This friday night JR and I headed out to Pike's National Forest for a little backcountry camping and a possible Pike's Peak Summit attempt (not that this is a hard one to summit - but we decided to make a weekend of it and head up the Barr Trail over the course of three days).
The first night we found a lovely little spot a few miles up the trail and set up camp. All was going well until I woke up with a nightmare that wild boars were attacking me. Freaked out, I was wide awake at 2:30 in the morning. I heard the clash and clatter of the pots and pans we had hung (it's always a wise idea to hang all your food, and anything relating to cooking far away from camp.)
(camp, halfway up Pike's Peak)
I headed over to JR's tent (I prefer to hammock, he prefers the ground so we sleep in separate places when we camp) to try to calm down.
About a half an hour later, we hear something come into camp and sniffle around for a bit. I look up and we see a rather large animal rooting around JR's pack, and then we hear it drag it off.
"What is that!?" I whisper to him. He tells me it's a wild boar. In my stupor I believe him. We hear him clawing at and tearing apart JR's pack.
(crunched tin can.)
"He took my pack! I'm going to go get it!" He whispers.
"No way!" I say.
The animal then returns for my pack - I hear it drag it off into the ravine, and then hear it chewing at the buckles and pawing at it. We decide it'll probably come for the tent next so we put on our boots and scoot out to the trail. By this time it was about 4:30 in the morning, and we decide to just sit down until it gets light out.
(my pawed through pack)
The first of the hikers start moving up the Barr trail and we talk to a guy named Lynn. I animatedly start telling him about the wild boar and he goes "I didn't know there were wild boars in this part of the country!"
Jon then discloses that it was a bear, not a boar, and he didn't want to tell me to freak me out any worse. Lynn wants to come check out camp and see what the bear has done, and maybe help us find our stuff, so we head back up the trail. We hike for about a half an hour back up pikes peak and turn off our headlamps for the beautiful sunrise.
(Half eaten deodorant)
We take a look at camp and realize the bear has been everywhere - the food is gone, down from the tree, and he has been rooting around in our clothing stuff sacks (that we used as pillows!) in the tent. The bear had, however, no interest in my hammock and left it alone.
We wander down the gulch a ways and the first pack we find is mine - it held up beautifully, though some of the buckles are chewed (but still usable) and there are a few puncture marks on the material. I had a grand total of my wallet, my checkbook, three empty stuff sacks, and my deodorant in my nearly empty bag - everything was intact except my deodorant, which was half eaten. That bear is going to have a tummy ache tomorrow!
(It even wanted to get at my socks! It did a pretty thorough job of opening EVERYTHING)
Another fifty meters down the gulch (following a trail of camping supplies, and random bear pilfered items) we find JR's pack - it didn't fare as well, it had several large gashes in the material that are going to have to be patched up.
Anyways, further inspection shows that the bear shimmied out to the limb, chewed through the rope to drop the food, and munched everything. Then, assuming it would find more (or really craving some deodorant!) it pilfered through our packs, and then into our tent.
(JR finding his pack)
Talking further with Lynn, who keeps his ear to pulse of what goes on in the mountain told us about a bear that crashed Barr Camp (the halfway up, pay for the night, camp) attempted to get into some tents, and would not leave. Perhaps this bold black bear is the same one? I wouldn't be surprised.
In retrospect, there are things I will be doing differently (like hanging my pack, hanging things even further away from camp, perhaps investing in a bear box or bringing a gun :) next time I go camping because this was pretty scary, and while it's kind of funny now, it wasn't at the time. After all, the bear DID steal my wallet!
With no food, and half our water gone (the bear punctured the bottles/bladders that we were using to cary it) we decided to call it a trip and head back home for some safe, bear-less sleep.
It's my first round of finals for the summer semester this week. I have a comprehensive exam to study for and a rather long essay exam to write so I might be a bit quiet these next few days. Additionally, we are heading up to the Rocky Mountains to do some backcountry camping next weekend, so it might be quiet then, too!
The only big news (so far) is that we got a new camera! It's quite an upgrade so expect a jump in picture quality. In december when we went to Maylasia we decided that having a nicer camera would be an asset to us as we travel so we saved and saved and finally purchased one.
I'll leave you with some photos of the beautiful and diverse scenery of Colorado!
I had long coveted a certain pair of 1940's shorts that Anna Allen had made, so when she held a little online yard sale I jumped at the chance to get them!
They arrived yesterday and I knew for certain that I'd be wearing them today to the Reservoir for my Etsy shop photo shoot - I shot detail photos of all the dresses and the first of the home goods - look for those coming soon!
Lastly, I listed this child's shirt from 1936 or 1937.
It's a baseball print shirt that a sports memorabilia expert helped me narrow down to those two years based on the archaic baseball teams and the label of the shirt. It lists teams like the Boston Bees, the Philledelphia Athletics that no longer exist as well as a lot of teams we are familiar with.
I've been craving Pink Lemonade for awhile, so I made a longwinded video of myself making some! I'm going to try to go through some of my favorite thrifted vintage and antique cookbooks and post little tutorials - do you have anything you'd like to see or any era you'd like me to cover?
If you don't feel like putting up with my longwinded instructions, here is the recipe:
First Make Raspberry Sauce: - 1 small package Raspberries (about 3/4 c) - 1 tbl Sugar - 1 tbl Water
Crush Raspberries in food mill or processor, add sugar and water and stir. Set aside.
Then Make Simple Syrup: - 2 c. Sugar - 2 c. Water
Combine Sugar and Water and simmer on stove until sugar is disolved.
- 8 c. Water - 2 c. Lemon Juice - Simple Syrup - Raspberry Sauce
Serve chilled and garnish with orange and lemon slices!
Do you remember the days before digital cameras? You know, when you used actual film and you didn't have a display screen that showed you whether or not the picture was going to turn out okay?
Back then I went through so many of those six dollar point and shoot cameras - I never had a "nice" camera to use so I just bought those. The pictures they take are pretty terrible, but they have the patina of being real film - there is just something beautiful about the analog process.
JR and I found ourselves on a little impromptu adventure sans the usual digital camera I keep in my purse and BOTH of our cell phones.
We purchased one of those disposable point and shoot cameras, and the pictures that came out just like I remembered, including one with the obligatory finger accidentally over the lens. Had it been digital, that would not have been kept, but because it's a relic (of a sort) it makes it all the more charming.
We found ourselves stopping whenever we found something we liked. We ended up checking out Buffalo Bill's grave, and driving up the highest road in North America, Mount Evens Road, which reaches a peak at just over 14,000 feet. At that altitude the sun is strong and crisp, the air is thin, and you have a beautiful view of the rockies below.