After a night of camping, I’m home more than a day early. The unrelenting rain and insects were enough for me to wonder whether it’s worth forgoing the comforts of home (and rest, and cleanliness) for a few new subjects to photograph.
I now have several mosquito bites on my body, about the size of my fist each. This is without any scratching on my part, and they’re steadily growing. My skin has always reacted badly to mosquito bites. I’m pretty sure I’d have to turn down National Geographic if they ever offered me a job as a wildlife photographer.
From the visitor centre we check the relief map for our trail. As I’m signing in, Heather G notices my date of birth is in the 80s. I’m the only one, and they joke about how young I am — especially compared to Benoît, who’s a sixties baby — but it never feels like we’re far apart in heart and mind.
We carpool to the closest lot, and strap on our packs for the hike to the cabin.
The trail is fairly easy, and paved most of the way. It’s a very welcome detail when you’re carrying sleeping gear, rain gear, extra clothes, eating/cooking implements, camera equipment, several days worth of food, enough water to keep you hydrated on the way there, and your pack is over 25% of your body weight.
I found this old video of a bunch of us cooking burgers on the old Coleman while camping in 2004. Back before Trolley or Tyler were married (or even engaged). I love the way Adam, as the only gay member of our crew, puts a t-shirt on his head and sidles up to Tyler to join in the merriment. Every time I watch this clip, I laugh at this exact point, in the exact same way.
I haven’t been camping in too long. Even though I’m a city slicker, I love to get out and away about once a year. Waking up in the cold, fresh air; talking around a campfire; forgoing the luxury of showers and the internet; these are the things that bring you back to your humanity. And often it’s as much about the people as the event, because there are barely any opportunities for us to get together. I miss those guys just as much.
Went camping again, most likely the last time for the year. I’ve discovered that I’m too much of a city slicker to keep up with the others; I miss showering too much. The campground was nice, but the paved roads and washing machines sort of took away from the entire outdoors experience. Of course, we also had comfort stations, lighters, pre-chopped firewood, and fresh water taps, so it’s not like we were hardcore camping anyway. It’s good to be able to get away every once in a while, to places with no computers or cell phone service, but once or twice a year is enough for me.
The woods were great. Trees stood taller than any I’ve ever seen, and the made the surrounding areas thick with vegetation. The entire campground was gigantic, with multiple beaches, quiet areas, rock climbing, and cliff diving.
And Aaron pretended to be a trucker. The story behind the hat: Trolley got a free Hurley hat with a purchase he made. Trolley hates trucker hats though cause he can’t pull them off, and was going to sell it on eBay. Aaron saw it one day when he was over, and tried it on (cause he always tries on the most ridiculous things as a joke). Somehow it works for him, although the hat must be worn high on the head and slightly tilted to the right.