Sunday, December 14, 2008


Matillija Creek

Campsite under the oaks

This is why I don't backpack--I'm too much of a hedonist!

"Front Porch"

The "Mystery Bug" - Still haven't identified this little oddity.

Acron Woodpecker granary. There was a large family of them that had claimed the whole area around our campsite. It was neat waking up to their lively chattering, buzzing, and drumming in the morning.

Wheeler Gorge, July 2008

Backtracking a bit with this post, to a camping trip taken this past summer. It was bloody hot that weekend, which made hiking at all but dusk and dawn nearly impossible. It was nice to be outside all weekend though. Each evening we walked out across the road to the visitor’s center parking lot to watch the bats come out.

On the second night, as we were sitting in camp and just gazing up at the gathering dusk, we were treated to a big shooting star that streaked across the SW sky; one of those fortuitous moments when you happen to be looking at the right time. No fires were allowed, due to high fire danger, so we had a ‘dark camp’ each night, too.

Of course some bozos were racing on the road a few miles up from the campground, went off the side, and started a brushfire. We watched as a parade of fire-fighting vehicles roared past for the next half hour. Fortunately they got the fire out, but Paula and I were at least mentally prepared to evacuate if the need had arisen.

There were also quite a few bozos in the campground that were having campfires despite the ban and when the firefighters were coming back down the hill they must have seen the smoke because the drove through the whole campground and made them put the campfires out. There’s always some who never think the rules apply to them—and do not care who else they put at risk.

When we were breaking camp on Sunday I managed to piss off a yellowjacket when I was trying to shoo it out of the tent. I was waving my hand around when it turned and stung me on the left index finger. Wow, that smarted! Needless to say the rest of packing up was a bit more difficult.

It was a nice ‘shake-down’ trip for Paula and I though, as this was our first camping adventure together. We found out that we camp together well and had a great time. And we plan to visit this area gain during winter when it’s cooler and less crowded.

[Composed while listening to soundtrack of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King]

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