Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays

This dispatch is coming to you straight from jolly ol' England, my most current temporary residence. I'm just kickin' it here with the family, you know partying it up with real adults in an civilized manner and enjoying the delightfully short daylight hours, brief periods of sun, a heated house, company of the family and some home cookin'. You're allowed to be jealous of the slow cooked chipolte pork I had for second dinner last night.

Boom got the what and now for the how (check out that assonance haha).

Since the last post I have been hanging around Durango working at the Rec. Center, thankfully last week I got in about 30 hours of work which was definitely nice for two reasons. The first being the obvious cash money and the second being the consumption of my free time. Turns out being unemployed, at least for me, is really hard. I find myself with far more hours in the day than I know what to do with especially with most of the friends around being in school or working more than I was. Luckily the weather was nice so I was able to occupy some of that time with bike rides and solo missions to the local crag, turns out East Animas (one of the local climbing areas) is great for rope soloing (being safe-ish while climbing alone). That all being said I was ready for some 'work'.

I left Durango on the 19th to join the family for some holiday festivities expecting to join them on the 20th however Mother N ('N' stands for nature) had other plans and hit DIA with some colder weather in the morning delayed flights ya dee ya da and so I missed my connection from DIA to Newark and thus my flight from there to England. So, after standing in a customer service line and on hold for a few hours I managed to catch another flight to NYC and got to spend the next day exploring the city before flying on. Turns out that city is pretty rad...maybe the coolest city I've been to. I must admit, while not a city person, I think I could pretty happily live in that city for a bit. While I was there I walked up and down 6th & 7th Ave and checked out the squares and Central Park and tried to find McSorleys Pub as per a few recommendations, however no luck with the pub and I just wound up walking in circles for a few hours...which was still pretty cool.

After that stuff I caught my flight cruised across the pond, was met by my mom and eldest little sister and then went to York with my sister (who is studying archeology at the University there) and got to assemble a few skeletons from the late middle ages and scope out their joints for signs of arthritis, which is what Tat is studying for her Sr. Sem paper.

Looking forward to more home cooking and heading to the Isle of Skye in/off the coast of Scotland in a few days.

Icicle on my van doesn't know which way is up

view from the hotel room

some of Central Park

Some one else was taking a picture so I thought I'd copy them

Monday, December 3, 2012

Funny how plans change...

I'm back once again from the desert as plans have a way of unexpectedly changing. Turns out the North Rim of the Black Canyon is closed seasonally, starting weeks ago. Good thing I have friends that do their research! So instead of toodling around on the walls of the Black Canyon Bryce, Jane, John and I cruised out to the desert for a few more days of climbing/mountain biking while the weather out there is still so unseasonably warm. Saturday Jane and I did Sunflower tower, the last of the Bridger Jacks summits that I had not yet climbed, needless to say I was pretty stoked on that!

Sunday, I woke up to the sun lighting the Bridger Jacks as the moon slipped behind them with a light frost on my bag and stuff strewn about me only to realize how stoked I was to be there then. After gulping down some coffee and breakfast in a leisurely manner we cruised on up to Reservoir wall to climb in the shade...obviously it's always hot in the desert. There we climbed a little bit and hung out in the awesome openness of the desert annnd Jane earned herself a shout out for the most stuck knee in a wide crack. After all that we wound up waiting for 45 minutes in the dark waiting for Bryce and John to return, naturally the whole while complaining of this, that and my hunger only to be extremely suprised in the best way possible by a delivery of Milt's fries and a burger from those guys, gee wilikers (sp?) I've got some great friends!

Now I'm back in Durango attempting to turn the mundane into meaningful tasks to occupy my time before work.  As a result I've come across a couple videos that really strike a chord, one of which was made by a friend and another was shown at the 5 points film festival in Carbondale this year. If you have some free time or want an excuse to make some free time, they're worth checking out.A Love Affair is the one made by a friend and the other is The Ten Things from Jeremy Collins.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Playing Catch up

I didn't realize until today after being prompted how long it has been since I've posted so here's the run down on what's been going on since I was last in Durango.

