BPLers Gathering of Gear Geeks: Point Reyes, California January 24th & 25th 2009
Palomarin Trailhead 5.5 miles to Wild Cat Camp sites 1AB at Wild Cat Beach
Wild Cat Beach & Alamere Falls
6.5 miles from Wild Cat Camp to Bear Valley Vistor's Center
2 Days, 1 Night...12 miles of Gear, Beer, and Banter
Night Time Temperatures: 45 Degrees F, damp...felt colder, windy
Day Time Temperatures: Cool at maybe 55 Degrees F, breezy
Link for map: http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/maps.htm
Jay Wilkerson, Jim Sweeney, Jeremy Pendrey, & Tony Wong meeting for breakfast at Hubcaps in Walnut Creek, CA.
Jay & Jim Talking Things Out
Tony Wong, Jeremy Pendrey, Jay Wilkerson, & Ken Thompson on the look out for friends they have never met. Photo by Denis Hazelwood
Slightly odd moments of silence. Jay put it perfectly, "We are a bunch of introverts trying to make conversation for the first time in a group of introverts(solo hikers)."
Denis Hazelwood in red with hat, Cameron Kennedy with red & grey jacket, and Joshua Billings at the Bear Valley Visitor Center Parking Lot
Ken Thompson's Van Full of Dyneema Backpacks
ULA, MLD, and GoLite Packs Pile Up
The Ride to Palomarin Trailhead
Ken Thompson Driving with Ken Helwig riding shotgun
Cameron & Josh...not seen Tony, Jeremy, & Jay.
Jeremy noted: farthest distance traveled by anyone, Ken Thompson & his van from Fortuna, CA, which might as well be in Oregon (or "Jefferson" or whatever they call themselves up there)
Jay Brought a Digital Scale to See who had the Lightest Pack
Jay's Scale....not his weight displayed. Lightest pack award goes to Jeremy at 13.5 lbs, which included a bottle of wine in a Platypus. 8.5 lb base weight.
Gathering of Gear Geeks at Palomarin Trail Head
Back Row Right in Blue Jacket: Cary Bertoncini of Sacramento
Middle Row Left in Grey Jacket with Green Shirt: Lane Parker of San Francisco
Front Row Right Ken Helwig from Scotts Valley
Photo by Denis Hazelwood, who generously came out to say hello and help shuttle people to the trail head, despite being unable to join us on the trip.
The Backpack Makes the Man....what's in your pack?
Photo by Denis Hazelwood
Photo by Denis Hazelwood
On the Trail with Jay and Josh
Cruising Along the Coast
Cruising Along the Coast II
Full View of the Coast Line
The Beach Below
Looking Back: Ken & Jay
Marching Along, Lane & Cary Bringing Up the Rear
Cameron has been known to solo 20 to 30 miles in a day, cook gourmet food, and he brews beer.
March of the Introverts: Hike Your Own Hike
*Actually, everyone was quite social able and spent quite a bit of time getting to know each other. No doubt, love of gear and the trail creating instant common ground and bond.
Ken Thompson with his home make hiking poles, using carbon fiber golf club shafts and fishing pole handles
World of Green
Jay Finds a Mascot...good eat'in
Decending Down to the Shore
Passing a Green Pond
Pond by the Side of the Trail at the top of the last stretch leading down to the campsite
First View of Wild Cat Camp, hoping that the forecast of 50% chance of rain would not be true
Wild Cat Camp Sites 1AB, end of a leisurely 5.5 miles
Mountain Laurel Designs Monk Tarp & Poncho Tarp
Tarp Town with New REI Solo Free Standing Tent
Note: Poncho Tarp configured with closed end with MLD Soul Side Zip Bivy
Show and Tell...boys will be boys with their toys
Note: Looks like a green URSack at the end of the table infront of Ken, with red jacket
More Show and Tell
Casey Bowden from Bekeley in foreground wearing Grey Jacket with Yellow Rain Pants mountain biked in from the trail head.
Casey's Henry Shire Single Person Rainbow Tarptent
Ken Thompson's Tarp & Home Made Bivy with built in large bug netting hooked to his tarp or pole. Tarp may also be home made.
Ken Helwig's Henry Shire Classic Tarptent- Virga
Josh's Terra Nova Laser Photon
Jay's Dancing Light Gear--"Arapaho"
Another shot of Jay's Love Shack
Caldera Cone and Cameron in the Background
Lane, Jeremy, and Jay Chillaxing
Jay sitting in style with a portable stool
Bush Buddy Goodness
Cameron & Cary, in the sunglasses and purple jacket, are the proud owners of this marvel of primal technology
Should I be ashamed to admit that I was mildly aroused at the sight of this metal monument to pyrotechnics?
And you thought your bear bag was cool
Cameron's Food Storage Container from work
Things that go bump in the night under your bivy
Cary's Montbell Single Person Free Standing Shelter
Close Up of Ken Thompson's Setup
Note that the large bug netting is sewn into the head of his bivy
Taking a walk to the beach on a gray day
Despite Managing to Dodge the Foretasted Rain, the weather was still cool and breezy
Wild Cat Beach
Bantering on the Beach
Ken Thompson, Casey, & Jeremy getting to know each other.
