BPLers Gathering of Gear Geeks: Henry Coe State Park January 25th-27th 2011
Corral Trail Head to Manzanita Point Group Campsites 2.7 Miles
Manzanita Point Camptsite Elevation 2,270 Ft.
National & Local Weather Reports Weekend Forecasted of 6-9 inches of Snow at Higher Elevations Down to 1,000 Ft with a 100% Chance of Death if You Left Your House
Daytime Temps: Low 40's to Low 30's
Evening Temps: 24F
70 People Signed Up, 46 Showed Up to Face the Weather
Website: Henry Coe State Park
Henry Coe State Park Head Quarters
Note: These Three Photos Taken on the Last Day of the Trip
The official trip was simply and over night trip from Saturday the 26th to Sunday the 27th. However, a number of people came on Friday the 25th to stay in the car camping sites at the headquarters where they suffered a very long and cold night.
Jeremy Packs the Important Stuff
Waking up with no idea of what weather to expect after a week of news ranting about how this was going to be a freakishly bad weekend of weather with epic blast of cold artic air that would deliver freezing rain and snow, Jeremy and I headed from my house to hit the highway to be greeted with light traffic and relatively clear skies. We left with the hope that the rangers had not closed the roads to the park due to snow and ice. EJ would later call Jeremy on his cell phone to let us know that he had called the rangers that that the roads were clear and the roads open. So with snow chain, jumper cables, a box of Duraflame logs, and Jeremy's golf club caddy to carry beer to the campsite we were off!
It always starts in a parking lot
Joseph from San Gabriel- his pack has style
Handing out Logs for People to Carry with Style
Everyone who could carry a log was eager and more than willing to help carry a log. In this case, Joseph took two logs.
Adan's Precious Cargo
Other Priorities to Carry
Believe it or not, these were hand carried in by Adan, who was gracious in sharing with everyone there.
A Party for Everyone: Ellen & Jane (left to right)
Hitting the Trail
It was cool enough that I hiked in wearing my Thermawrap Jacket
Mixed Colors of the Skies
Ben Looking Out Across the Park
A Vast Park
Ken H. Look Over a Frozen Mud Puddle
Jay Helps Ben with His Shelter
By the time that I arrived into camp there were quite a number of people who had arrived earlier and many were in the process of setting up their shelters for the night.
David & His Tarptent Contrail
Jay's Dancing Light Gear "Arapaho" at 24 quick in easy ounces
Doug's Zpacks Hexamid Duo
Katharina Kicking Back in Style
Warbonnet Traveller, my tarp a Warbonnet BigMamaJamba with door kit.
The Only Snow We Would Receive
Jack's Kavu Chillba Hat
Josh & Katharina Hanging Under a Huge Tarp
Kevin's Montbell Crescent 2 Tent
Ryan K.'s Eureka Spitfire Solo Tent
Kevin's Tarptent Moment Solo lean to his brother for the night
Debbie's Six Moon Design Refuge
Ken H.'s Integral Designs Tarp
Ryan T.'s Mountain Laurel Designs Yellow Duomid with a Six Moon Design Serenity Nettent and a Short Neoair.
Ben's Mountainfitter (Lawson) 7 ft. x 9 ft. flat tarp with cat cut edges
Most Creative Use of Natural Material
Adan L and his Oware tarp????
David, Mr. Puffy & Warm with Home Make Idea Wood Stove?
MYOG tarp modeled after the MLD Patrol and Golite umbrella- Matt E's aka Iceaxe!
Joseph's Tarp is a Zpacks 8x10 cuben. Pole is a GG LT4, Bivy is a MLD superlight.
Head Hole on Poncho
Mark Hanging Out Having Lunch Under David L.'s OES MacCat Deluxe Tarp
North Face Tent with Greg
James' Tarptent Contrail
Mark's Zpacks Hexamid in Cuben (first generation) with netting floor
Ranger Comes Looking for Ken T.
Actually, this really was quite something and just shows you how wonder the Rangers are. The Ranger drove out to our campsite to see if we could identify a number of cars in the parking lot to see they were part of our group to avoid being ticketed.
Who Among You Is Guilty of Using Less than 850 Down Fill?
EJ Raises His Hand...actually, he has taken a lot of video of this event, which we hope will be linked to this photo essay.
Rick N.'s Gatewood Cape & Mountainsmith Ghost Pack
Aaron & Erin's GoLite Shangri-La
Richard Nisley and Elizabeth A.
Richard had just returned from another trip and did not have time to pack for this one. However, Elizabeth and he hiked out for the day to spend some time of us.
