Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet Ramblin' Bears [Hiatus no more!]

After adjusting to some work and personal changes, and spending the better part of a year planning our wedding, we're back in full force!

But we're no longer blogging, now you can follow the adventures via video on our new channel featuring travelogues, vlogs, beer stuff, gear guides, and more.

Watch at:

Or at:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Though it might be obvious, since our last post was 3 months or so ago, D&D Adventurelogue is taking a break. It's not that we aren't adventuring, though perhaps not as much as in the last couple years, we just haven't been able to devote the time to writing that we'd like.

Will we return to blogging? Yes, but when and in what capacity are unknown to us right now. Thanks to everyone who read and commented over the last few years.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuolumne - September 2009

Trip Report - Climbing in Tuolumne Meadows
September, 2009

Our most recent trip to Tuolumne was on the last weekend the campsites were open for the season, which is a great time of year to go. Around this time the weather starts to get a little colder, the leaves start changing colors, and the rain storms have stopped coming so regularly. We met up with a bunch of people there, and had a fantastic time trying some new types of climbing. Eric and I are usually interested in crack or face climbing, but this time we took our mad skills over to some slabby rock. Nat was with us, and he finally helped us find the bolts on pothole dome.

Eric belaying me on pothole dome

Slab climbing is a lot different than other types of climbing, and requires some interesting skill. The routes we chose on pothole were not very hard routes, but they were challenging and fun! We had some outdoor newbies with us as well as some seasoned climbers, so we had fun showing off our mad skills while learning new techniques too! Nat, Kenneth, and James attempted a crazy 5.11b overhanging wonder climb, that ended up giving the fellows some trouble. The climb also took our rope as it's victim after Kenneth took a mean fall on it...but it was only six feet from the end so we can still use it for top roping. After pothole dome on the first day, we hung out at Tanaya lake for lunch before hitting up puppy dome for some super fun, and always challenging, crack climbing.

Nat on the crux of a 5.11b

Puppy dome is one of my favorite places to feel the happy stinging sensation of crack climbing. We took some newbie climber friends of ours to our favorite crack, and watched them learn some new techniques. Other climbers were on our favorite crack when we got there, so we attempted to climb another crack just to the right of it. We found this climb challenging, but Rosie was able to fight her way to the top in true crack climbing fashion! Our crack cleared of people after flailing on the first crack, so I scurried up it quickly before the sun finished setting. We were there until dark, and then scurried back to camp for some well deserved dinner and s'mores.

Eric repelling

On the last day we headed over to a climb that is just off the street near daft dome. Here the climb was an interesting mix or crack and slab, with the slab part giving us only little tiny knobbies to use for our hands and feet. It was definitely something I've never done before, but I had a lot of fun learning how to use each knob effectively. The trick seemed to be remembering to keep your weight over your feet evenly with out sticking your butt out too much. Tiny toes and sides of the feet came in handy for this, because it seemed that most of the control was gained in the foot placements.

Eric climbing the crystals

We will be heading to the Valley for our next trip, and this time it will be including our new dog, Mr. Dickie. We hope he loves Yosemite as much as we do, and look forward to teaching him how to boulder... just kidding, but you can always dream, right?

Photo Gallery:
Toulumne BACON+

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gear Review - AeroPress Coffee Maker

Like this post? Then check out our new YouTube channel: Ramblin' Bears!

Aerobie AeroPress
Innovative lightweight coffee press
Car camping, travel, breakfast

AeroPress magic
Last Christmas I received an amazing gift from Eric. It's my handy dandy new coffee maker for camping, the Aerobie AeroPress . Usually when we go camping I find myself drinking watered down coffee-flavored something. Our friends Dan and Shenoa introduced us to this new magic coffee maker when we went camping a little over a year ago. It looks like a huge syringe, and at first I didn't understand exactly how it works. It looks more like something you would find in a hospital than something you would find in a cafe. However, this crazy plastic contraption makes an amazing cup of joe.