Got my votin' done in addition to seeing friends and figuring out some sort of job for the winter as well as stocking up on supplies as I knew that I didn't want to come back to a town until I was leaving Indian Creek for the season. Once I got all of that taken care of I cruised back to the desert, psyched on a slower and simpler pace of life. I never thought that I'd call Durango living fast paced but man compared to the desert it was crazy; I guess I'm not much of a city person.

Upon returning and falling in to the old routine of things, climbing, eating, resting etc. I began to realize that while the stoke-o-meter was high my body was starting to get worn down after nearly three months of climbing with minimal resting. As a result it was a pleasant surprise that weekend to receive the first snow of the year and an enforced three day rest period. Once the weather warmed again it was back to climbing, or at least trying to.

Pre-dawn after the first snow of the year, not a shabby view to wake up to!

This was pretty much the way of things with new and old friends rolling through for a day or a week or two, bringing in news and supplies from the outside world. The weekend of the 19th brought with it an unfortunate deadline for the other three members of team Rukus, as they had to return to the real world for Thanksgiving and jobs and so tearful goodbyes were said after taking a group picture in our Team Rukus uniforms, made by Hannah and admired by all who laid eyes on them.

Team Rukus in uniform just before the beginning of the dissolution.

I figured I'd hang around for another week while there were still warm temperatures (often high 60's and low 70's) and enjoy the chaos of another Creeksgiving. Creeksgiving for those that were wondering is an age old tradition (nine years old in fact) where climbers of varying backgrounds come together in the Superbowl campground for a potluck and varying festivities. This event has been growing over the past years and this year ended up drawing over 100 folks and included Black Diamond backing and included a mustache competition, dance off, dance party, potluck and a circle of thanks. Needless it was rough, I am not sure that I can adequately put in to words how many different dishes that 100 people can bring and I'm pretty sure they were all super tasty (this is an extrapolation from the ones that I tried (maybe 40)) making those kinds of decisions is no gimme. As a result I was forced to return for seconds and thirds to ensure that I did still prefer deep fried turkey over the ones cooked in the ground (though it was certainly close), stuffing with cranberries versus the other 34 types of stuffing and well...perhaps you're starting to get the picture.

Ye olde climbing pants moments before they were permanently retired. One leg is now a bag for my bolt kit. R.R.R. (Another rest day activity)

In the few days that followed Creeksgiving I climbed a number of my projects (some of the hardest routes I have climbed). I'm not sure if this phenomenon was due to the nourishment delivered on Thanksgiving or due to the self-imposed deadline that was looming. Either way it was very satisfying. That being said I am not in the least bit ready to be done climbing this season so hopefully there are some more desert pilgrimages in the future!

Finally, Sunday was upon me and I knew what needed to be done so I said more farewells, packed up and cruised, in a decidedly unhurried manner, back to Durango to begin work and the healing process.

While I've been here I've begun working again as a Lifeguard at the Rec. Center and chatted with folks about guiding some ice climbing this winter in Ouray. I've also gone for a few rides on trails and on roads, spent far too much time on these interwebz and mingled with friends.

This afternoon after I get off of work the plan is to get back on metaphorical horse and cruise up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison for a bit of climbing with my friend Jane who has yet to witness the awesomeness of that place. Needless to say the stoke-o-meter has been rising steadily since the plan was hatched and the time to climb comes closer!

So that's pretty much the last few weeks in a nutshell as well as the next few days. I'll try and be more diligent with updates, which ought to be easier with greater access to the internet and lots of free time!

To answer some questions about desert living and everyday mundane-how you cook, water sources, how you select your camp location, etc.

