Trail Coffee and the Grotto

Brendan and I went out for a hike yesterday and I decided to work on a couple more aspects of my “life in the backcountry” for GDR. He’s been hiking with his PE classes and found some awesome trails – that the students of course already knew about – starting across the street from our house.

Strawberry Creek is raging right now from all the snow melt. Our mountain isn’t on Colorado River water like most of SoCal, but it provides it’s own with wells and the creek. That’s why we like it here.

Since I’m humoring the idea of not taking a stove for GDR, but don’t think I could handle giving up coffee, I shook up some instant coffee with cold water and a little sugar and it was pretty o.k. If I think of it as iced coffee, not bad. I also mixed up some instant oatmeal and cold water and took that along. We stopped by the creek to try the two concoctions – along with some backup PB&J and ramen in a nalgene. The oatmeal had soaked up the water by then and was pretty darn good. I was drinking it out of a ziplock, which probably wasn’t the best method for it, but nonetheless, the two would make for a decent breakfast.
Trail Coffee

We explored the creek discussing water collection options and stumbling upon high school kids smoking cigarettes. Looks like others find this a good get-away as well. The rock in the creek looked like waves itself, from all the polishing and wear from the water. At one point we found some driftwood about 15 feet above the water. Wow! wish I could have seen the creek that day. There were pools of water big enough to swim in – if it weren’t snowmelt – and some great small waterfalls. We made it out to the point the locals call the grotto then turned around.

We hiked back out just in time for the sun to disappear. It really made us appreciate this mountain that we sometimes get down on because we have to drive off the hill when we want to consume. Not a bad place to be.

This weekend, I’m headed to Joshua tree for more hiking and an intensive map course put on by the desert institute. There’s so much to brush up on and lots to learn, in a short while, that can help me keep myself out of trouble for 20 days in the wilderness. This is so exciting – and fun along the way.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cellarrat says:

    going to use just mp-1 tabs this year. Last year also carryied a steri pen. It worked well but other then a stretch in wo and in nm its pretty ez to find water. Plan on being able to carry 200 + oz.

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  2. Chris says:

    “The mountain sometimes we get down on” in the same post as “trails that start across the street from our house”?!? You’re CRUEL as we get our 35th snowfall of the season!!

    I make my own muesli out of “quick” oatmeal and just add dried fruits (raisins or dates, cranberries or cherries, dried apples) and some wheat germ or flax seeds. I eat it cold with milk, but water or powerdered milk might be OK too. Just an idea, really portable! (And REALLY good if you can get your hands on some honey as well!)

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I hate to ask a ‘dumb’ question, but you are treating that stream water somehow?

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  4. Mary Collier says:

    Actually, the pic was of my trail coffee, but the rock was just a good place to stand. No worries though, I’ve got iodine, tablets, and a filter to choose from if I need to purify water. My new fav is some tablets from micropur (owned by katadyn) and they even kill crypto and giardia.

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