1,000 Sunsets and 1,000 Sunrises

Joyce and I just surpassed our 1,000th night of camping together

This wasn’t a goal or even something I was closely tracking. We started camping as a couple just before we were married in 2002. Considering the fact that we both have full time jobs, getting out nearly 100 nights per year really wasn’t that difficult; although for most people it would be impossible to do because they are to busy dealing with life, instead of living life. I wrote about this in Managing Your Recreation Inventory.

For us, camping isn’t about sitting around a campsite, but about spending time together in the wilderness, which includes hiking, fishing, boating, stargazing, and even generally doing nothing but talking and listening to one another.

We have enjoyed the lowest and highest deserts, the heights of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, rivers, lakes, streams, oceans, and the deepest canyons. We have seen wildlife of all kinds. We have experienced extreme heat, freezing cold, snow, rain, and balmy weather.

A few pictures from the past…

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A Birthday Camping Trip @ Guajome



Yesterday was Joyce’s xx-something birthday. Seems many women don’t like their age disclosed when they hit “milestone” birthdays. Not sure if Joyce minds age disclosure, so I won’t tell you how young she is.

In celebration of her birthday we could have done many things, but Joyce decided she wanted to do a special camping trip. After 13 consecutive camping trips in the desert, she wanted to go somewhere that had lots of green trees and plants, and cool moisture laden air — translation: near the ocean. More than that, she wanted to go to Guajome. This actually surprised me; not her wanting to go to Guajome, but that she wanted to go camping. I had visions of her wanting to do a weekend getaway to a 5 Star resort and/or dinner at an upscale restaurant.

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Backpacking/Camping Decision Tree

JT 2014-03-27

It appears that my wife has a “Bucket List” and a To Do List.

I have neither.

Her To Do List includes fixing a leak in the roof, which is required before the interior remodel can be completed. The remodel started in 2000; the roof leak appeared a few years later.

So this week I put the roof issue on my own To Do List, which was completely empty – actually I had to create a list. However it was too windy outside this week.

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ProPride Trailer Hitch 1,000 mile Update

ProPride Pin Point Projection Hitch on our rig.

ProPride Pin Point Projection Hitch on our rig.

I discussed the installation of our ProPride hitch in the post, How much trailer can you tow — part 3.

We have now towed our trailer over 1,000 miles with the ProPride hitch. This has included driving in sustained 30 MPH crosswinds, some freeway travel, and several trips, most of which are around 100 miles round trip. One trip was 450 miles. We also have been subjected to big rigs passing us at high speeds. With all of this in mind, I thought I would share my impressions.

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Springtime Camping Celebration

JT 2014-03-21-1-9

We just got back from a few days of camping, which happened to be the official start of Spring. It really didn’t matter that it was spring, we would have been out anyway — but it makes a nice headline for the post.

Springtime in the desert usually means wind, and some years it means lots of colorful flowers. With little rainfall this year, there won’t be the fabulous spring flowers. However the wind is here.

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Best Blog on the Web: Out Of Eden Walk

Hope this works. The hard drive in my laptop crashed and the restoration processs, if it works, looks to be at least a 10 hour ordeal.

Anyway, I don’t spend much time reading blogs, but I have been watching this one for nearly a year.


I’ll let the author explain it…

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is retracing on foot our ancestors’ migration out of Africa and across the globe. His 21,000-mile odyssey began in Ethiopia and will end seven years later at the tip of South America.

National Geographic is funding Paul’s storytelling from the trail—dispatches of varied length posted here every few days or at longer intervals. There’s a brief delay between his filing of stories and their posting. Paul is reading your comments and responding to some, so please check back.


How to Fold a Topo Map

Map in ZipLoc
Not long ago I was hiking in a remote area. Remote meaning I didn’t expect to meet any people. There wasn’t a trail to follow, no signs, and I knocked down the accurate cairns while leaving the inaccurate ones standing. I was heading to a sensitive historical area to which some bonehead had posted detailed directions on the Internet, which usually means morons will start visiting and damaging the site.

While I didn’t expect to see anyone else hiking in the area, there is always the possibility someone else will be in the area, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I ran into a fellow who asked if I had a topographical (topo) map he could look at. Before continuing with the rest of the story, a brief discussion of topo is in order.

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Roads Closed – Go To Plan C

Last week I was in Texarkana. The one in both states of Arkansas and Texas.

2014-02-28 TexarkanaWhen I left the hotel it was brisk 23 degrees F, but it didn’t seem that cold. I guess with all my trips to the east coast this year I must be getting acclimated to the cold. I had to meet with my client and then fly out to LAX at noon.

Once the meeting was over, I began to think about the weekend. I had a couple options, knowing the weather wasn’t going to be great. One was backpacking in the San Jacintos, which was going to require snowshoes, given that the incoming storm was predicting 2 to 4 feet of snow. The second option was we could go camping, but foretasted heavy rains can make desert travel difficult with road closures and flash floods.

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