Campin' at 'Coon Creek in the San Gorgonio Wilderness
Since Chris and I have returned home to the Southern California mountains from our sailing adventure, we've been trying to practice the principals of "simple living." One of those principals is to get outside and away from the TV, phones and internet as often as possible.
Fortunately, we love camping.
We made the hour drive to nearby 'Coon Creek in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and made camp with our friends Ron and Donna.
One major bummer? No campfires allowed. No fires of any kind, in fact.
There are few activities more enjoyable than gathering with fellow humans in front of a fire
When I found out we couldn't have a campfire, I was so bummed that I almost backed out of the trip. However, cooler heads prevailed, and we went anyway. Fireless.
Chris and I arrived first and set up camp. Ron and Donna arrived about 2 hours later with a flat tire, courtesy of the extra rocky, lumpy and bumpy truck trail which led to our destination deep in the forest.
I jumped right in and changed the tire for them.
As you can see, I'm a wizard with the lug wrench.
Ha! OK, OK, I'm kidding. :-)
Chris and Ron actually changed the tire.
But I helped! Mostly, though, I supervised.
Donna and her pomeranian Bella assisted me in the rigorous supervising process.
After the tire was changed and Ron and Donna set up their camp, we settled in for some serious camping fun. Since we couldn't have a fire (BOOOOOO!) and we don't drink (some people's top two joys of camping), we had to get creative to find other forms of camping fun.
Fortunately, we love playing music! Hoaky campfire songs (without the campfire...harumpf...I've gotta get over this...I know it's the right thing since the forest is tinder dry...) were the order of the day.
After dinner we played cards and laughed, gossiped and just talked late into the night.
Our Coleman lantern wasn't quite as good as a fire...but under the stars, she worked her magic.
The next day we awoke and had a great camping breakfast: 2 pots of coffee, eggs, toast and a pound of bacon.
They haven't forbidden BACON from camping yet! We may not have had a campfire, but for the love of God, we had sizzling bacon. :-)
OK. Time for the hike.
Fortunately, the iconic Pacific Crest Trail passes right through 'Coon Creek
The trail covers the entire Pacific Coast, north to south. We decided to follow it a couple of miles up to the 'Coon Creek cabin.
As always, it felt so great just to get out there
Moon over the forest
These clouds signal that weather is coming
Mother nature can be deceiving. These tasty looking pea-pod type things we passed on the trail are not peas, but would soon be inedible flowers.
This Swainson's Hawk flew along with us for awhile
These lenticular clouds also signal oncoming rainy weather
More lenticular clouds
This pine seems to be peeling back her skin to display her core
The sun gives an alarming appearance of a meteor hurtling towards earth
Look closely here: what has the appearance of a water-damaged photo is actually cirrostratus clouds.
Wow. So interesting, I think (spoken like a true weather geek)!
Check this out: enterprising chipmunks took advantage of the flat surface of a tree stump to collect, process and dine on tasty pine nuts, excavated from pine cones. We found dozens of sites like this on tree stumps all along the trail. See? Chipmunks like counter-tops and tables too! :-)
A giant dead pine still has a sense of majesty about her
Kelly green fern
Finally we arrived at our destination: the 'Coon Creek cabin
It was built several years ago by the Forest Service for public use
We took a look inside. Sadly, graffiti covered the interior.
Oh, my. Looks like that Lisa was quite the heartbreaker
But it wasn't all scary stuff:
DNA strands make unusual graffiti
"Rat Pack Forever." Frank Sinatra was here?