Saturday, July 22, 2006

Old things I wrote

Here's some old thing I wrote.Its about the month that I spent in Yosemite over the summer of 2004. I go through stints where I write furiously for a while, then totally drop off. Anyway, here is one of my products.

Its dark as we pull into Camp 4. Our Toyota pickup, spared the scathing glances of opulent tourists by the grace of the night, breathes a sigh of relief as we turn off its abused engine. Nine-hundred thirty miles from Seattle, from my bed, from free food. It felt wonderful. As we started moving our food into one of the bear boxes, I looked around the camp. It was cluttered with tents of every size and shape, and people to match them. Dozens of people sat around fires, laughing over jokes in languages I didn’t recognize and strumming guitars. The sickly-sweet smell of menthol cigarettes floated in the air, as did the smell of dirt, sweat, and marijuana. Shouts erupted from the night occasionally, as a particularly funny joke was told. We found an unused bearbox in a campground near the bathroom and stocked our larder. Beans, rice, cereal, a bit of soymilk, and a bounty of homegrown vegetables, fruit of the Californian sun. We had no money to pay for a campsite (five dollars a night seems absurd to any climber from the US under the age of forty), so we stuffed our sleeping bags into our packs and set off across the road into the meadow. We walked for a few minutes through moonlit fields of knee-high grass, and found a small stand of trees that seemed as it would suit our purposes perfectly. Finding shelter between a few fallen logs (the devious rangers have been known to root out climbers with night vision scopes), we laid out our pads and looked up through the trees at the stars shining through the trees.

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