Richard is the author of the very popular forum thread on "A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth" and has created quite a stir about how to view and test the relative warmth of various garments and sleeping bags. He is, in my opinion, one of the leading intellectuals on the BPL site and we are very fortunate to benefit from his scientific testing and contributions to the forum discussions.
The Gift of Wood from Marc E.
Originally, we were going to be allowed two support vehicles to drive into the campsite with firewood, water, and Cameron's home made kegs of beer, but due to the muddy road conditions, we were not able to bring the vehicles in. While the Ranger was there, we asked it was possible to drive our support vehicles in. She said that we could not, but she would be willing to drive two of us back to the parking lot to put water and firewood into her truck and drive back. Jay and one of the ladies rode back to get wood and water. This made the difference between having a chilly early night vs. a warm, comfortable time sharing company and stories around the fire. That said, many people were generous with carrying in a load of duraflame logs in their own packs to provide us hours of warmth.
Hanging Around the Picnic Tables
Debbie Day hiker and Bringer of Delicious Brownies
Despite having to performance at an opera that night as a musician, Debbie hiked out all her gear and a huge box of brownies to share with us for the day.
Chocolate Chewy Goodness
Tony's Mountain Laurel Designs Poncho Tarp and Soul Side Zip Bivy with eVent Top
It's 3pm, let the fires begin
Left to Right: Jack, Ryan K, Unknown Person in Blue, and Joseph
Goosefeet Down Socks with Overbooties and Goosefeet Down Pants.
I am definitely going to get a pair of these to help my feet stay warm when I sleep.
2.2 oz approximately per pair, lighter than an extra pair of hiking socks!
Kat holding Court at her Crib to show the people how her Hammock Worked
Richard's Hexamd Solo Tarp with HexaNet Solo Bug Shelter with Front of Tarp/Beak Pulled Down over the entrance to show full protection
View of the Back
Front View showing HexaNet Solo Bug Shelter
Reinforcement Patch for Pole Handle
Side View showing Where HexaNet Solo Bug Shelter Connects to Hexamid Tarp
Side Connections of Bug Shelter to Tarp
Low Angle View Inside
Richard Next to Shelter to Show Height/Scale
Debbie Modeling Her Luxurylite Modular Exterior Frame Pack
Photo taken just before Debbie had to leave to go home to perform music at an Opera
Debbie's Box Full of Chocolate Delights Devoured
Ken Tanking Up on A Mini Keg Ryan Hiked In
Familiar Friends, Jeremy & Cameron
The Best Conversations Happen While it is Snowing
Jack H. in Red & Greg G. in black, who flew in from Atlanta
Phoebe H., age ll was one of two young people who came
Things you can bring on a short distance trip, like a HUGE umbrella
Left to Right: Ben, Matt(????), Cameron, & Jeremy Under a Huge Umbrella
Hanging Out in the Snow
The snow really was like having small bits of Styrofoam dropped on you. The snow was not very wet at all and easily was brushed aside. We were thankful that it snowed vs. rained upon us.
Rick Filling His the Caldera Cone Stove with Alcohol
Priming the Stove
Priming the Stove
David Using the Vestibule of His Contrail for Cooking
Ben's Tarp with a Light Dusting of Snow
Based on Ben's Gear, I think he is on his way to a SUL load
Outsak Animal/Critter Resistant Chain Mail Bag
I bought one of these from Jay at the gear swap. Great piece of mind so you don't have to sleep with one eye open to keep an eye on your grub.
The Real Jack from Bakersfield, CA.
Rick and Phoebe: If memory serves me, Rick was "forced" to go by Phoebe, who really wanted to go on this trip.
Jeremy & Jacob
Rick's Gatewood Cape
Jeremy's Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben Fiber Grace Solo Tarp
Jeremy's Special Beer
Cameron's Tries on the BPL Absaroka Pack
Additional Views of the Absaroka
Ken's Feathered Friends Down Booties
Joseph's Serious Preparation for the Wood Burning Stove Burn Off
Here Comes the Sun
We Really Counted Ourselves Fortunate. For all of the doom and gloom forecast by media, the weekend was chilly, but really not an issue with the generous stock of wood and duraflame logs we hand on hand.
Ryan Using His Steripen
Boilerwerks Backcountry Boiler by Devin Montgomery (Prototype)
Base Used as Combustion Chamber
Bottom View, Cone Shape
Looking Through the Bottom
Top View Looking Through the Boiler at the Base that is on the Table
Loading Water into the Boiler
Doug I., Man on a Mission to Boil Water in the Wood Burning Stove Cook Off
Note: Doug traveled quite a distance to join us from Maryland????