Well I've been cooking on a Coleman two burner that I got a 20lb tank for so that's made life super easy as the Coleman is a huge upgrade from my Whisperlite (insert the tm symbol on these name brands) as it's far more adjustable and less finicky read: I can simmer on the two burner. I can cook in or out of the van so long as where ever I am is well ventilated. I'll try and post pictures of the cook set up but basically I have the tank inside of a rubbermaid bin that I cut a hole in to accommodate the hose that connects it to the stove and then the stove sits on the bin, allowing for a comfortably raised platform to cook on and relatively  easy transportation.

Water is pretty easy as when ever anyone heads to a town/water source they'll usually take other people's water containers and fill them up. Also, after living there for a while, other people realize you're there for the long haul and when they're heading out if they have left over water they usually offer to fill up any empty containers (this was my biggest source of water for the last few weeks).

Camp location is usually the flattest site I can find so that the bed is level and the site is usually close to climbing partners. This season I was in one of three sites that were all next to each other the whole duration of my stay and so people could seek me out and save me looking for new places to stay. This same site selection is true for towns, though it's a bit tougher as I have to deal with the camber of roads and danger zones like parking on the road behind people's driveways where there's a chance people will reverse in to you.

Showers were solar showers using my camelbak while in the desert, though now I'm able to shower at friend's houses and at work so that's neat.

Old anchors from a route that falls down. Turns out gravity works in the desert.

New route I put up a bit left of where the old one fell down

Hmm and a Sam say's that perhaps is not reassuring but often repeat is "Safety third; looking good and having fun come first because if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good you do good." I guess if you think about it with that logic doing good is kind of like being safe therefore looking good is a safety protocol. Not sure if that really makes sense but maybe you guys are pickin' up what I'm layin' down.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Temporarily Back in Durango

I am currently back in Durango for the day to vote, resupply, apply for some jobs for the winter and kick it with friends. Yes I know that sounds very grown up but fear not I'll be returning to the desert as soon as all of this nonsense is concluded (hopefully by tomorrow morning).

For the most part life in the desert has been awesome and I have little to report besides lots of climbing, ruckusing (yes you can use ruckus as a verb) and general life enjoyment. For those of you wondering what there is to do in the desert besides climb I'll give ya a brief overview of life in camp. Basically I wake up grind some fresh coffee, then drink it with a wholesome or not so wholesome breakfast, then I'll wander over to our designated axe throwing area and warm up with some simple tosses. I'll often then meander over and chat with my other camp mates (Justin A.K.A. T-Rex, Hannah A.K.A. F Dubbs, Rafael A.K.A. Sergio and Diana A.K.A. Mo)  and see what they're up to and talk smack about any and all things. It's at this point we'll either break off and go climbing or begin resting. Resting is a complex thing as it entails remaining psyched on  climbing despite all the cool things to do around camp (like axe throwing). Sometimes we make sushi, pizza (of course in our wood fired pizza oven), sometimes we bang pots and pans to make the desert a less quiet place, sometimes bikes are ridden, sometimes we repair broken gear/clothes and have arts and crafts time, there's also lots of intellectual stimulation between reading, bolting lessons and the endless and pointless debates on climbing ethics.

Hmm well in other news I am one tower away from climbing a series of towers near to camp (to climb all of them is a goal for the season), so that's exciting. I've also been putting up a few new routes, also delightfully engaging.

Is there anyone still reading this and if so what would you like to hear about? Comments/feedback are certainly appreciated!

View from home

Just a little trundling/rock throwing

Most recent desert tower experience

celebration on the Bridger Jack Butte

The Bridger Jack Towers

Until next time; look good, have fun and be safe!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Post Desert Tower climbing rest day blog with an extra long title

This past week has been largely occupied with summit bagging and naturally some modeling.

