Backpacking Eaton Canyon

My cousins 28th birthday was this weekend so I decided to text him and see what he wanted to do. He replied to my text by saying “Go into the woods and get drunk with a bear.” I knew he was joking but the idea of going camping was something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. So my reply was “let’s Do it.”, He was surprised to hear that I was up for something like this with such a short notice. I’ve been training for the Aids/LifeCycle in June and there I will be cycling for 7 days and sleeping in a tent for 6 nights. So I need to be able to setup a tent, test the sleeping bag my wife bought me and figure out how well rested I am after a night sleep on the floor.

So I decided to do some shopping for a hiking backpack I could take to camp with my cousin and my 7 day ride. I went with a Golden Bear Kodiak 55L Frame Pack that I found on sale at Big 5 Sporting Goods. Although it did not have all the pockets some other packs had it was a good size and had very comfortable straps. This backpack should be good to pack 7 days of cycling clothes for my SF to LA ride.

My cousin, Mickey, picked me up at my place around 2 pm and my brother in-law Angel was over at the time. He is about to graduate high school and is in cross-country. I knew it would be fun for him to come along and there would be plenty of trails he could run through, but he was unaware that he would be going so he didn’t have on the proper shoes.

We stopped off at the local grocery store to pick up food and headed out. Our timing I would say was perfect. We arrived right on time to start our 2 hour hike to the camp site and checked in to the camp office right as the sun was setting. We had just enough sun light to setup our tents and get settled in. Throughout the hike Mickey couldn’t wait to roast some sausages over a camp fire that he had bought at the grocery store. To bad for him that because of the dry season they were not allowing camp fires at the time. This really spoiled a portion of the night  for him but it was a good thing that I picked up a few sandwiches for us so we had something to eat.

We sat around a bench in our camp site and played some cards through out the night. I have been training a lot lately and have not been able to hang out with Mickey much. Come to think of it there are a lot of my cousins who I haven’t hung out with in a while. We spent the night talking about what we’ve been up to and any random topics that came to our heads. He slowly sipped on a bottle of Captain Morgan and I on a Power Aid.

We went to sleep fairly early, I was tired from the hike and Mickey was drunk from the bottle. I was really impressed he sat there and drank that all by himself. It was his birthday so he was up for the challenge and I cheered him on. He kind of just passed out on the bench we were playing cards on and so I grabbed his sweater and put it on him and went to my tent for a good night sleep. The night wasn’t to cold and the sleeping bag that my wife bought me was night and warm. I am going to invest in a sleeping mattress, I’ve seen some self inflatable ones at REI that are not to big and will be perfect for my 7 day camping trip in June.

We woke up early to get ready to pack up and start our hike down the canyon. I was hoping to leave early so I can still get home in time for a bike ride. But after the hike down we were so hungry that we went to the nearest burger joint and grubbed. It was a great backpacking adventure and one we will definitely keep doing. Now that I have my gear I’m going to try to setup another one and maybe take my daughter with me, she’s going to love it.

I left out a portion of the story where my cousin got really drunk but I’ll let him comment on this post and explain it as he remembers it. Then maybe I will reply on how it really happened.

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