Sunday, August 3, 2008

Are you authorized to be here?


This week has been warm (90-100 F) so Friday we decided to go camping in the mountains. Easier said than done! The campgrounds were full (all of them) but one of the campground hosts said we might try hiking up a 4x4 road near the entrance gate to Pawnee Campground until we found a flat spot to set up a tent. Luckily (but I'm sure not coincidentally) there was an old campsite just a few hundred feet up the road. Although there was neither a "No parking" sign where we parked nor a "No camping" sign where we camped, it didn't seem like we were supposed to be there. We weren't sure if our propane stove was legal either.

Around 7pm we started making dinner (recipe: 1 can tomatoes & jalapenos, undrained; 1 can black beans, undrained; 1 can chicken, undrained; bring to boil and add 1/2 cup couscous). By the time we finished eating and cleaned up it was getting dark so we went to bed early. There were some funny noises, in particular a loud clap or snapping sound that I assume was a bear stepping on and breaking a branch. Later in the night some small critter brushed up against the side of our tent, right by our heads. I can't imagine what it's like to camp in that kind of environment with a simple tarp-n-stick kind of tent!

So we didn't sleep all that well, and it got chilly (40s). It was a relief to see the sun in the morning -- we didn't get eaten by a bear and didn't get kicked out of our campsite by a ranger.

Around 8am we drove up to the trailhead and started our hike up Mt. Audubon. Beautiful mountain with great views from the trail.

After the hike we decided to take a short walk (1 mile) to a nearby lake. It started to rain (and lightning and thunder) so we checked out the lake and turned back. We were prepared to camp two nights but rain makes that less fun so we went home.

This morning we climbed at Nip in Boulder Canyon. First a fun 5.9 finger crack that we top roped, then we moved the rope over to the arete climb. It took us a few tries but we both sent the crack climb. The face climb in between (5.10?) was tough, I didn't get more than a few feet off the ground.

As we're climbing a few guys walk by, heading up the gully to set up a climb. One of them asks "Are you authorized to be here?" I assume he's being a jackass so I reply assuredly, "Yeah, I think we are." He says, "'cause your shirt says 'Authorized personnel only'." Doh! Now who's a jackass...

Fun anniversary weekend... tomorrow it's back to the grind.


Brian said...

Reminds me of my camp night at Theodore Rooselvelt last year. Something that sounded horse-like (I'm guessing buffalo) investigated my tent at one point during the night, and something smaller and presumably more coyote-like made a few laps at another point.

Come to think of it, I didn't sleep that well at any of my backcountry campsites... but I'll still do it again... hopefully soon.

Erin said...


Happy Anniversary! I finally just read your blog today, and it sounds like you guys are having a great time. I'm especially glad to hear that there are great restaurants around, because with all the hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, dancing, and yoga-ing, it sounds like you're burning 5,000 calories a day!

Keep having fun!