The Big Event: Wood Burning Stove Burn Off
The Object: Who could boil a cup of water the fastest
Lessons Learned: Fire Craft & Careful Fuel Selection is Equally Important
Aaron's Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove
Ben's Home Make Ikea Wood Burning Stove
Doug's Backcountry Boiler
Jay's Four Dogs Stove
Joseph's Caldera Cone
Aaron Ready to Go
Ben's Pot Supports
Doug Loads the Combustion Chamber
Jay's Loaded and Ready to Roll
Cameron's Has His Fuel Laid Out
Aaron's Vargo is Stacked
Ben Loads Up
You Know Your a Gear Geek When the Highlight of Your Afternoon is Watching Water Boil
Jacob is Ready to Document the Event
EJ Has the Video Camera Going
They Are Ready to Light It Up!
Doug Lights Up
Aaron's the First to Get a Flame
Ben's Got a Flame
Cameron's Up and Going
Jay's Getting Lit Up
Ben's Got a Fire Going and Pot's On
Doug's Trying to Get an Ember into a Flame
Aaron's Got Steam
Doug is Trying to Feed the Beast
Joseph is Feeding the Flame
Doug Tries the Mouth to Mouth Technique to Try to Breath Life into His Fire
The BushBuddy is Belching Out Plenty of Fire
Ben's Nursing His Fire Along
Aaron's Got a Royal Boil
Cameron Takes 2nd Place
Ben's Got a Proper Fire Going
Doug Never Gives Up
Smoking the Competition
Ken H. Gives Aaron His Prize: BPL Gift Card Donated by Sam H. at BPL
Manfred Inspired by the Burn Off to Boil Up a Hot Drink
Duel Use Tent Stake
David Cooking Up Dinner
MSR Pocket Rocket Canister Stove Frying Up Some Spam
Coleman Xponent Canister Stove?
James W., who just moved to SF from Chicago having dinner by the fire
BPL Firelite Mini Fire Steel & Derma Safe Folding Utility Knife
Jim Colton, who flew out from Minnesota to join us
City of Gear Geeks
Richard & Elizabeth Head Back Home After Spending the Afternoon with Us
Aaron & Erin's Yoga Mat Food Cozies
Josh & Jay, BPL Buddies
Adan Enjoys Dinner with a Case of Beer at His Feet
Doug Lighting Up Esbit Tablet in a Gram Cracker Stove
Jeremy's Boil in a Bag Meal Going into His Cozy
Ken H. Suffering Silently with Gout Attack
Unfortunately, Ken was suffering from a combination of only getting a couple of hours sleep from the chilly night before and an attack of gout, which robbed him and us with a more colorful Ken.
Kevin and His Brother
Jack & Rick Preparing Dinner, Getting Their Stoves Ready to Go
Kevin's Son, Ryan....Youngest BPLEr at Age 6
Kevin says of Ryan, "...my little trooper I am proud of him and glad he comes with me on these trips. He really enjoys everyone's hospitality and likes to be camping with dad. He never bitched about the cold either. LOL, even with an ice layer on the top of his bag."
Cary Rolls In to Join Us and Brings His Friend
One of the Nicest Looking Meals
Fresh Spinich, Fire Roasted Sausage, Mixed into Split Pea Soup
Doug's Caldera Cone
Re-hydrating & Cooking His Food
Dylan, only person smart enough to bring a chair
The Best Company to Share a Meal With
Sea of Shelters
Blue Tarp, Unknown Owner, Unknown Manufacture of Tarp
What Do You Carry in Your Cargo Pant Pocket?
Night falls and the last warmth of what little sun we had is stolen from us. The dark heavens open up to us and the sky is speckled with the twinkling of pinholes thrust through curtain that is night. The cold creeps into our bones and icy fingertips take hold of us. The cold darkness surrounds us and is an encompassing oppression. It keeps friends of ours from having ventured out to join us in this place, yet on this night it binds us together to huddle around the orange glow of a sun of our own making.
