Quick turnaround camping

In Los Angeles, people love to talk about how you can go from the mountains to the desert, to the beach in one day. A few buddies and I decided to do something about that, and take a quick trip up to the mountains. We climbed up the San Gabriel Mountains to Horse Flats campground, one of the hideouts of Mexican bandido Tiburcio Vasquez, and a beautiful place that you can reach within one hour of the city.

We ostensibly were there for mountain bike riding, but I spent most of my time making campfire chicken, (I used Kingsford briquets) We had tons of it, and it was delicious, but my brother did have to build a crazy nest thing to keep the fire hot. I’d never seen it done before and I had my doubts, but it worked swimmingly.

We had four growlers of Stone ales, fresh from the Pasadena Store. Smoked Porter, Double Bastard, Cali Belgique, and Sublimely Self Righteous. We started a righteous fire, and in the morning everything smelled like campfire smoke. It was SO MUCH colder than we thought it would be, and I woke up covered in bug bites. After 2 growlers of ale, I fell asleep on my cot next to the fire, and something got in my tent and made a meal of me.

In the morning, we were able to pack our light gear, load up, and arrive in Los Angeles less than an hour and a half later. It wasn’t even noon but it was a great way to break in the gear for a season. Summer will be easier, and now I know to bring a mosquito net and some bug spray. You live, you learn, and sometimes you feed the bugs.