Trav’s Journal

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Attacked by Wasps While Pooping in the Forest. Yes, really.

Got stung on my twig and berries by a swarm of Yellow Jacket Wasps while trying to poop off the trail. This really happened. As we reached the bottom of the gorgeous forks of the Kern River dressed in fall yellows and oranges, I was compelled to do that very natural thing that God’s creatures do—And with haste! Hobbling off the trail and tossing my pack, I found a stick and started digging through foot-or-so deep decaying pine needles. Stop reading now if you’re squeamish. In rapid desperation I assumed the position—I’m not kidding you, within two seconds I felt a confusing number of sharp pains all over my tenderloins and one on the top of my head (through my wig!). There was a nano second of what-was-that! until I saw one of those yellow flying demons on me like I was an unguarded campsite hot dog. In an instant I yelped like a dog with its tail shut in a door, half pulled up my drawls, and ran all the way up the hill hobbling like a bow-legged cowboy on my invisible horse. Tried to finish my business there, but again, in seconds I was getting another sting direct to the butt cheek. In hind sight, my best guess is that I dug into a wasp nest and proceeded to defecate on their home....in which case I grudgingly admit that the attack was justified. But MAN! It’s the next morning now and feels like an endless case of blue balls.

November 9th, 2019|

Stealth Camping Alone on a Deserted Beach

When you're alone beside a driftwood bonfire in a deserted beach canyon at night two things happen: 1) You can no longer distract yourself from yourself and finally must face thoughts that have been waiting for a break from your iPhone, and 2) You realize that if someone comes walking up out of the darkness you're going to scream like a little girl.

November 15th, 2018|

Sleeping on the Sand in Hawaii

We heard rumors of a beach that was unpatrolled, where locals sneak down to freedom camp on the sand far away from the circus of ABC Store Hawaiian shirts. In a very real metaphor, we were lost on the way to find this hidden beach spot—which I won’t name. Sky was darkening as we reached the dead end of a long straight dirt road. This is the kind of place where tweakers and down-and-outs might break a car window just for the change on your dash. We emptied the car of everything valuable and left the doors unlocked. With backpacks, an ukulele, and a borrowed tent, we tried to remember the general directions we had heard in conversations. “Start walking the trail, don’t go all the way down, go left almost to the end, then right to the beach and look for a spot in the trees.” Everyone we had talked to about this place said to be careful. “There are some bruddahs out there.” The night was starless and dark. We were squeezing our bags through overhead-high grass on what had originally seemed like a trail.....

July 25th, 2018|