It feels like I left for my wilderness weekend at Mount San Jacinto a month ago. I didn’t look at a clock for the entire two days, so I guess that’s why I feel so disorientated. But, thankfully, I’m back to tell all you lovely people about it! It was stunning lush up there! We (mountain Matt and I) drove through Idyllwild, which was bare and blackened from the recent fires, and were greeted with golden green trees like a breath of fresh air. Pitched our tent, set up our chairs and proceeded to make many attempts at starting a fire. We kind of threw all sorts of things in there – tissue paper, leaves, cans of beans – and eventually we got it going after realising we didn’t bring any firewood. Poor Matt had to drive all the way down the mountain to the nearest Mexican grocers to buy some.
Roughing it can be really boring. Most of the time, we just sat around the fire, eating. I had so many gluten-filled S’mores, it’s pretty disgraceful. Definitely enough to render my entire month of Paleo dieting completely useless. We did do a little hiking (on the one trail that was actually open) and ended up calling it after staying up all night fighting frostbite (it was bloody cold; I had to cocoon myself in the car!), hearing the Czech babies wail in the neighbouring tent and the thousands of pet dogs howl and bark at each other. We also made a drinking game out of it. Aaah, Mother Nature.
So here’s what I learned from my brief experience in the woods: –
- If you think it’s going to be as cold as 8°C at night, pack for -8°C.
- Bring ear plugs to combat the noisy campers around you. OR, bring lots of wine.
- Don’t eat onions. Ever. They make my stomach cramp up like a pregnant lady who’s just been kicked in her uterus.
- Make sure you have enough money and soap to wash three loads of laundry when you get back. The excess dirt might just back those machines up.
It has never felt so good to come back home, take a much needed hot shower and scrub half the forest out. What did I do last night? Curl up in my ridiculously comfortable duvet and watch cartoons, that’s what. Tears of happiness might have been shed. Might.