Thursday, August 23, 2012

There One Where I Picked Fruit, Ate Oysters, Swam in River Canyons and Saw Some Big-Ass Trees

When the summer began, Nate and I made a sort of unofficial vow to not spend it doing nothing.  There have just been too many summers already spent staying indoors, him playing video games, me reading a book in bed.  And while those are totally legit things to do when 1) you're on vacation (read: him), or 2) you're unemployed (read: me), we always ended those three months feeling like we'd let it pass us by.

So, our promise to each other and ourselves: Get the hell outside this summer.

And so we did.

Our first adventure of the summer was camping in the forests just north of Tahoe.  That was a blur of beautiful mountain lakes, star-gazing while floating in warm springs, and trying not to get eaten by a couple million vicious, vicious mosquitoes.  The best time.

Then we decided at some point to go fruit picking.  A few of our friends are foodies who work in restaurants, or for celebrity chefs, or who have awesome food blogs, so getting the best and freshest of whatever we're putting in our mouths is high on the priority list.  And I'm pretty sure there's nothing better than eating a peach cobbler three hours after you picked said peach off the branch.  Best part?  Most farms charge you by the pound (say, $1.50 for each pound of cherries you pick), but don't necessarily charge you for the amount of fruit you're wolfing down as you walk through the orchards.  And some farms have ducks that like to take pictures.

Our third stop was along the blustery Northern California coast where this ocean-side-camping-pro realized not all beaches are created equal.  Here's the thing about the coast up here in our neck of the woods: that shit is cold.  Like, face- and ass-numbing cold.  But there are also fresh mussels and oysters.  So you accept the trade off, grab a few beers, and rally.

Finally, a few weeks ago we decided we wanted to see some giants.  So of course we headed down to King's Canyon and Sequoia National Park for more camping (or glamping, which is what we call it when we're being honest with ourselves).  While this was sort of a live-and-learn trip (a bit of drama, some inclement weather, a few bears), there's still so little that beats being in the Sierra Nevada's.  There's this image I have in my mind -- and I feel so stupid for not having my camera on me at the time -- of sitting along the river, watching it bend a few yards down, the sky sort of boiling over with clouds and flashes of lightening, and these huge peaks that rim the canyon we're at the bottom of.  One of those breathtaking moments, you know?  And the trees...holy cow the trees are HUGE.

At this point, I'm fairly certain that if you asked me to plan a Northern California adventure for you, I could almost guarantee you'd have the time of your life.  Just sayin.

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