This was a much needed trip to the woods for me - a chance to take my mind away from daily life, commune with nature, and even be pensive about my life's direction ... awww who am I kidding... I heard a bunch of chicks were going to some hot springs, so I thought I'd go see if I could get some recruits for my harem. Just to make a long story short, the harem part didn't quite work out. It seems the fact that I can barely support myself financially coupled with a lack of plush harem pillows might have had something to do with it. Oh, well, at least I came away with a lot of fun and better friends (but coming away with a harem would've made a better cocktail party story).
The original party was to have Scott, myself, and 5 girls head to Big Sur and car camp on Friday evening, then backpack 10 (freakin') miles to the Sykes Hot Springs on Sat., then hike out (another) 10 (freakin') miles on Sunday. Well, apparently Scott became ill (thanks buddy), so 'poor Thuan '
had to drive down to Big Sur with Heather, Margy, Karen, and
How do you make cereal again?
Jenny. We got to our Friday night campsite and pitched our tents in the dark and started a roaring fire thanks to Karen, who brought the wood. Then, Karen broke out the s'mores and invited me to sleep in her tent. With gooey marshmellows dripping out of her mouth, there was just no way to refuse the offer.
Anyhow, Karen proceed to eat 10 s'mores before we all headed to sleep. In the tent, I don't know if it was the sugar rush, but Karen was mightily amused with my scientific explanations of flutter and buffetting as possible causes for the failure of the Tacoma-Narrows bridge.
******************** Day 2**********************************
So the next morning, we woke to the alarm that we also call Margy. I wanted to hit the snooze button, but she kept bobbing and weaving, so I guess we had to get up. Our breakfast was instant oatmeal with hot cocoa. Good enough. We packed up out site and headed to the trail head where we met up with Preeti and Huyen. After some frisbee tossing to warm up our muscles, we headed out led by Heather and Jenny. The first couple of miles was pretty
I can't find my head!!
much straight uphill. That sucked. But we eventually got some nice views of the Pacific. At around mile 3 or 4, we stopped for a lunch that consisted of beer bread, cheese, and peanut butter logs. We even offered a snack to all passerbys since we had so much food. After that, Heather and Jenny turned around and headed home, and the rest of us continued on toward our final destination.
The trail along the way was mostly rolling hills with a few streams to cross. We made it to the Sykes camp a little bit before dark and met up with Heather's roommate, Elizabeth, and her friends. We all camped together cozily. We had a nice "instant" dinner of soup, mash potatoes and chili. Then in the dark, we set out to find the hot springs, led by our fearless leader, Karen. We eventually found them and soaked for about 40 minutes. Sorry folks... no photos of that, but I have some excellent memories.....(errr.... excuse me while I take a break from this journal entry) *clock ticking*
******* 23 seconds later *********
Ok, I'm back folks. The water was a perfect. Very warm, but not too
hot, so we were able to soak comfortably underneath a small patch of stars in the middle of nowhere. What a peaceful and serene place. There's really no better way than to end a 10 (freakin') mile hike. On the way back to camp, I led the way. At one point, I hit what seemed like a dead end and heard Karen say to me, "Go left." Well, thinking that someone who I've shared a campfire, s'more, and engineering failure stories with, would never lead me astray, I plodded confidently to the left. I'm not sure if I felt or heard the splash first, but the end result was that I took 3 big steps right into the stream. Grrrr..... Well needless to say, I felt really stupid and wet. Mostly stupid..., but the wet feeling was not ignorable the rest of the way back to camp. This evening, Karen and I entertained ourselves with shadow puppets. That magic didn't last very long since our combined repertoire amounted to a dog (that looked more like a Spock greeting), a rabbit (that looked like a peace sign), and a bat (that looked like a butterfly). Oh well. At least we had
some Swiss chocolate. I also have a tip for future would-be campers. If you have an air mattress, always check that the valve is closed tightly or else all the air escapes from it while you're sleeping and you end up discovering the location of all the pebbles underneath your tent.
*******************************Day 3 *********************************************
We had yet another lazy morning that started off with a delicious breakfast of couscous porridge made in two batches by Margy and Karen. Margy's porridge was a little soupy and Karen's was a little too solid. Where's the baby bear when you need him? Actually, it was all very yummy and I filled up on it nicely. Then we began our 10 (freakin') mile hike back out. We made good time, but had to stop after a river crossing because our dear ballet dancing friend, Margy, felt bad that I was the only one to have walked in a river up to that point. Thanks Margy. Anyhoooo, our lunch spread was once again very impressive .... hummus, pita bread, and an olive-feta spread. Yum. The rest of the way back was hell for my feet, but we all made it back.
I like to take my aura with me wherever I go
had a great time despite not coming out with a harem, but I did get to hear wonderful leg shaving stories.
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