I'm sure you're all exclaiming "summit bagging in the desert?!" well yes in fact there are some pretty bitchin' desert towers that are extra super fun to climb. So on sunday John, Jane, Hayden and I set off up to the Bridger Jacks to throw John at a tower for his first multi-pitch climb, first desert tower, first climbing experience in the desert and first full pitch of rock climbing. Some might wonder if this was throwing him in the deep end, and to that I must respond 'what better way to learn to climb, but on a crumbling hunk of rock?'

Basicly, John slayed the tower with minimal cursing and maximum good attitude. After descending from Easter Island Jane, Hayden and I cruise up the route Vision Quest on the King of Pain which was awesome, as it was a completely new summit for myself and those two are always great to climb with. After getting back down to solid ground at about 5:30 John and Jane cruised off to get cars sorted out, leaving me with Hayden's infectious enthusiasm and desire to climb Ziji a 4 pitch 5.12 and a new route for me. So we set off with great haste as we had to race the setting sun. Luckily I didn't flail too hard and we made it up in great time with only a few hangs on my part allowing my to do the last pitch in the dark hoping the light splotches were decent places for my feet and an extra-memorable ending to the day!

The next day we teamed up with a nice fellow named Troutman and cruised up the North Six Shooter (another new summit for me) with some spectacular climbing, plenty of hiking and a stellar view from the top. While it was a bit windy this only served to maintain the sending temperatures, allowing us to schralp the gnar in the best way possible.

After the North Six Shooter I went in to Moab to meet up with Dan, a professional photographer I met in Yosemite to do some more rock wrestling and picture taking. We wound up climbing Ancient Art in the Fisher Towers and the Cobra Tower (a new summit for me). I got to do a head stand on the Cobra and a partial one on Ancient Art (the winds and some timidity prevented full extension). The Cobra was a bit of a unique experience as I climbed it for the first time at night for a pretty ballin' night shoot, there will be cool pictures in a few weeks I would imagine.

While with those guys I modeled some Feathered Friends products, did some more climbing shots and some trail running shots. Perhaps I'll pick up professional modeling...or not.

Nick is kind of like Alex Honnold but with a Tallboy

A Rock.

On top the Bridger Jack Mesa with the Jacksons and Nick

Down from the Wall as the sun set

Oh your campsite doesn't include a pizza oven? Bummer. 

Classic camp past time, throwing big rocks.

View from Harts Draw

View from top of N. Six Shooter

Flowers in Oct. on top of N. Six Shooter

Six Shooter Crew
Now I'm heading back to the Creek for the weekend lots more climbing, relaxation and great times!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happily Falling Behind

Well I know that I have not been keeping you all informed perhaps as much as you like and the photos are certainly not on here and my vernacular is certainly not flowery enough to paint pictures in your minds, at least not mental portraits that would do the placed I've been justice.

However, I'm happy to report that the trip in Santa Barbara was awesome and went off with out any major hitches. Afterwards I visited Carl in S.B. to celebrate his birthday and give CA a final rowdy send off before my short term residency in the desert commenced. These things were achieved as well as other adventures and perhaps even a mishap like eating a colossal roast chicken with Carl and going for a 15 mile bike ride but  that's irrelevant and no doubt evoking yawns from you all.

On a lighter note after an exhausting 14 hour drive I rolled into the parking lot at Indian Creek to p.t.f.o. and to awake the the rising sun highlighting endless splitters and the relatively pristine desert which I'll admit almost provoked a tear of happiness.

Since I've arrived I have been climbing at Way Rambo onsighting the Serrator on my first day back, happy to see my OWing skillz were not as rusty as Yosemite made them seem. I have also met some nice new friends, a shock I know. I also got to meet up with the Jackson clan and Mr. Malik for a taste of the good ol' Durango days. Yesterday I finished cleaning and bolting a new climb out at Technicolor Wall that'll probably go at 5.12ish though that's certainly a priority on the todo list!

Looking forward to some brewing in the desert, probably another batch of Ginger Ale pending the acquisition of some yeast.

