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Sespe River Splash

(6/3/09) Wow! What a nice relaxing weekend... at least for Perfect Pace standards. Other folks would probably think we were crazy walking 10 miles a day for 4 days with an overnight pack and use the word relaxing in the same breath.

We certainly could have done without the traffic on the way there. That was probably the worst traffic we have ever run into on a Perfect Pace outing. I don't know how all you LA folks do it.

Folks started trickling into the car campground Thursday night. We started catching up with each other, had a few beers, and then I prepared my Filipino barbeque. Yum! The meal came out so good, it even surprised me.

With this being our club med trip of the year, the pace was leisurely. It was great being able to stay together, chill out, and be in the zone. The first thing we noticed as we hiked was how much the landscape has changed since the last time we've done this trip. The wildfire that ripped through the area several years ago made a huge impact on so many different fronts. Some areas have changed so much they we're not recognizable. One of the best swimming holes for instance was pretty much gone. Of course our severe drought had much to do with the new landscape as well.

Did it effect our fun?... no way. With all the other swimming holes, hot springs, and great company, how could we not have a blast. Arthur started the trip off right, sporting a very festive outfit for the weekend. It was just enough to inspire me to wear just a sarong and a bright bandana on our third day backpacking (Yes, nothing underneath the sarong). Sneakily, Mick was able to run off with my sarong while I was relaxing on a rock. I yelled out 'Securty' (no that's not a misspelling), but nobody came to my aid. All I can say is the scene that followed was one of the most hilarious scenes I've ever been a part of. Did I ever mention I played a cougar in a grade school play?

Another highlight was reaching Sespe Hot Springs. As soon as we arrived, we all stood in awe watching all the big horn sheep scuttle up the hillside. They have certainly multiplied since the last time we we're there. We soaked in so many different hot spring pools that afternoon that I lost count. Can you guess who got naked? The Mexican fiesta meal that night came out fabulous and Andy delighted us afterwards with a batch of brownies, after already spoiling us with desserts the other two nights. We ended that great night with a very animated game of "I never".

This was a certainly a hot springs loving, happy hour kind of group. With all the booze we brought, I thought for sure we would have lots leftover. Nope, it disappeared early by the third night out. Folks enjoyed the hot springs the first couple days so much that we changed the last night's campsite plans to work in soaking the last night as well. At one point, Ron came to the rescue with his veterinarian expertise, as he aided another group's poor dog, who's paws were pretty shredded. Later that afternoon, Juan found a beautiful swimming hole that we all splashed around in. And later that evening, like all the other evenings, a cozy bonfire casted warm soft light on everyone's beautiful faces. The cadence of the frogs singing at night may have irritated some, but it was delicious music to my ears.

On the last leg out, we stopped one last time for a final swimming hole splash. Amazingly there was still lots of ice in the cooler and ice cold beers once we reached the cars. Fortunately, there was also lots of munchies. After a four day backpack, we we're pretty hungry. What really hit the spot was the watermelon Ron brought. Yum!

Our final hurrah meal was at Boccali's. It was tough saying goodbye to everyone after such a wonderful time. Thanks to all who came for making the trip so special and huge thanks to Andy for planning and co-leading the trip with me.