Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Wanderer: Sespe Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest, Part 1

Have you ever been backpacking?*

Before last weekend, I had never been. Not because I didn't want to or because I didn't think I could do it, but mostly because I don't have the correct equipment or a backpacking buddy. Well, enter my new beau, the Trailer Park Boy (or TPB, for short), a regular hiking, camping and backpacking buff.

Together, we drove to the Sespe Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest, to hike to Willett and Sespe Hot Springs via the Piedra Blanca Trail.

This was quite the lofty goal for my first weekend bushwhacking, but I got by with a little help from my friends--well, sort of. More on that in part two.

We arrived at the trailhead late in the day on Friday, which wasn't entirely ideal but was entirely necessary due to my working, our lack of preparation, etc. Surprisingly, there were tons of boy scouts, backpackers and equestrians taking off around dusk as well. We took off in the near darkness along a well-kempt trail into the unknown.

Taken on our hike back out.
We set up camp at the first primitive campsite along the river, Bear Creek Campground, where we set up our tent, gathered firewood, and enjoyed some freeze-dried beef stroganoff in total darkness. Because of our lack of sight, we were completely unaware of the proximity of the river--a mere 10-15 feet from our tent, as we discovered in the morning!

Check back in tomorrow for more about our backpacking adventure! Watch how things go awry!

*Interestingly enough, when I googled "backpacking," the first wiki article to pop up was about backpacking while traveling, something that wilderness backpacking got me thinking verrrrrry seriously about...again.


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