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BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA
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Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/27/2009 23:00:13 MST Print View

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

Hubcaps

Jay Wilkerson, Jim Sweeney, Jeremy Pendrey, & Tony Wong meeting for breakfast at Hubcaps in Walnut Creek, CA.

Jay & Jim Talking Things Out

Jay & Jim Talking Things Out

Fun Fest

Tony Wong, Jeremy Pendrey, Jay Wilkerson, & Ken Thompson on the look out for friends they have never met. Photo by Denis Hazelwood

Gathering of Introverts

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

Van full of Dyneema

Ken Thompson's Van Full of Dyneema Backpacks
ULA, MLD, and GoLite Packs Pile Up

The Ride Over

The Ride to Palomarin Trailhead
Ken Thompson Driving with Ken Helwig riding shotgun
Cameron & Josh...not seen Tony, Jeremy, & Jay.

Trail Head Parking Lot

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 Weighs His Pack

Jay Brought a Digital Scale to See who had the Lightest Pack

Jay's Scale

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

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 Backpacks

The Backpack Makes the Man....what's in your pack?
Photo by Denis Hazelwood

Heading Out

Heading Out
Photo by Denis Hazelwood

On the Trail

On the Trail with Jay and Josh

Round the Bend

Cruising Along the Coast

Cruising Along the Coast

Cruising Along the Coast II


Full View of the Coast

Full View of the Coast Line

The Beach Below

The Beach Below

Looking Back Ken & Jay

Looking Back: Ken & Jay

March Along

Marching Along, Lane & Cary Bringing Up the Rear

Cowboy Cameron

Cameron has been known to solo 20 to 30 miles in a day, cook gourmet food, and he brews beer.

Single File Smiles

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

Ken Thompson with his home make hiking poles, using carbon fiber golf club shafts and fishing pole handles

World of Green

World of Green

Jay's Mascot

Jay Finds a Mascot...good eat'in

Decending Down to the Shore

Decending Down to the Shore

Green Pond

Passing a Green Pond

Pond by the Side of the Trail

Pond by the Side of the Trail at the top of the last stretch leading down to the campsite

Campsite in View

First View of Wild Cat Camp, hoping that the forecast of 50% chance of rain would not be true

Shanty Town of Tarps

Wild Cat Camp Sites 1AB, end of a leisurely 5.5 miles

MLD Monk & Poncho Tarp

Mountain Laurel Designs Monk Tarp & Poncho Tarp

Tarp Town

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

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

Show and Tell II

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 Rainbow

Casey's Henry Shire Single Person Rainbow Tarptent

Ken Thompson's Shelter

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 Virga

Ken Helwig's Henry Shire Classic Tarptent- Virga

Josh's Terra Nova Laser Photon

Josh's Terra Nova Laser Photon

Shelter X

Jay's Dancing Light Gear--"Arapaho"

Shelter X1

Another shot of Jay's Love Shack

Caldera Cone

Caldera Cone and Cameron in the Background

Chillaxing

Lane, Jeremy, and Jay Chillaxing
Jay sitting in style with a portable stool

Bushbuddy Goodness

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?

Unique Bear Box

And you thought your bear bag was cool
Cameron's Food Storage Container from work

Good Eating

Things that go bump in the night under your bivy

Cary's Shelter

Cary's Montbell Single Person Free Standing Shelter

Close up of Ken's Custom Setup

Close Up of Ken Thompson's Setup
Note that the large bug netting is sewn into the head of his bivy

Walking to the Beach

Taking a walk to the beach on a gray day

Stepping onto Sand

Despite Managing to Dodge the Foretasted Rain, the weather was still cool and breezy

Wild Cat Beach

Wild Cat Beach

Bantering on the 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

Soil & Sand

Where Soil & Sand Meet Cold Waters

Approaching the Falls

Approaching the Falls

Casey Takes the High Road

Casey Takes the High Road

Hidden Stair Case in Shale

Hidden Stair Case in Shale
Easy to miss along the shoreline, this crack in the wall leads up above the falls

Unexpected Oasis

An Unexpected Oasis

Lush Pitter Patters

Lush Pitter Patters of Water on Stone

Green Carpet to the Sea

Green Carpet to the Sea

Casey

Casey, Crocs, & Dryducks

Peering Over the Edge

Peering Over the Edge

Looking Back Up the Beach

Looking Back Up the Beach

The Whole Picture I

The Whole Picture I

The Whole Picture I

The Whole Picture II

Alamere Falls

Alamere Falls

Ken Thompson, Jay, & Josh at Alamere Falls

Ken Thompson, Jay, & Josh at Alamere Falls

Restless White Caps

Restless White Ripples

Islands of Stone

Islands of Slick Stone

Anchored

Anchored for the Storm
***If anyone knows what this is, please PM so I can update this caption***

Across the Water's Distance

Across the Water's Distance

Slithering Down to the Sand

Slithering Down to the Sand

Lane

Lane Checking Out Green Rocks

Lane's Leap

Lane's Leap

View from the Bottom

View from the Bottom

Bantering at the Bottom

Bantering at the Bottom
Lane, Josh, Casey, & Jeremy...Ken Thompson in the background left with green hat

Long Live Fire

Cary, Master of Fire, Keeper of the Flame...Bush Buddy Owner
Lane sits in the background

Cameron's Cool Box

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

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 & Cameron

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"

Casey Having Some "Grape Juice"

Josh's Beer

Josh Bundled Up for his Beer

Culinary Perfection

Culinary Perfection
Cameron states, "That meal was chicken tikka in a coconut masala sauce with fresh cauliflower and broccoli."

