Trip Report - Point Reyes, Glen Camp

Forget-Me-Not (Matt Pritchard) More photos below.

By Jody Pritchard

Living in the Bay Area has some serious perks and driving less than an hour to backpack at Point Reyes National Seashore is just one of many. We go so often, it’s almost like camping in our backyard. At least I imagine camping in a backyard would feel that comfortable; since living in San Francisco usually means squeezing into a one-bedroom with no balcony, let alone a yard. Okay, the perks still leave room for improvement. But, it’s this familiarity with our location that prompted a weekend trot in the woods with loads of brand spankin’ (read: untested) new gear.

We recently invested in a batch of new ultra lightweight equipment, including packs, sleeping bags, and boots for Matt. Just a few miles with sub 20lb packs will make anyone realize why the ultra light movement is a booming business for outdoor retailers. Without the burn of heavy gear, we were in no hurry to reach the end of our journey. The trails into Glen Camp were lined with masses of Forget-me-nots and we took our time drinking in the weekend. Eventually the trail gave way to a meadow chock full of the little, lavender lovelies and we made ourselves at home on a hillside site.

We assembled our new Tarptent exactly one time before our overnight in Glen Camp. Actually, we mostly just watched as Henry Shires, Tarptent’s founder, demonstrated the various ways to put it up using trekking poles in his front yard. Now how is that for customer service? Fortunately, Matt had been a good student and figured out a way to place the tent despite our quirky shaped campsite. We enjoyed a breezy night in the Squall II cuddled in new down bags. It didn’t feel quite as sturdy as the Sierra Designs Omega we’ve been calling home for the past six years, but at only 33 ounces, it’s certainly a joy to tote around. Our night in Glen Camp proved pleasant, but when compared to the views and privacy of the other backcountry campgrounds in the park, we’ll likely opt for one of the other camps for our next overnight trip.

Sunday morning we decided on an alternate route back to the Bear Valley Visitor Center via Steward Horse Camp. I’m not sure if it was the wandering heard of deer I was photographing or the poor signage, but somehow we managed to get a little sideways and accidentally wandered into the Vedanta Society Olema Retreat. Anytime you’re able to get navigation help from a friendly monk in orange robes, you know you’re on track for an interesting weekend. He helped us find the Rift Zone Trail that travels through the Society’s property and we enjoyed the route’s solitude and wildlife back to our car. Point Reyes may feel like our backyard, but it still offers new adventures for seasoned visitors.

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