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YOUR Random Thoughts?


 [Pictured: REI, Santa Monica, CA]

Well, I'm out... for a MONTH in the backcountry (north of Los Angeles). Between an extended pandemic lock down, and a few crazy weeks of riots and looting, which caused afternoon curfews and lots of stores and restaurants being boarded up (some permanently), a few communities spontaneously came together en mass and swept up while others turned boarded up storefronts into murals (pictured).

Since then, the DAILY protests here have taken on the appearance of parades, and some restaurants have repurposed part of their parking lots for romantically lit dining under the stars. And that's how we'll get through this, with creativity, ingenuity, understanding, and by talking, listening and working together (there's no other choice, really).

Meanwhile, I'm bored indoors and running out of things to do at home (although I have been paying more attention to my eye makeup lately). So, I'm heading out... before the locusts, frogs, and flaming hale starts! When I return, I'll start planning and training for a paddling-camping trip to Catalina Island, about 33 miles away, across open water.

IMHO, Backpacking is always a great answer (who cares about the question!) And, I decided to FILM my outing over the next month, partly for myself, partly for some friends (so they can see what I'm talking about), but also for a few here (especially for the beginners). Of course, I don't think I can post a video here (?), so it'll have to be a link to YouTube. Until then, I hope everyone gets out and gets dirty. The craziness (and the crazies) will still be here when you get back, so I'm going where they're not (I think).

The way I see it, the wilderness is PERFECT for times like these! A chance for some peace and quiet, to recenter yourself, to disconnect (or reconnect, if you bring someone), or just to remind yourself of how little you really need or what's really important.

For most, backpacking is a cheap and easy way to get away from it all. The sea has it's allure, canyoneering and packrafting offer certain challenges, etc., but simple hiking and camping offer more rewards with fewer risks (IMHO). Just remember, we're in this together, so hurry back  *;)



5 Replies

@SurvivalGal Our problem over here on the opposite coast is that rains every weekend or just on those weekends I want to take a trip.

We did have a small 'dry' gap last week, in the middle of the week, so I did a rare solo.

We have a trip planned for this Fri-Sat to Dolly Sods Wilderness, in WV (6hrs),

but all of a sudden, lo and behold!  we now have a 90% chance of rain, up from 40% just a day ago.

But hey, I'm hosting 2 trips out to Wyoming, 1 in July for 8 days, Jim Bridger Wilderness, Boulder Lake Trail Head, near Pinedale, Wy, (map/route link

and 1 in August for 9 days, Teton Wilderness, (on south border of Yellowstone NP), Turpin Meadow Trail Head (map/route link )

You are cordially invited to attend!  The groups are small 4-5 folks, the mileage is short (I'm not getting any younger), very nice, experienced folks, 1 or 2 backpacking novices.

The only cost is getting to the trail.  Most of us will fly into SLC then drive to the trailhead, except 1 new friend, from my Grand Canyon trip last spring, who will drive in from Boise.

Think about it.  It's going to be fun.

REI Member Since 1979

I used to let the weather dictate when I got out, but then I realized I was missing the point! The point is not to get out when it's sunny, the point is to GET OUT! Sure, I watch the weather forecast, and check it again before I go, but that's so I can plan and prepare properly!!  

I get a lot of invitations (thanks, BTW), like the Bigfoot Trail from South to North, the Oregon Coast Trail from CA border North, the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, the Pacific Crest Trail from Chinook Pass, WA to Canada.... I keep checking the mail, but alas, still no plane ticket *:.(


@Philreedshikes Looking forward to your videos. I'm also planning a kayak trip, but up here in northern CA - tomatoes Bay. They have a bunch of campgrounds that are only reachable by kayak. Hope they start taking reservations again soon.



Sorry that was supposed to be Tomales Bay.


I recently enjoyed a three day - two night solo backpacking trip. I saw no one on Thursday, five people from a distance on Friday, but the day hiking crowd came out on Saturday. Until Saturday, it was a great way to practice social distancing and nature intimacy. It also offered an opportunity to not hear or think about COVID-19 for awhile.

aka "Boonerelli"

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