Once every week or two, everyone is out of the apartment for a couple hours or so, and I can enjoy a nice session in my recliner. I love those mornings. I look forward to the day of having my own office/den/smoke spot to get down in. But for now, back patio it is.
Today I’m sparking up some Sweet Dream rolled up into a blunt cone. They is nice.
I’ve been slowly pecking away at some short fiction, but I try not to talk about it to anyone. I don’t want to jinx it. I’ve already said too much—FML.
I think back to a couple years ago. I was stressed out and miserable. I wasn’t smoking the pot back then, because the lovely company I was working for threatened with random confiscation of urine. I was making decent money and had a good schedule, but I hated my job. I was deeply unhappy and it had started to affect my relationship with the woman and work was becoming harder to cope with. I had a backpacking trip lined up with my best friend and I was just barely holding onto my sanity trying to make it.
We drove up to Mammoth Mountain (California), parked the car and waited for the Yarts bus that would take us to Yosemite Valley. Two years prior, I had made this same journey with another friend. Except we didn’t start from the valley like this time. It was a long bus ride and I was much too anxious to try to sleep.
When we finally arrived in Yosemtie Valley with everything we owned on our back for the next week in the wild, it was kind of upsetting. Don’t get me wrong, the ginormous granite mountains were amazing and beautiful and I couldn’t stop staring as we drove into the a different world. I felt a sense of familiarity as the bus slowely drove through the trees and the sea of tourists and their vehicles lining every inch of the road. It took a few moments before it hit me. Frontierland. The place reminded me of Frontierland from Disneyland. Of course, there was no river boat and no Splash Mountain, but there were people everywhere. Ev-ery-where. Possibly more than the magical kingdom.
I understood why it was so busy. The place was breathtaking and everyone wanted to see it. But I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there. We found the ranger station and picked up our winning lottery permits. We enjoyed a nice big Alfredo pizza with chicken, jalapeños and cheese. I also drank a tall draft beer (something my friend wanted no part of). This was our last real meal before venturing further into the wild. It-was-delicious. After stuffing ourselves silly, we launched down the trail with leftover pizza looking for the backpackers campground. We had to spend the night, per the permits, and the following night had to be spent at Little Yosemite Valley. After that, we was free!
That first night, my friend packed a bowl, and as always, he asked me if I wanted to hit it knowing that I always say no. Except this time, I hit that shit. It had been over six years since I had any weed and I was high as a kite. It didn’t take much. I told him, and myself, that it was a one time thing.
Ha. I smoked the whole damn time.
It was impossible not to after that first night. I tucked up in my sleeping bag, in my tent and got lost in my iPod shuffle. I had forgotten how awesome music was. I woke up in the morning to learn one of the older women parked next to us scared off a bear at some point in the night that was visiting camp. I never heard a thing. We would see some of these same backpackers at the next campground the following night. But after that, I’m sure we pulled ahead of everyone. There were friendly people along the way just as I had encountered the last time on the JMT, but for the majority of our time out in the wilderness, we were alone—aside from the animals who owned the turf we were trespassing on.
It wasn’t easy, but walking stoned through the forest very few people in time have seen, was the fucking beez knees!
I had seen deer before, but it’s different when you see them in their natural enviorment. We came close to a young doe coming down half dome late in the afternnon. All the crowds were gone and there was few people out on the trail. I tunred a switchback to find her only a few feet from me. She didn’t run. She trotted back a bit, but didn’t go to far. It was an amazing experience.
There would be more deer along the way. We were often greated by early morning feeders grazing on the agriculture close by. The best morning was at a awesome campsite we dicovered across the creek. We had stopped in Tuolumne Meadows to pick up our resupply packages we had mailed the month before. I bought a beer from the general store. I also bought an apple and a gatorade. Yum! After reorganizing our bear cans and after a good long hike further down the John Muir Trail, we started looking for a camp for the night. I suggested crossing the creek to ensure we were more secluded from any others who my chill close by. We found the perfect spot, furnished with plenty of flat ground for multiple tents, and a fire pit with a small pile of wood. The gods were smiling upon us. Fires are only allowed in certain areas depending on the elevation, and this would be our first and only campfire in the region.
The crystal clear ice cold water cascaded over gigantic granite slabs in some areas. It was paridise and so late in the day, we saw very few people coming down the trail. We talked about taking a zero day, but we were meeting up with a friend many miles down the trail in a couple days. We didn’t want to miss our rendezvous and leave our companion worried. As the sun rose, I climbed out of my tent in long johns to bleed the lizard. My brother from another mother was still in his tent, but I was greeted by a pack of does with a couple fawns lead by a big buck and a young buck (juh juh juh G Unit!) They quickly took notice of my preseance and skidded to the outskirts of the meadows. I watched them graze on the dewy plant life twenty yards away. The buck in charge never fullly stopped and kept his eyes on me the whole time. Fog still stretched out across the Earth’s floor and all the sounds that start the day in the wild were at work. All the sounds that make up nature’s silence.
A few days ago I had already felt repaired, and even amidts the trials and tribulations that one endures, not just physically, but mentally on an adventure like this. But I now felt refreshed. The idea of never returning to society crossed my mind frequently, even though I knew I had a family to return to. I enjoyed every second of the pain and pleasure that is backpacking.
As the trip drew to an end, I was ready to see my family and enjoy the next two weeks off from work. The kids were out of school and we had some activities planned for the summer. A large part of me was already depressed at the idea of leaving. I didn’t like thinking about day to day life and the hustle and bustle of society, so I stayed high and didn’t think about.
It was hands down, one of the best times in my life and it was something I desperately needed. It was a great adventure that I am glad to have shared with my best friend. I look forward to many more throughout the rest of our lives.
Everyone should enjoy nature. It is really a awe-inspiring place that does wonders for the body and mind. Beng outside surrounded by the natural environment is one of the greatest experiences in life.
Go, get out in nature, but respect her and don’t go where I’m going—I don’t want to see you, or anyone else.
Leave no trace.