We made the journey from Sacramento down to a lovely camp ground along the American River (see my previous post on my glorious hike down to said river) in Kyburz, Ca. It was very dark when we got there and all we could hear was the river roaring. In the morning we saw it raging by. I don't know rapid classes, but these were at least a III. The kind older couple that runs the camp ground said that the river is 7' higher than usual. And from the amount of snow yet to fall, it appears it's only going to get higher. A bit of a concern for them as it appears that the campground could flood. I love sleeping with river noise though and so it made for a great night, except that it was cold. I packed lightly, thinking only of us being in Death Valley, where temperatures are already in the 100s. However, as we were driving towards South Tahoe, we were awed by the beauty of snow falling from trees. The highest elevation we hit was 7,500', I can still see snow in the mountains around us. Yeah! I love snow. However, with no snow gear that rules out any snow hiking or cross country skiing. Not that I know how to xcountry ski, but I could learn.
Anyway, from Kyburz, we continued to highway 395 and began our journey south. We made it as far as Bridgeport, Ca, where the Travertine hot springs are. Our first soak in hot springs, thus far. Wonderful, gorgeous, beautiful. We set up camp back on BLM land about a half mile down from the springs, which apparently are not on BLM lands anymore and therefore you can't legally camp there. Whatever, half mile away isn't bad. So we set up camp and the plan for dinner is to bbq hamburgers and sweet potato wedges. They have a small grill, we have charcoal brickettes from Whole Foods, some paper to try lighting them with in an attempt to avoid using lighter fluid or other chemicals. So, the hunt for the lighters begins. In all the reorganization that has happened in the past few days, this takes quite a while. But finally two lighters are produced. We light the paper, which almost immediately burns out without catching the coals on fire. Add more paper, grab some dry sticks and try again. Unfortunately, for some reason unbeknownst to us, now neither of the lighters are working. And there are no matches to be found. Hrmph. At this point I'm willing to give in and have sandwiches for dinner. Adam refuses to be beat by this though. In shifting the coals around, he discovers that one did catch and is still glowing. We attempt to use it to ignite tp. This should be easy right? But there are Adam and I blowing on this coal, holding paper to it and nothing. Adam decides it's time to pull out the heavy artillery and grabs the gas can. He soaks a piece of paper bag and we hold the glowing coal to said paper. Again, nothing. What the fuck? By this point, the coal is no longer glowing. So now, we stack more coals and paper, douse the whole thing in gasoline and Adam rigs up the jumper cables to the battery. Handing me the fire extinguisher, he touches the other two ends together producing a shower of sparks. Thankfully none of the bushes surrounding us caught on fire, but then again, neither did our gas soaked items. I'll say again, what the fuck?! More gas, more sparks. Then a piece of wire between the two cable ends which glows red hot, finally WOOSH, we have made fire! At around 9, we enjoy our burgers and a few of the sweet potatoes. The potatoes could have used a lot longer on the grill, but it was cold, windy and we were hungry.