoon had her trousers! The racoon started taking off with the trousers but dropped them several feet away. Poor Ki had to get up, put on her boots, and glasses and go fetch the trousers. Fortunately the racoon had not chewed up the trousers in anyway or damaged them. Ki put them under her head for the rest of the night! I believe that coon was our last visiter that night.

I woke up at 7 a.m. and just lay there till nature caused me to get up to visit the potty :-). We had a very slow mellow morning of eating breakfast and packing up. The hike back was fairly quick and uneventful. It was indeed a mellow but fun trip for the weekend. Its just too bad we couldn't have shared it with some beginners!