In the Cold of the Night We Find Ways to Entertain Ourselves
A Raffle of a MP3 Player and of another Gift Certificate Donated by Sam H. at BPL
Believe that Cameron won the 2nd BPL gift card for the raffle
The Cold Forces Us Closer Together, So We Must Talk with Each Other
The Cold Knows No Age Difference
The Cold Makes Us Ponder Our Existence & Mortality
The Warmth of the Fire Gives Us Peace
The Cold Draws Us Closer to the Flames Like a Moth
The Cold Makes Us See Things in a Different Way
The Cold Draws Fathers and Daughters Closer
The Cold Lets Us Know that We are Not Alone
The Cold Gives Us a Reason to Share a Story to Warm Our Soul
The Warmth of the Fire Allows Us to Just Be
The Cold at Our Backs, Pushes Us Closer to One Another
The Cold Forces Us to Be Creative
The Warmth of the Fire Let's Us Know that We are Alive
The Cold Makes Us Appreciate the Comfort of a Warm Bed
The Cold Makes Us Appreciate the Simple Joys
The Cold Helps Us Share What Little We Have
The Cold Gives Us Focus
The Cold Gives Couples New Memories to Share
The Warmth of the Fire Gives Comfort to the Weary
The Cold Makes Us Appreciate a Puffy Jacket
The Cold Helps Us Make New Friends
The Cold Gives Us Time to Share New Ideas
The Cold Gives Us Something to Focus Upon
The Cold Makes Us Thankful to See the Sun Once More
Frosty Morning with the Gatewood Cape with Rick Looking Over His Shelter
Jeremy Starts to Pack Up
Aaron Gets a Fire Going
Fortunately, we did not burn up all the wood from the night before and there was even one more duraflame log left to get the morning fire going.
Facing a Chilly Morning
Mark V. as a BPL Teletubby
Kat Having Breakfast In Comfort and Style
Tony Wearing His Sierra Sniveller
Aaron and Erin Cook Up a Hot Breakfast
Ken H. Heads Out
Once More Gathering Around the Fire
Manfred's Jetboil and Berikade Expedition Bear Canister as a Stool
Breaking Down Camp
The Pack Hits the Trail
March of the Packs
Adan Carrying His Empty Cases
Oddly, one of the hidden benefits of the chilly night was that the mud froze. So what could have been a messy, muddy slog back was a pleasant trek across firm ground.
Frosty Sheets of Ice
Cutting Across the Mud Easily
A Precarious Load
Adan had to carry his empty bottle back all the way to the parking lot while trying to be careful not to tear he boxes in each hand.
Looking Back Where We Came From
One of Many Old Oak Trees
The Trail Begins to Thaw and Get Mucky
Patches of White Frosty Mud On the Trail
Clusters of Mistletoe in the Trees
Traces of Snow
Ken T. Handing Out Surveys to Get Feedback to Make This Better Next Year
Questions where about who came, what ages, and where did they travel from to attend. Others were about what month next year would be a good month and where the next year's BPLer's GGG will be held.
Jeremy Enjoys a Glass of Cameron's Home Made Beer.
Word is that Cameron's brew is quite good and maybe he should consider bringing it to the market/masses.
Kat Takes a Snack Break Before the Gear Swap in the Parking Lot
Gathering of Gear Geeks
Cameron Gets a Glass of His Brew
Ben's Selling His Green Pack and Has His New Pack Next to It
From Ben, "The pack--if you decide to post pics of it--is a LAUFBURSCHE (literally translates as 'errand boy') huckePACKchen (means mini rucksack in german). cuben and sil."
Ben purchased this lightweight pack from a German Company and had it shipped over...light and pricey is what I hear and he loves it.
What Pack is This?
Kat Selling Her Handmade Alpacka Hats
People Loved Her Warm, Soft Hats and Snapped Them Up
Gear, Gear, Gear!
Ben Checking Out The Hats
Score! Tyvek Jacket. Now only if they had Topo Maps On Them
Bags of Goodies Bought and Time To Catch Up with Friends from Last Year
Collapsible Fishing Rod
And the End of Another Great Gathering of Gear Geeks Put Together by Ken T. & Ken H.
Thank you for all the work that you guys put into this to make it the best and biggest gathering so far...looking forward to the next one and seeing new friends again.
Other photo essays by Tony:
BPLers GGG: Henry Coe State Park, CA.
BPLer's GGG: Point Reyes, CA. 2nd Annual Trip
BPLer's GGG: San Francisco Bay Area, CA.; Mt. Diablo
BPLer's GGG: Yosemite: Hetch Hetchy Resevior to Rancheria Falls
BPLer's GGG: Point Reyes, CA
High Sierra trail to Mt. Whitney
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park: Deadman Canyon
Tahoe Rim Trail
Yosemite: Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass to Lake Merced
Yosemite in Winter: Crocker Point & Dewey Point
Yosemite: Lake Vernon & Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
Yosemite: Tenaya Creek
Photo Essay by Linda Vassallo: Mt Whitney Summit Hike: A photo essay
Trip Report & Article by Jeremy Pendrey: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story
Photography and Backpacking Article on Hike It. Like It.
Photo Essays: Telling the Story, Sharing the Adventure