Monday, August 30, 2010

Backcountry birthday

Before I get into the nitty gritty awesomeness of my birthday backpacking weekend, I will first tell you that I didn't manage to check every GIMME GIMME item of backcountry wonder off my wish list and that's OK.

I'd sit here and let you guess at what didn't happen, but I don't have that kind of time, so I'll just tell you that SHOCKER I did not catch a million (read: not one) trout or get in any creek swimming because I suck and it was too cold, respectively.

You might wonder how it could be too cold in Yosemite in August and you wouldn't be alone because I was pretty much wondering at that fact all weekend.

I'm wearing a fleece in August? What the hell, man.

But whatever - when camping, one must wear appropriate clothing for the climate and, even though it was August when I was packing, I knew that night time temps in the 40s were cool enough for me to want my woobie fleece. Therefore, I packed it and then wore it when it got down to such temps. Unfortunately, it dropped to those temps before the sun went down and so YAY I was wearing my fleece while fishing and dipping my feet into the lake.

Um, weird.

As far as the sans-trout status of our adventures go, well, that's most likely attributable to my limited time on the water due to cave hunting (when we thought it was going to rain. Yay.) and/or my lack of "special tricks".

See, we wound up talking briefly with some incredible douchebag at the trailhead as we finished our trip and he swore he caught 11 trout because of the "special tricks" he knew. I think he caught zero fish and his special trick is his ability to convince the bigger douchebags around him that he'd caught fish, but what do I know, I didn't catch any fish.

Perhaps I'm deficient in "special tricks" or just in douchebag friends that will back up my incredible claims while ignoring my impressive douchebaggery - I'm just not sure.

Anyway, many things were checked off my backcountry wish list of wonderment and those things were...

Hiking as fast as my little legs could carry me:

As I descend into the apparent Jurassic Park jungle of Yosemite.

Watching Bubba play a million backcountry pranks:

Bigfoot, is that you?
That's what we call, Catching a Rock Trout
Bubba's fire poking stick, Jimmy, making an appearance in all photos.

Testing out the new bivy bags:

Rock wall view

Valley and sunset view

Having backcountry cocktails:

Yep, that's a lemon wedge in my "Cocktail" Nalgene
By the end of the evening, this was empty.
Of course we had cocktail snacks. What are we, animals? No.

Building the perfect campfire:

This was a conveniently shaped log.

And basically watching Bubba revert to his backcountry roots to entertain me:

He'll do anything for a laugh.
Which I appreciate because who else is going to make dehydrated food funny? No one, that's who.
And who else would think up, "Tiny Pinies"? No one but Bubba.

So I guess you could say that our backpacking birthday trip was a success since I laughed until my sides hurt, got to put my feet back in the creek that I'd been dreaming about since last year, didn't have to sit out a rain storm in a cave shared with a bear, got to sleep in my new bivy under the moon and stars and continued to feel good and kick considerable ass on the hike.

For the record, backpacking is still the best reason to keep running.

We were so stoked on our Yippee It Didn't Rain On Us Even Though We Didn't Bring the Rain Fly trip that we took this picture and weren't even sarcastic with our smiling.

Legitimate Happy

And then I turned back to look over the lake only to hear Bubba go, "Aw, fuck." in that way that I know we have encountered something that is going to put a big crimp in our plans.

At first I thought he'd forgotten something waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back at the campsite and we were going to go hiking back to get it, but no, it was this gem:


Our post-backpacking burgers and beers were just extra delicious afterward. I guess. It's how we chose to look at things anyway.


  1. Okay, so you know how we have found innumerable ways in which we are alike? Well, allow me to present one SERIOUS way in which we are different: I would neverevereverever choose to go camping as a birthday celebration. I hate camping. In all forms. I feel my life is enough like camping on a day to day basis and really see no point in roughing it anymore than I do in my own house.

    But I'm glad you had such a good time! Flat tire excepted, of course.

    P.S. Is that the truck that Bubba drives around San Jose? That must make a statement.

  2. HEY!!! I say tiny pinies and Matt gets mad and says I'm worse than our toddlers. And then I make jokes about how size doesn't matter. Except it does when you're totally surrounded by bigger ones. Heh. I can't wait to camp for real. He might actually kill me.

  3. Well at least only 1 tyre was flat....
    We came back to 2 flats and 1 spare after a camping trip..
    Looks like you had a nice time though...

  4. Tell us more about your bivouac things.

  5. Someone once told me "into every life a little rain must fall" -- so I guess that was your flat tire. Otherwise (ok, there's the lack of trout too, but whatever) it looks like it was a fantastic birthday trip!

  6. I adore you. What a fabulous birthday! And wonderfully entertaining description and photos. Y'all know how to live right.

  7. Tiny pinies made me snort. And I LOVE that he named the stick jimmy. And the sunset photos. Looks like such a great birthday celebration. YAY! Doode -- what happened with the tire?

  8. Oh, happy belated birthday!

    Lovely looking camping trip. Especially liked the photo of you two with your *legitimate* smiles. You are so funny.

    Here's also to a belated summer!


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