Jul and I headed out for a weekend in Yosemite with Cara and Gregd (a.k.a Gear man) over labor day. I have always felt I had a solid collection of hiking gear but it turns out my gear levels are not even at the same order of magnitude as Greg. I am in the college league and he is in the pros.
Despite the fact that packing for a hiking trip actually turns out to be the only detail oriented tendency I have, the trip got off to a exciting start when two hours outside of San Francisco I realized I hadn’t packed the sleeping bags. This was particularly exciting because the meadow where we would stay was at about 8,000 feet and got !@#$!#@ cold at night. “Luckily” the central valley seems to have turned into a long stretch of Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, Starbucks, Chili’s, Gap clusters. We were able to pickup bedding (soon to grace Gregd’s new guest room) and more critical to survival, several pounds of Swedish fish and liquorice. How Bed, Bath, and Beyond has made the link between bedding and candy I don’t know but I think it is brilliant.
If you ever want to go camping I highly suggest putting Greg in charge. We had a enough food to live for months. Hell, we had five different kinds of GORP. We were visited by several bears at night and it turns out Jul has quite a fear of bears. This fear was not calmed by our “they are more scared of you then you are of them” assurances. In reflection I have come to the conclusion this is a pretty healthy fear and my lack of it only confirms my belief that I would last about three seconds as a caveman.
We identified Greg’s life goal as “learning skills” which was quickly amended to “learning mad skills” in reverence to the great Napoleon Dynamite. As a result we ended up exploring my fear of the post apocalyptic world because I have no mad skills. (Yes I fear the apocalypse but not bears.) When the government falls I just can’t seem somebody saying “quick, what we need is a Director who can direct this mess” or “if only we had somebody to surf those waves.” Given a gun there would be as good a chance I would shoot myself as any assailant. Our friend Fred Cliff will be all set in the post apocalyptic world — he is a bow hunter and a great cook. I think he would end up as clan leader.
I did my best to blast 50 Cent as we drove through the Yosemite Valley so everybody could enjoy music with the amazing natural backdrop. Jul calls me a “punk” when I do things like that and at age 31 I’m pretty sure that isn’t a complement.
One of the coolest thing was we stopped at the base of El Capitan at dusk and watched headlamps of climbers go on all along the rock face. I had no idea it was a three to five day climb and you have to sleep lashed to the rock face. There is something about the perspective of a pinhole size headlamp on the side of a 3,000 foot rock face that makes you understand how big it is.
Everyone agreed the best part of camping was the campfire. And the S’mores. At this point in my life I feel like I should suggest the Four Seasons install a few fire rings. Why not have a camp fire AND a shower and some mints on your bedside table?