Enjoying the Fruits of Labor

Enjoying the Fruits of Labor

Josh Pulling Hot Water

Josh using plyers on a Leatherman Squirt to pull a pot of boiling water from a Caldera Cone for his Mountain House Dinner

Wine Box

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 Law

Ken Lays Down the UL Law, "That better be 800 Fill Down or I will kick your ass!"

Lane getting some hot water

Lane Grabbing Some Water from the Caldera Cone

Casey's Ride

Casey's Sweet Ride

Ken's Late Dinner

Ken's Late Dinner

Night Tent

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

The Gathering I
Lane, Cary, Natan Meinzer from San Francisco, and Bill Aires from Chicago

The Gathering II

The Gathering II

The Gathering III

The Gathering III

The Gathering IV

Ken Helwig testing his vision after a few drinks

Ken's Public Service Message

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!

Music Cube

iPod Music Cube providing atmosphere
http://srv2.kitestailstoys.com/product.php?productid=23950&cat=0&page=1

Happy Josh

Josh is sporting a pink knit hat he found laying around to add to his layering system

Bedtime for Jeremy

Bedtime for Jeremy under his MLD Poncho Tarp and MLD Superlight Bivy

Morning Monk

Packing Up in the Morning
Cameron is sporting Montbell Thermawrap Pants and is under his MLD Monk Tarp with his Gossamer Gear, Mariposa Pack

Quiet Rising

Quiet Rising

Ken First to Rise and Pack Up

Ken Thompson, First to Rise and First to Pack Up

Josh Refreshed, Toasty Warm, and Smiling

Josh Refreshed, Toasty Warm, and Smiling

Casey Emerging from his Rainbow

Casey Emerging from his Rainbow

Cary Getting Dress to Beat the Morning Chill

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

Jeremy Packing Up his GoLite 20 Degree F Ultra Quilt
Mountain Laurel Designs Poncho/Tarp for Shelter

Bush Buddy in Action

Bush Buddy in Action

Cary Feeding the Beast with Small Twigs at His Feet

Cary Feeding the Beast with Small Twigs at His Feet

Sunrise on the Ridge

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

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

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

Looking Back Down at Wild Cat Camp

Just an Easy Morning Stroll

Just an Easy Morning Stroll

Backs to the a Big Blue Ocean

Backs to the a Big Blue Ocean

Rising Above it All

Rising Above it All

Triumphant Swagger of the Lightweight Backpackers

Triumphant Swagger of the Lightweight Backpackers

Home Stretch

Home Stretch
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

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 and his extra large sleeping pads?
Cameron sports Innov-8 trail runners

Rolling in after an unplanned trail deviation

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 Returns!

Josh Returns!
Josh is wearing his beloved BPL Green Hoody

I Promise What Happens on the Trail, Stays on the Trail

I Promise What Happens on the Trail, Stays on the Trail

Happy Birthday Jay!

Happy Birthday Jay!
Sunday the 25th of February was Jay's Birthday

Jeremy Always Enjoys His Beer

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:

Emigrant Wilderness

Mt. Whitney

Yosemite: Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass to Lake Merced

Yosemite in Winter

Yosemite: Lake Vernon & Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Yosemite: Tenaya Creek

Ventana Wilderness

Edited by Valshar on 01/30/2009 01:51:36 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/28/2009 08:44:42 MST Print View

Nice Work Tony. I assume that this is just the first day hiking and what led up to the evening? Nice photos!!!!!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/28/2009 09:45:17 MST Print View

Great photos!!! Cool to see all the different shelters in one place. Must have been a blast!

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/28/2009 10:53:53 MST Print View

The comparison of gear is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the these photos, along with the Banrock Station wine box nicely timed in the lead up to Australia Day.
I look forward to more.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/28/2009 10:55:13 MST Print View

Tony is the quickest way to reduce pack weight. Leave your camera at home, and travel with a dedicated cameraman !

This is great ! I had no idea you were documenting the weekend so thoroughly.
Thank you for posting and annotating the photos.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
Jay turned me into a newt... on 01/28/2009 11:31:17 MST Print View

I got better.

Linda Vassallo
(eastbayhiker)

Locale: Eastbay
Re: BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/28/2009 21:47:54 MST Print View

Tony: Great photos and synopsis of the Pt Reyes Trip. So much gear to drool over. Looking forward to the next installment.

LV

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
BPLers GGG-Pt. Reyes on 01/28/2009 21:55:42 MST Print View

Thanks Tony for all the great pictures and also thanks to Ken Helwig for getting the hole thing organized. "High Five" Nice people-- great hike!!!!!

