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Annie : Gone Camping
Diary entry posted Sat 8:19am 4 June 2005

June 3

Week 21

Hi everybody! I haven't posted in a bit because I just got back from my first camping trip since this break. My husband, daughter, and I took our little trailer done south to Bishop, CA in the Southern Sierras. My sister and her husband took their little trailer down from South Tahoe, two friends of theirs from Tahoe also came, and my parents came up from Hemet, CA with their trailer. So, we all converged on Bishop for a couple of days. We left on Sunday and went as far as Lee Vining, right next to Mono Lake, an ancient lake with tufa domes, cinder cones, and all kinds of really cool geology. It's really geology heaven for me. Anyway, we didn't have a whole lot of time on Sunday, so we set up camp and went out to do a couple of geo-caches. For those of you who have no idea of what those are, they are like grown-up scavenger hunts. You can get online and find these things all over the world. You need a GPS unit, and you plot the coordinates given, usually within about 15 feet or so of the hidden cache. Then you have to find the cache. It usually consists of an old ammo box, or cannister, or tupperware, or something like that and inside are the "treasures" and the log book you sign showing you have found the cache. It's really an excuse to go hiking to places you might not otherwise have gone to. Sometimes they are "virtual" caches and you end up at an historical marker or something and answer questions or something like that. Anyway, it's a lot of fun. We went to one that was a hike up to a high mountain cemetary marking where a group of people had been killed ages ago by an avalanche, and another one in town at an historical marker. It was a great way to begin our little trip. I took my hiking poles and was very careful on the trail.

The next day, we were up and headed through Mammoth toward Bishop. We stopped for a cache just outside of Mammoth, and as we were approaching it noticed this group of about 15 people all staring down at GPS units headed for the same one! Oops! Usually you try to do it a little more secretly. We got quite a laugh at that! Two of the men in the other group were fire guys from Los Angeles County Fire. We seem to run into people in the business every where we go. Anyway, we got to Bishop in the afternoon, set up camp, and just hung out. After being cooped up for 5 months with this broken leg, it felt SO good to be out. I really needed this trip. We spent the next couple of days caching, some went golfing (something I have not tried yet), playing games, laughing a lot, and just having a good time. One of the caches we found took a bit of rock scrambling to find, but was by some ancient petroglyphs which were awesome. One day, we drove down about an hour south to visit the new visitor's center at the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, built during WWII to house about 13,000 people. It was beautifully done, and quite thought-provoking. I was glad my daughter could see it, in light of current world events. Anyway, we came back home late Thursday. :( My foot seemed to do really well, all things considered. I was glad I had been hiking up my hill before the trip, because it was used to being on dirt roads with gravel and uneven surfaces. I must say, the trip was medicine for my soul! We really had a great time.



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