Washington Camping Adventure: Day 5

Back when I was a Boy Scout, we would go to Camp Geronimo every summer, somewhere in northern Arizona. Each year I was there, I would join the polar bear club. This is when you would wake up way before the dawn and head down to the pool. Before you realize how incredibly stupid this is, you jump into the water. For doing this, you get a patch with the polar bear on it. The reason this is doable is because the water is actually warmer than the pool and the breeze hits you.

When I first woke up this morning, the sun wasn’t quite out yet. I thought I’d recreate the whole polar bear club experience. I put on my swimming trunks and climbed down the steep hill to the lake below. I slowly put in one foot, then the other. It really wasn’t that bad. Well, now worse than it had been when we had jumped in the lake yesterday. I ease my way into the water, ever so slowly, like some kind of cruel self-torture. I got in as deep as my upper chest and then decided that was enough. I turned around and made my way back to the shore. As cold as it was, it was extremely peaceful. None of the other campers were awake and I felt as if the entire lake was mine at that moment.

When I’d climbed back up to the camp, Megan was finally up and stirring. I started a fire and put the kettle near the coals to give us some hot water. I had 2 cups of hot chocolate and she had some tea. We felt that today would be a great day for hiking!

We found the trail that led us up to Gaton Creek Falls. All in all, we think we hike somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 miles. The trails here seem to be very well-made and maintained.


We finished our hike and even though we had eaten plenty of wild raspberries and huckleberries along the way, We both felt like it was a perfect time to find some lunch. Up to this point, we hadn’t run across Edward, Bella or any of the other Cullen family on our adventures. This is the real reason we are up here if I’m honest. I have a crush on Alice and would like to be available for her rebound if she ever breaks up with Jasper.

I built another fire to roast some hotdogs and Megan had some shrimp salad. We then decided that it was time to take a nap. I’m not sure how long we slept, but I felt like it was at least a good hour. When I woke, I noticed that there was a hole in the bottom of my hotdog buns bag. Some critter had climbed up onto our picnic table while we snoozed and had chewed a hole in the bottom of the bag. I noticed that it had also eaten about a quarter of our hot dog buns. I sat near the fire, waiting to see if this thief would show up again.

Sure enough! From out of the forest came a little squirrel. Megan wanted to name him Felix (because nobody would expect that) but I chose to call him the little bastard, or “L.B.” for short. That is what I call the person/animal/creature that eats my food while I’m napping. After we scared him off, L.B. returned a third, fourth, and even fifth time. I decided to throw rocks at him and even though I did hit him once, I thought I could hear him laughing at me as he turned his hind quarters in my direction and scampered off. I’m going to kill him.


This afternoon, we went swimming again. This time I ease myself into the water up to my stomach and decided to “cowboy up” and just make the plunge. So cold, but so refreshing! I turned around to talk to Megan who hadn’t yet plunged in. “Cowgirl up!” I called to her. She did. Like me, she squealed as she came up from a slow, chilled death.

Our second attempt at TFDs was an even greater success. This time, instead of putting in onion soup mix, all I put in was salt. I hollowed out the middle of the meat pack and put in some sharp cheddar cheese. The onion soup mix was good the previous night but masked the taste of the buffalo. This time I cooked it less. Instead of 15 minutes on either side, I did about 11 minutes on either side. I could really taste the gamey buffalo.

Today’s quoted:

  1. “Don’t fall! I haven’t seen your pictures yet!”
  2. “Nature is beautiful, unless you’re a cephalopod.”

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