Wheeler Gorge: Day 1

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Two weeks ago I went camping in the Los Padres National Forest:

Getting to Wheeler Gorge wasn't too bad, but then it never is though to get where I'm going when I use Waze. It's a little weird when I go long distance like this. I may need to start mapping the route Waze gives me in the Atlas just so I can see where I've been.

Tried out a new sunscreen this morning and it seems to have done its job since my left arm, which sat unavoidably in the sun all the way here is not bright red. Granted, its darker than my right arm but this SPF 30 came through very nicely. I get it in little bottles through an Amazon subscription so I'll also be more inclined to us it since I'll have one everywhere I might need it: backpack, 4BUS, bathroom, desk at work.

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I'm in site #7. Am pretty pleased about that as it backs up to the creek and I'll be able to listen to it burbling all night. The site itself is pretty big. Certainly enough room for my little tent cot and a full size tent. This might be a nice place to bring Kyle, he and I can come up on a Friday, Diana can meet us on Saturday. I'll leave Saturday night, they can come home on Sunday. Just a thought.

The only drawbacks I have so far are:
1) Bring all of my own drinking water. Not that bad really but if it was a large group that coulee be a real pain in the ass.
2) No bathrooms. No showers. Port-a-potty only. Um, yikes! I've solved the potty problem for myself with the Turbo Toilet and a pop up private room. In the middle of the night I'm not trekking to any bathroom, but especially not one that is nothing but a hole in the ground anyway. The Turbo Toilet is fucking awesome.

Basically, for short trips and small groups Wheeler Gorge is great. Wouldn't want to stay for a week in July with ten of my closest friends. Like I have ten friends.

Of course, the moment I got here it was overcast. Not that I'm complaining. I'll take a cloudy day over direct sunshine pretty much all the time. The only bummer tonight will be that there is no moon. Even got a little bit of drizzle. Barely enough to get the able cloth damp so nothing to worry about. At first.

I tried once again to set up the damn canopy. While I'm thankful it went up easily that first weekend at at Pismo State Beach it hasn't worked for me since. I'm going to have to give it away or something. Although I did see a sedan that clearly had no room for one inside so they tied it to the roof. If I know someone's going to be coming with me I can see if there's enough room next to the cargo box to transport it safely. (Never mind, I found the canopy a good home with Becky.)

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Speaking of the cargo box, last weekend I had the good people at REI install a Thule pod to 4BUS. Amazing! Love it so much and completely worth the extra $50 to have them do the installation so that I know it's done right. Thank you Mom and Dad!

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But back to that drizzle.

That's all it was at first. Then, around 9:00 it started to rain more or less in earnest. It still wasn't cold. Just wet. So I pulled out this old blue umbrella that Mom bought when she visited me in Hawaii. Sadly it only sort of opened. Enough to mostly cover me and the chair sitting by the campfire. The creek rambled on joined by a chorus of frogs while the fire fought valiantly to keep burning. The petroichor filled my senses and kind of made me high. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the red wine.

The dark was really dark now. All glimmer of moon peeking through was obliterated by cloud cover. But my Bean boots keep my feet toasty even though I'm still wearing shorts from earlier.

That's right. I'm wearing shorts for the first time in probably eight years. It's beautiful what can happen when confidence grows. My legs are only one shade darker than being transparent. I'm surprised they don't glow in the dark. But I wouldn't care if they did.

I suppose much of this comes from finally getting old enough to genuinely not give a flying fuck. If that means accepting the grey hairs that have been coming in more and more, so be it. I'll take them as long as I no longer feel the need to worry about what other people think.