Note: Jeremy's sporting a bottle of "grape" juice to stay warm
Where Soil & Sand Meet Cold Waters
Approaching the Falls
Casey Takes the High Road
Hidden Stair Case in Shale
Easy to miss along the shoreline, this crack in the wall leads up above the falls
An Unexpected Oasis
Lush Pitter Patters of Water on Stone
Green Carpet to the Sea
Casey, Crocs, & Dryducks
Peering Over the Edge
Looking Back Up the Beach
The Whole Picture I
The Whole Picture II
Ken Thompson, Jay, & Josh at Alamere Falls
Restless White Ripples
Islands of Slick Stone
Anchored for the Storm
***If anyone knows what this is, please PM so I can update this caption***
Across the Water's Distance
Slithering Down to the Sand
Lane Checking Out Green Rocks
View from the Bottom
Bantering at the Bottom
Lane, Josh, Casey, & Jeremy...Ken Thompson in the background left with green hat
Cary, Master of Fire, Keeper of the Flame...Bush Buddy Owner
Lane sits in the background
Cameron's Cool Food Box
Cooking with alcohol stove with foil wind screen, Cameron uses a Fire Steel to light his stove
Firelite SUL 1100 from BPL holds his Bush Buddy & Alcohol Stove
The Best Windscreen
MSR Pocket Rocket with Titan Kettle
Cameron's Firelite SUL 1100 from BPL, the alcohol stove is a brasslite turbo II F (discontinued). The brasslite also nests perfectly inside the BPL trappers mug. Red top Container of Coconut Milk...what is he cooking up?
Ken Thompson sitting on his camp pad chair
Cameron Hovering Over his Dinner
Jeremy's Snow Peak Stove with Heat Reflector Installed sitting on top of the food box
Casey Having Some "Grape Juice"
Josh Bundled Up for his Beer
Cameron states, "That meal was chicken tikka in a coconut masala sauce with fresh cauliflower and broccoli."
Enjoying the Fruits of Labor
Josh using plyers on a Leatherman Squirt to pull a pot of boiling water from a Caldera Cone for his Mountain House Dinner
Jeremy noted: Heaviest piece of gear carried was Cary's box of 3 liters of wine, which came in somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 pounds, but of course was weightless on the way out, so maybe he wins for lightest piece of gear too.
Ken Lays Down the UL Law, "That better be 800 Fill Down or I will kick your ass!"
Lane Grabbing Some Water from the Caldera Cone
Casey's Sweet Ride
Ken's Late Dinner
Nate & Bill Arrived Late that afternoon at about dusk
Noted by Jeremy: Spirit Award for Nate and Will with Christmas lights on their Go Lite Hut 2
The Gathering I
Lane, Cary, Natan Meinzer from San Francisco, and Bill Aires from Chicago
The Gathering II
The Gathering III
Ken Helwig testing his vision after a few drinks
When BLPers Go Bad!
Ken's Signature Public Service Message to Everyone After a Few Drinks
Ken was perhaps the only Extrovert Amongst Us and was Happy to be the Butt of His own Jokes to get a Laugh out of Us
Dinner and a Show Featuring Ken!
iPod Music Cube providing atmosphere
Josh is sporting a pink knit hat he found laying around to add to his layering system
Bedtime for Jeremy under his MLD Poncho Tarp and MLD Superlight Bivy
Packing Up in the Morning
Cameron is sporting Montbell Thermawrap Pants and is under his MLD Monk Tarp with his Gossamer Gear, Mariposa Pack
Ken Thompson, First to Rise and First to Pack Up
Josh Refreshed, Toasty Warm, and Smiling
Casey Emerging from his Rainbow
Cary Getting Dress to Beat the Morning Chill
Thankful that Ken Helwig did not make good on his promise to climb into his tent that night
Jeremy Packing Up his GoLite 20 Degree F Ultra Quilt
Mountain Laurel Designs Poncho/Tarp for Shelter
Bush Buddy in Action
Cary Feeding the Beast with Small Twigs at His Feet
Sunrise on the Ridge
Group of Inner City Teens Camping in the Distance
The large site was quite full and we were surrounded by many other campers who had to endure our alcohol fueled bantering and chuckles of laughter as Ken Helwig entertained us in only the way he could with his antics
Morning Gear Check
On the left Jay is checking out Jeremy's wind shield and heat reflector on his Snow Peak Stove
Greeting the Sun
Casey was the 1st to leave, riding his mountain bike
Nate and Bill headed off to the beach
While the rest of us hit the steep trail out of Wild Cat Camp
Looking Back Down at Wild Cat Camp
Just an Easy Morning Stroll
Backs to the a Big Blue Ocean
Rising Above it All
Triumphant Swagger of the Lightweight Backpackers
Jeremy, in blue jacket, in the lead carries a MLD Small Exodus Pack with optional MLD Bottle Pocket on the shoulder strap and optional medium belt pouch
Denis Hazelwood West Coast Trail Angel
Special Thanks for Denis for coming out to meet all of us and to generously shuttle people to the trail head, despite not being able to join us for the trip out. At the trail head we took advantage of him by piling some six cameras on him to take group photos of us all. Denis was even thoughtful enough to greet me the next day with a CD with all the photos that he had taken the day before, some of which have been used in this photo essay
Cameron and his extra large sleeping pads?
Cameron sports Innov-8 trail runners
Rolling in after an unplanned trail deviation
Jeremy remarks, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot: best navigation: Ken T. and Josh for getting out ahead of us and then taking the "scenic route" back to the car (showing up an hour later than us "stragglers")."
Josh is wearing his beloved BPL Green Hoody
I Promise What Happens on the Trail, Stays on the Trail
Happy Birthday Jay!
Sunday the 25th of February was Jay's Birthday
Jeremy Always Enjoys His Beer
*Special Thanks for Ken Helwig for organizing hopefully the 1st of many trips with fellow BPLers: Gathering of Gear Geeks
Other Photo Essays by Tony:
Yosemite: Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass to Lake Merced
Yosemite in Winter
Yosemite: Lake Vernon & Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
Yosemite: Tenaya Creek