Oddly enough my fall as been decidedly backwards as far as climbing is concerned as I got strong in Yosemite only to head to the Creek (for non-climbers this is usually done in reverse order) similarly, I did only free climbing in Yosemite, while I have gotten to do my first real aid lead and far more jugging than I care to admit (again for non-climbers aid climbing (which I don't care to define here but can help you out) is more normal in Yosemite where as free climbing (not free soloing (climbing with out any ropes or protection)) is more typical in the desert and probably also has a wikipedia article attached to it which may or may not adequately define/describe this silly sport I so enjoy.

Man that was a lot of parentheses.

El Capitan Meadow

Some big piece of rock

I spy with my little eye Half Dome

Yeah, my van is a village

Diana and I on some choss Pile, maybe Serenity/Sons

Hey that's me!

More of the Valley

The figurehead. Taken by Drew Smith

Munginella 5.6  with Drew and Jenna. Taken by Drew Smith 

Munginella 5.6  with Drew and Jenna. Taken by Drew Smith 

The completely unnecessary top rope dyno on Munginella. Taken by Drew Smith 

Oh and he sticks it! Taken by Drew Smith 

Melvin just kickin' it. Taken by Drew Smith 

Serenity Crack 5.12- Taken by Drew Smith 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Super quick update/stall

So I am now in Santa Barbara, I'll begin a course with Boojum doing sea kayaking, local ecology, hiking and a day of challenge course initiatives with a group of 11th graders from a Waldorf school which sounds pretty cool (the group and the school that is).

I have spent the last few weeks in Yosemite climbing and hiking as I think I mentioned in the last post. Basically, it was awesome to climb on such pristine granite, get back in to climbing shape and meet oodles of awesome folks, make new friends and make plans with said friends to meet up in Utah in a month or so.

This is more or less a stalling post to let you guys know I'm alive but that I haven't had time to truly formulate a fantastic post idea or go over all the pictures and videos that have been taken in the past month. Furthermore I'm plum tuckered out and ready for bed time after hanging out in the hot tub. Man camping is rough!

Is there anything any of you readers would like to hear about or see in the upcoming post(s)?

Any feedback on things you'd like to see or have seen and want more of is whole heartedly welcomed and would be appreciated!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Backpacking with some chilluns in Sequoia

So after leaving Tuolumne I met up with Skyeler, Kayla and a whole bunch of other Boojum instructors in Sequoia for an eight day course (five days with the kids). There I had the privilege of going on a two day scouting/trip prep backpack with my Co-leader Jakob who was awesome to work with the whole time. This trip consisted of about 10miles from Rowell Meadows to Big Meadow Campground with about 2-3 miles covered per day with the kids and a lay over day at Weaver Lake to summit Shell Mountain and do some lessons and have a bit of personal time.

Once the kids got there we did some inventories of what they'd brought, get to know you ice breakers and a bow drill/camp fire time. The next morning we packed up and headed out. The first day was the slowest hiking day with some unbalanced and heavy packs, we averaged about 1/2 mph. Upon our arrival to our first campground we ate lunch, picked some wild gooseberries and blue berries that were in season and played some games and were rained on during dinner which Jakob and I agreed added a little character to the trip.

The Group

The next day we played games through the morning before heading out just after lunch to our next site in a wooded ravine that was bordered by a talus field of bright white granite boulders. Not a terrible site, especially with it being a few minutes walk from a bubbling mountain stream. That night I led an astronomy lesson, regurgitating much of what I learned during staff training, I was pleased that I remembered as much as I did!

Just showing off on a giant stump

The next morning I woke up and packed up early so the kids could hike to a special breakfast burrito stand in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness that was occasionally manned by a Boojie (an excuse to unload extra beans and rice from the previous night's meal). A nice chance for some alone time away from the hub bub of 10 8th graders and to catch up on Anna Karenina. From there we kicked it at Weaver with Geology lessons, talks with rangers (informative, not punitive), games, swimming, summiting of Shell Mountain and general schloobing.

