Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today was truly a dichotomy day. It began prowling the booming and blinking floors of E3- the veritable modern day El Dorado of technology and entertainment. Where ever you looked it was flashing screens and loud music. It seemed that around every corner someone from Game Design Corp. was being interviewed by a reporter from Media Mogul Inc.
It ended with backpacking in the Angeles National Forest. Our planned destination was Spruce Grove, a mere four miles into the woods, where we planned to set up camp for one night and rough it like real men.
The day itself had been gloomy- apparently, those that live in the area refer to this time of year as 'June Gloom.' It seems that, like clockwork every year, a thick haze blankets the entire metropolitan area of greater Los Angeles. The mountains trap this 'gloom' in the valleys that which the city lay. If you get high enough, though, you can get above the ceiling of this haze. We were just high enough to see the top but weren't quite above it. This meant that during our hike in, when we would come to a clearing, we could occasionally see this haze moving through the valleys- it made for quite a view.
As we set off on our journey, I was not made aware that we were venturing into a territory that I now refer to as a never-ending-up trail. From the moment the dirt trail began until the moment we stopped to drop our gear on the ground, we were going up. Granted- it was not a steep enough grade to feel dangerous but after a while, I began to wonder if we hadn't accidentally stumbled upon a New Everest.
Alongside the trail, Jeremy gave me a brief history of the path we were taking. Apparently sometime in the 1800's- backpacking and hiking really began to take off as a popular outdoor sport. During that time, no such law existed that protected lands or prohibited building upon them. So- as people started adventuring out on this very trail, they decided to take out 100-year leases on certain spots and build tiny cabins right against the train and the river that runs near it. As we were hiking past these cabins, I couldn't help but think how much it looked like The Shire- cabins made out of stone and half-built into the ground. It was actually quite cool, though I am glad the lands are now protected for fear that the buildings would soon overtake the natural landscape.
When we finally arrived at the Spruce Grove campsite I was, needless to say, quite sweaty. It was a great hike in but now was the time to do the true nature-man stuff. It had rained lightly throughout the day and we were all a little worried that starting a fire might prove to be the bane of the trip. After a few attempts with laundry lint, twigs and a random piece of paper we found from a previous adventurer, my tried-and-true method of 'just blow on it,' made the tiny fire start to crackle. It wasn't too long before we had a cook-worthy fire and so began a feast of the ages.
The decision was made quite early on that we should pack in some nice steaks and potatoes to cook on the campfire. Jeremy was kind enough to pick up some Ribeye steaks and prep some potatoes in foil that we could chuck on the hot coals. Each campsite is outfitted with a nice metal grate that is perfect for open-fire cooking. Bish whipped up a dry rub that we could bathe the steaks in once we were set up and out we went. I can, with a high amount of confidence, say that this was the best campfire meal ever. The steak was great, the potatoes were great and we were all ravenous from the work of getting to the campsite and getting tents up and fires going.
All in all- a great day at E3, a great hike into the mountains, a great night with good food and good company. Adventure had.