Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

07 November 2012

tactical rehabilitation

Are you taking for granted X, Y and even Z? Does your morning coffee without that hint of woodsmoke fail to satisfy? Are your clean, crisp sheets not a luxury to be savored and regarded?

You have grown soft and your outlook is dim. You need some suffering in your life. Get on that.

2 days off. 65 miles of pavement down the Big Sur Coastline. Hot. Calm. Pleasant mindless spin- so much so that the only thing that stays in my mind is the shirtless weirdo who'd parked his stickered up 80s vintage VW van at one pullout and was cruising the pullouts in his way-too-short cutoffs aboard his 29"wheeled Rockhopper toting his Yorkshire Terrier in a home-made dishrack/basket. I played leap frog with the tourists in rental RVs- Fun Finder X?

Lucia at sunset and climbing Nacimiento Ferguson in the dark. I dropped the backside in the dark, too- passed the 1st campground and stopped at the 2nd. I misremembered there having been a spigot there. The fee was $15. The camp host was still there (this late in the season? at that out of the way spot?) so I put $10 in the envelope because it was $5 over or $5 under, and I opened with under. I figured I could bluff if it came to it. Settling in for the night was quick, and I will tell y'all this: the instant garlic mashed potatoes from Trader Joe's are conveniently packaged in 2 2person servings and are super easy/great camping food! I was tired enough (that Nacimiento Ferguson is a hard climb!) that I really appreciated the ease.

That picture there is from breakfast, when I was done cooking and just wanted a cheery twig fire. The Kelly Kettle boils some water like no other. It requires far less time spent gathering/snapping/sorting twigs than I am used to, and uses way less fuel to bring a given amount of water (say, a large water bottle's worth) to a rolling boiling in about 5minutes. It is worth looking into if you like that sort of thing. It is very bulky (it took up the entire front rack) in comparison to the Esbit, more in line with your gas powered JetBoil. Everything is a trade-off. It is of little use to actually cook on, because the water inside boils and spits out the spout (some of it dribbling into your fire pan base) and you either have to keep refilling the reservoir as you cannot use it dry, or figure out what you want to do with your boiled water and then refill, etc. So- cooking not so much. Boiling? Hell yes.

I liked it quite a bit for making coffee happen so fast.  But, I will likely not be taking it on solo outings in the future. For that application, the trade-off is not worth it. Now I know.

Anyhow, after breakfast I had to leave as quickly as possible. I didn't want that camp host coming over for his $5. All the long and hot way through Fort Hunter Ligget I distracted myself with scenarios involving disgruntled camp hosts seeking retribution. And it was a long long and hot way. Every ride through there it seems like they add a section. By the time I had taken a wrong turn and ridden several long and hot miles out of and then back into my way, my shirt was stiff and salty.

 That's my crowded handlebars. No pack, so the water bladder was in the frame bag and it's hose you see. The white cable is the USB cord to recharge the iPhone via the Plug (worked like a charm). I listened to Ry Cooder's I, Flathead on repeat.

I have, now, in my possession, a plastic spoon which is the spiritual equivalent of a Golden Eagle feather. That's what you get, on your vision quest, when you hassle a wild Golden Eagle. Right? When you actually make the effort to get offa your bike and walk over to underneath where said magnificent bird perched. Right? If a feather from your (ahem) totem is unavailable, then you must avail yourself of the spiritual equivalent in situ. Probably, there is more personal magic in that sun hardened plastic spoon on account of giving a hoot and stopping pollution and all. Anyways, I have my mojo working.

 By the time I stopped for lunch, at Escondido Campground, I had made several bad choices regarding water. I had a hard time focusing. It took a while to sort out the order of doing things to make food. The new cook system wasn't helping. Coffee and space packaged Indian food.

 I had enough water to last to the spring past Hanging Valley, so I just decided to keep pushing. Once there, I laid in the shady spot in the dirt for 20 minutes while sweet, cold water trickled into my bottle. Dripped down from the very finest ferns and muck, that water is the best in the whole world. It is sweet and cold. The best.

That right there is the Good Place. Seems like ever time I'm there, though, I'm too worked to appreciate it fully. The Ventana Wilderness is magic.

Then it was all downhill for a while. Then pavement and dark to home. Somewheres in the neighborhood of 140 hot, hard miles in 2 days. I am relishing the comforts of home today.


Lord Hayden said...

"'s hose you see"

it's usually the hoes you DON'T see that will get ya

reverend dick said...

Hey! Whoa!

The 2nd paragraph is looking squarely at Wisco.