A marmot that kept the kids occupied for a solid 1/2 hour

The view from the summit of Shell, with King's Canyon in the distance.

The last day we woke up early (5:15am) and cruised back to the campground for derig and departure. After the kids were gone the staff loaded up and went to a post-course meal on Boojum before heading up to Yosemite.

Stay tuned to the start of, and depending on rest days/free time the end of my Yosemite climbing, swimming and hiking adventures.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kickin' it in Tuolumne

Well, after leaving Anza and staff training I made a quick stop over in LA to visit with my aunt, uncle and grandfather before heading up north. After visiting, getting my life mildly organized, showering, doing laundry and figuring out they best way to get to Yosemite I set off up the 395. I made only one slight detour, perhaps a personal best and a few quick stops to pick up a hitch hiker and to look through some tubes pointed at Mt. Whitney in Lone pine and to check out the Mobil in Lee Vining. That gas station was perhaps more impressive than I thought it would be, I was half way tempted to drop the 20 bucks for their seared mahi mahi steak.

After arriving in Tuolumne I went for a short (~7mile) hike up to Cathedral lakes to enjoy a beer chilled in the alpine waters while watching the sun drift below the horizon. After realizing that my hunger couldn't be avoided any longer I cruised back to the van for some sort of delicious meal, not sure what it was, but I'm sure I went to flavor country. From there I went to the campground for the night.

I woke up early the next morning for a quick jaunt up Cathedral peak, first to summit of the day, heck ya! After a quick snack and nap on the summit I went down to Budd lake for a refreshing and cleansing dip. Not too shabby. After getting back to the car for lunch and eating I set off for the Meadows for some afternoon reading and relaxation.
Summit shot on Cathedral Peak

Afternoon view in Tuolumne

The next day after talking with a nice couple I caught the 2nd shuttle down to Tenaya lake and then hiked up to and climbed Dozier Dome, I was considering doing a second route but the descent was a bit rough on the ole knees so I finished off the morning with a nine mile toodle back up to the meadows where I gorged myself and spent another afternoon relaxing and reading.

On top of Dozier Dome looking out over Lake Tenaya

After being rudely awoken by rain in the wee hours of the morning I shifted to the van as I had been sleeping next to the road in a perhaps less than legitimate manner and had not set up a tent. Shortly after rousing myself I had an invigorating conversation with a ranger, though fear not my charm won out and no ticket was issued! After the officer left I proceeded down to Sequoia and King's Canyon NP for my Boojum course. That story is to follow.

Quick Update more to follow

Hey all,

Currently in Yosemite Valley hanging out at Camp 4 trying to find a climbing partner (this is certainly not helping). Just got done with a backpacking course leading a trip of 8th graders through the Jennie Lakes Wilderness in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP for about 9 days which was  a blast!

After leaving the course I headed North to Yosemite with Kayla, Skyeler, Maddy, Gabe, Aaron and Jakob (all instructors/friends that also lead the course). We managed to kick it the first night in a free Boojum site before moseying on and checking out Mariposa Grove, higher cathedral peak, the rather dry mirror lake and schloobing in the river. Unfortunately last night they were removed by the Park Service for mooching too much, luckily they didn't share the same fate as the fellow in the next site over that was arrested shortly there after for an outstanding warrant for a DUI. It was rather sad to see those fine folks leave and I am once more rollin' solo.

The hand is mostly healed up, perhaps a little tendon restrengthening is in order but there has been relatively little scarring and it's more or less hunky dory to climb on for those that may have been wondering.

Next update I'll provide more stories and perhaps even a few pictures!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Someone else's blog

I recently came across this blog and thought it was pretty thoughtful and perhaps even a bit applicable to my life, I'll let you folks be the judge of that though. On that note here's the link to Luke Mehall's site, he's a Durango resident and climber.

