Sunday, October 20, 2013

High Loch Leven, Day 1

This is the first time I have had and enjoyed a campfire while backpacking in I don't know how long. I hiked up here after work to meet my friend Eric and a couple of other guys. We are all techie types. Cliff works for Cost Plus, Rick works for Cisco, and Lee works for Levi's. They are not as much into fast, light-weight hiking as I, so they brought the accoutrements necessary for building, maintaining, and extinguishing fires. Even more important, they had the will and inclination to take the time to do those things. I am certainly all for hiking with people who like to build fires. I just find it a tedious task to do for myself on a trip. Just like I am all for going backpacking with someone who likes to cook gourmet food. I just don't want to do it myself, I am on vacation. One of the great appeals to me of backpacking is the minimalist, do-only-the-absolutely-necessary, aspect of it.

It's supposed to be a full moon tonight. Cliff and Eric are both sleeping out under the moon. I brought my bivy-sack so technically I will be shaded from the brightness if the moon. Exactly the opposite of what I experienced two weeks ago when I camped in the pitch black of no moon.
Lee and Rick are sleeping in a tent and so they should be able to avoid the light of the moon.
They brought red wine in water bottles so they had wine with their dinner.

Rick and Lee told a story about when they were camping at Round lake by Highway 88 a bear decided to steal Rick's day pack. Lee asked him if there was anything important in his pack. Rick said, "yes, my license, wallet, and car keys." The bear picked up the pack by the handle on the top and ran off up the hill. Lee ran after the bear and Rick ran after Lee. They chased him to the top. Fortunately the bear dropped to pack but not before punching holes in Rick's wallet, and stealing their food.It seemed that everyone had a bear story. Cliff's bear story was when he was camping with a large group of people and he was sleeping out on the outside edge of the group. A bear actually ran by and tripped over his legs.Eric remembers the time he was camping in Canada with his brother and woke up to hear a bear rummaging through his pack right outside the door of his tent.

My bear story is really a non bear story. I have never had a bear ransack my camp nor have I ever been bothered by a bear. I have seen them on the trail, I have seen them from my camp. They have just never bothered me. I am not sure why except that I am typically very careful with my food and always either hang my food or keep it in a bear canister. On the other hand Rick and Lee had a bear maul their bear canister on the same trip.It's dark, it's late, it's time for bed.

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