-Jay

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Point Reyes on 01/28/2009 22:19:03 MST Print View

So all that green stuff.............is that what I've heard referred to as "vegetation"? And what lake is that??

Just kidding, looks like a blast!

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Point Reyes on 01/29/2009 10:43:46 MST Print View

Looks like it was a great time!

Tony - I don't know if I missed it, but what camera did you use?

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Done Posting!!!! BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/29/2009 23:57:58 MST Print View

Hope that you all enjoy the photos.

There are a ton of them, but with all this gear, I figured that everyone would like to see as many photos as possible.

What I found fascinating was that despite all of us reading the same BPL book as the basis of our own light weight journeys to lower our pack weight, the photos clearly shows that there is no one perfect UL kit for everyone.

It is interesting to see the varied choices of gear that each person assembled for themselves, which reflects their personality and individual style.

Joe- The Lake in the photo is not named on the online map

Devin- My camera is a Canon S230 Digital Elph which is about 6 yrs old and 3.2 Mexapixels and apparently was pushing yellow and greens in the shots, which annoyed me to no end. Maybe I should have switched the camera to Cloudy mode vs. Auto?

Photos were edited using the idiot quick fix feature of Photoshop Elements....I am simply too lazy to learn anymore than how to click three buttons to clean each of these photos up. :)

Thank you for taking the time to view these photos.

Hopefully some of you will be able to join us for future trips to be planned!

It was great to meet such a humble, eclectic, and fun group of unique individuals.

P.S. To everyone who went on the trip, please feel free to post up any of your photos that you took. (Someone has to have a photo of me to prove that I really went on this trip with you all!). Also, if you see any mistakes that I made on the captions or if you would like me to add some information to the captions, please PM me.

-Tony

Edited by Valshar on 01/30/2009 00:09:36 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Done Posting!!!! BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/30/2009 00:39:07 MST Print View

Tony,

Thank you for the great report. It was extremely interesting to see the variety of equipment in the pictures. Everyone looked like it was cold in the evening. What was the temperature low and how did the various clothing / bedding combinations rate?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Done Posting!!!! BPLers GGG: Point Reyes, CA on 01/30/2009 07:58:21 MST Print View

Best Caption Award:

Ken Lays Down the UL Law, "That better be 800 Fill Down or I will kick your ass!"

HAHAHAHA!!!!

Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
temps on 01/30/2009 09:11:22 MST Print View

Richard: I think temps were only in the low 40's, but there was quite a bit of wind throughout the night that made it feel cooler.

Tony: Thanks once again for being the photog, and for all the info on everybody's gear.

Looking forward to the next trip.
-Jeremy.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
BPLers GGG: Pt. Reyes on 01/30/2009 09:40:00 MST Print View

There's Tony the Photog and Ken the Stand-Up Comedian!!P1240557

Edited by Creachen on 01/30/2009 10:16:41 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: BPLers GGG: Pt. Reyes on 01/30/2009 16:45:24 MST Print View

A very fun trip indeed. Sorry if I was a bit "much" during the evening....I did have fun! Definately enjoyed everyone's company and I really liked how we all made time to talk to one another during the trip and got to know each other a bit.


Dennis, thank you for coming out and being as helpful as you were. That was awesome.

Ken, thanks for the usage of your van to help shuttle and for coming from way up north to join us.


I promise not so much antics the next time. I don't take myself so seriously and like to have a good time.

And a big thank you to Tony for doing a wonderful job taking so many great pictures!


For those that are interested....Rancheria Falls in either March or April. What works best?

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: BPLers GGG: Pt. Reyes on 01/30/2009 17:10:16 MST Print View

Sorry I did not make the Pt. Reyes trip. I would like to go on a future trip. I live in San Jose, so some carpooling should be possible.

I'd like to suggest April on the theory that Spring should be further along, perhaps spring vegetation also further along, etc.

Also, would there be any interest in an interim trip -- perhaps a nice backpack into Henry Coe? I'd like to take one there, and would welcome company.

-- Bob

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: BPLers GGG: Pt. Reyes on 01/30/2009 17:52:29 MST Print View

Robert, you are more than welcome to join us! Henry Coe??? Ohhh no. Man that place can get hot and those trails are sooo up and down. Not really my piece of cake.

Nice to see San Jose getting some representation!!! My old hometown up to two years ago. Heck I was a native!

I'll keep you in the loop about Rancheria. There is a thread started on this hike in the Trip Announcements

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Point Reyes on 01/30/2009 20:03:23 MST Print View

Tony, the lake I was feebly joking about is the.....ocean. See, I'm about a thousand miles......nevermind.........

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
pt reyes lakes on 01/30/2009 20:48:22 MST Print View

joe, tony & all:

we did pass right by two lakes: Bass Lake on the R (West) around half way in, and Wildcat Lake on the L (East) just before camp. There are a couple other little lakes near Bass Lake - I think Pelican and, ironically for Joe, Ocean Lake.

I had considered bringing some fishing gear, as these lakes have some bass, perch, etc. (also there are surf perch in the ocean), but since it was a rough week for me, I decided to keep things simple. For future reference, these lakes have steep, brushy shores & would be best fished from some kind of floating device. Surf perch might have been good, though.