“Do you do that?” is a question I’ve been asked throughout my climbing existence, with the emphasis on you and that. The question is always from a non-climbing friend or family member, and the subject matter for discussion is typically a recent TV commercial that uses rock climbing to sell something.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dispatch from Anza, CA

Thought I'd toss out a quick update while I stall today.

As of late I have been spending most of my time in Idyllwild and Anza, CA (Southern CA) working challenge courses and visiting a few local breweries (Stone and Hanger 24) and kickin' it with some of the office staff.

Life has been fairly uneventful with much time spent reading books. However, I was recently given the opportunity to be a Course Director, a bit of a promotion, for the most recent challenge course Boojum ran, which was fairly exciting. This however was slightly overshadowed (in my mind) by my most exciting mountain bike crash yet and a chunk of pea size gravel becoming embedded in my right palm the night before the course. However, all's well that ends well and with no real sign of infection a week later and the challenge course going off with out a hitch I feel I'm more of less in the clear, knock on wood. Tomorrow I'll instruct on another challenge course and then will have staff training a week later. After that it is up to Yosemite with me. My excitment for the valley  is a bit difficult to describe what with a slight lack of climbing opportunities these past weeks between work, injury and weather. Well with my palms getting sweaty just thinking about the potential adventure I suppose I'll go find something productive to do. Until next time.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Exploring the Lost Coast

The format for this post is for any ARCC leaders that might be reading. For everyone else on the trip we had to write in a daily log on all the comings, goings and minutiae of the day. (pictures were not included in the official forms)

Date:  Aug 27th - Aug 30th
Leaders of the Day: Steve & Greg

Sam, Greg, Steve & Jenna
Weather: Splitter blue skies
Distance Traveled: Drove ~4 hours and hiked over 30 miles with a few thousand feet of elevation gain and loss.
 included pancakes for breakfast, banana nut bread, zucchini date bread and breakfast burritoes all coming in at or above 8 out of 10
Salami & aged gouda for lunches as well as fresh fruit and sandwiches again at least 8/10
Dinners included couscous tuna curry, sausages  and something else, all super delicious
Snacks were personal bars oodles of bitchin' blackberries and other edible greens foraged along the trail.

What happened:
We started at usal junction/campground and hiked in 10-11 miles to Wheeler creek/Jackass camp where we made base camp on a beautiful beach framed by steep hill sides and lush vegetation.

Base Camp

 The second day we went on a 5ish  mileday hike to bear cove or something (my memory fails me at the moment) and spent the day on the beach picnicking, playing in the water and having a generally good time. After returning to camp dolphins and sea lions were spotted at the beach, we attempted to dig for clams to compliment our tuna curry and learned to play pitch from Jenna. 
Jenna with her seagull friend

Day three we had an extremely leisurely morning packing up, eating, playing cards and spending more time on the beach. We left camp around 11:30 for our return hike along the Lost Coast Trail to Usal which was 12-13 miles long and crossed a number of drainages resulting in lots of El. gain and worst of all loss. We stopped at Little Jackass for a later lunch/picnic and played in the ocean which was freeeeeezing! We almost swam to a sweet sea arch but then hypothermia began to kick in.

We continued hiking, playing games and laughing (some more than others). We arrived at the campground at about 8:46pm after watching a fantastic sunset over the Pacific ocean and the newly found coast.

An awesome sunset from camp

Activities used: Pitch, expert and many trail games they were all fun and built on an already excellent group dynamic

Pulse Check: Wasn't sure what this was on the trip log and I'm still not sure what it is.

Group mood: So positive we were dancing among the stars...which were beautiful what with that milky way and all.

Suggested trip changes: more adult beverages. suggested ratio is 1 liter per person per 3 days.

A dead tree Steve enjoyed tempting fate in.

Trail time

Greg unknowingly striking a pose on the day hike

Day hike beach - bear cove?

Ow Ow!

Looking longingly back towards our base camp as we hiked towards the real world.