Monday, March 16, 2009

Sequoia National Park

Adventures in Sequoia

A recent camping trip to Sequoia National Park prompted my thoughts about camping.

Top 5 reasons why camping is better than being in an apartment:

1. Food always tastes better: We had quite the cuisine of tin foil dinners (due to lack of sufficient coals we were forced to adapt them to iron skillet dinners), peach cobbler, pancakes, sandwiches, hot dogs (actually polish sausage, which is definitely better after being roasted over an open fire)

2. Clothing: Why wear only one pair of favorite clothes when you can wear all the clothes you have in order to stay warm? Reverse strip poker can also help accomplish this task. Layer after layer of clothing goes on and really the loser is the winner because they can stay warm.

Many layers were the key to success while sleeping and hiking around

3. Clean air: My lungs got quite the rest from the LA smog during our wonderful trip to the clean mountain air. Even the fire smoke couldn't dampen the wonderful clean air.

The Great Western Divide

4. Darker at night: When I got home I tried to sleep Sunday night and realized that the city lights of LA make it rather hard to go to sleep after experiencing the wonderful pitch black nights in the forest. Plus when it's that dark you can see millions of stars.

Sunset in the mountains

5. Beautiful scenery: The breath-taking scenery from the top of Moro Rock was enough to make the trip worth it. The trees, river, and snow-covered mountains were much more beautiful than the congestion, parallel parking, and schoolwork of LA.

Our first glimpse of wildlife.
View from the top of Moro Rock

Top 5 reasons why an apartment is better than camping:

1. Hot water: Try doing dishes in freezing cold water at midnight. Hot showers, hot dish water, laundry, etc. Modern life conveniences surprisingly make life more convenient.

2. Light: Somehow we didn't bring a lantern with us on the camping trip. This may have been slightly easier had we not put up our camp in the dark. Being able to turn on a light switch and instantly have light certainly is easier than wearing a goofy head lamp for two days.

3. No bear boxes: Due to the black bear traffic in the park we had to put all of our food, toiletries, baby wipes, etc. in the bear box each night. Good thing we didn't encounter any bears because someone left the bear box open Friday night. How thankful I am to have a refrigerator full (well sometimes it's full) of food that I only have to share with Sara, no bears.

Bear Boxes and "the boys next door" tent

4. Insulated walls: Tent walls are rather thin and when your neighbors "the boys next door" and "The Andersons" are loud at night you can't help but hear everything they say and their snoring. Sadly the walls in my apartment are not much thicker than the walls of a tent as I went to bed on Sunday night and could still hear Jessica, Sara, and Josh quite well on the other side of the wall.

The circus tent and The Anderson's tent

5. Soft mattresses: Now my mattress is not exactly a sleep number bed, in fact it doesn't even have a real box spring (thanks Jessica for your old mattress which acts as my box spring). But when I got in bed on Sunday night, I felt like I was sleeping in the best bed ever. Sleeping on hard ground with a half-an-inch thick pad below you is not exactly comfortable. In fact I think I may have several bruises from unwanted rocks under our tent.

Somehow Josh managed to get a picture of us while we were sleeping. Guess which one I am?

So after weighing the pros and cons I would say that as far as a permanent residence goes I'll have to stick to an apartment, but camping needs to be a more frequent undertaking in my life.

John, Kristen and Josh exploring the soft bark of the Sequoias

John, Kristen and Josh spanning the tree
General Sherman--the largest tree in the world (so they say)

Rick, Sylvia, Jeff and Bethany on our snow hike


Allana said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun! Wish I could have taken the day off!

Sara said...

The last picture is classic! Rebuttal to come soon on my blog. :)

Jim said...

Camo pants Josh, really? Did you have to go there?
Was Jeff the only one to wear shorts?
How many frying pans did Jeff bring?
Did you hunt down that coyote and have it for dinner, and then make a coat out of its hide? Why not?

You're right Sara, that last picture says it all. Bethany was obviously singing a tune, Jeff was explaining how trees reproduce, Silvia is enjoying herself and Rick is miserable. Ah, how fun it would have been!

Leslie Duke said...

oh my gosh that looks like so much fun!! i'd totally take camping over an apartment anyday.


Hey, I'm glad you found our blog!!! I loooove camping! Your pictures are beautiful! What are you up to these days?