The way it works is pretty revolutionary... I think. First you boil water, futuristic, I know. Next take one of the round filters and place it in the bottom removable part of the syringe. Next pour coffee (pre-ground) into the top of the syringe after screwing on the filter piece. Next wait for the water to boil.....When the water is done, place the syringe over a mug or sierra cup. Next, pour the water into the top of the syringe directly into the coffee grounds. Here comes the fun part- grab the plunger part of the syringe and push it into the other part of the device. Slowly press down until all of the water has emptied into your cup. The important thing is to go slow, because if you go too fast, the coffee will not have enough time brew during the process. After, enjoy it like an espresso with out adding any water to it, or make it an Americano by adding some boiling water to it. This will make it taste more like coffee and less strong. Add sugar, milk, sweetener, or powdered milk for added flavor. Enjoy!

Brewing sideshow
The cool thing about this device is that it is small, light weight, and makes amazing coffee. The filters are re-usable, so you can easily make two or three cups of coffee with one filter. The AeroPress is really most practical for car camping. It would be too bulky for backpacking, and also requires quite a bit of coffee. However, the AeroPress is a time saver because it only takes the amount of time to boil water to get a cup of coffee ready. It's practically instant coffee with real coffee grounds! We have even use the AeroPress at home on occasion, when we wanted an espresso type drink. This was definitely one of the best Christmas presents I ever got, and a great value for all the amazing cups of coffee it produces. A great buy!

  • Makes great coffee
  • Reusable filters
  • Time efficient
  • Easy to clean
  • Uses a lot of grounds
  • Not great for large groups
  • Brewing time - 1 min.
  • Minimum weight - 10 oz.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Art Of Constant Walking

Trip Report - Backpacking in the Hover Wilderness
September, 2009

Recently Eric, Kenneth and I adventured into the wilderness to seek solitude, and to break our long distance walking records. We also recently moved into another apartment, which Eric and I have come to realize, is a lot like backpacking. We moved from one apartment in our complex into another - It was one of the easiest moves we have ever done because there was no truck, no boxes, and it reminded us a lot of backpacking because you put your stuff on your back.. Walk. Take all the stuff out of your pack. Pack it back in. Walk. Repeat. It took us just as long to move into a new apartment, as it did to backpack 22 miles. Two Days.

Getting ready to go

On this most recent trip, we attempted to backpack to Tower Peak. We drove up to the area the night before and slept in the car (with a bivy for Kenneth.) As it turns out, most of the people we saw on the trail the first day did the same thing. A group had already beaten us to the trail-head backpacker's parking lot, and were setting up camp for the night on the hard asphalt. The next day, everyone was excited and we hit the trail bright eyed and bushy tailed. That was a long day. It seems like we hiked forever, and we weren't entirely sure if we were making good time or not. Our original goal was either the upper meadows, or Tower Lake. We didn't make it as far as Tower Lake.

Pretty Lake

After hiking 11 miles on the first day, we were say the leased. All three of us decided it would be a good idea to sleep on top of a raised area in the medow. We found proof that people had camped here before from an old fire ring. We made dinner, cleaned up, and went to bed. After midnight we were awaken by the sound of large animals in our camp. I heard what sounded like a deer hoof, and I figured it was no big deal. Then I heard more... like five more. It sounded like these animals were throwing a party. Rocks were being tossed, trees were being bucked, and the curiosity of a few large sounding deer had taken over our camp. Eventually, Kenneth ripped open his tent and scared away the culprits.

In the morning we awoke to the aftermath of the deer. A chewed up REI walking stick, knocked over gear, and a cozy I had spilled food on chewed up and left 10-15 feet away from where I had left it. We had been ambushed by a gang of curious deer, taking advantage of a beautiful full moon lit night.

Chewed on Kenneth

The next day we were sore, and still pretty tired. We decided to take advantage of the three day weekend by hiking out the second day so we could spend Monday resting. It was a good choice. Even though Eric and I had been doing cardio at the gym to prepare for this trek, we hadn't actually been hiking in a while. This was a great reminder to our bodies that we should probably hike more.

Eric and Kenneth resting

It was a long second day, but we made it back alive, in one piece, without injury and that's what matters. We had a lot of fun backpacking in the sierra for the first time, enjoing all the wonders that create it's allure (including the boisterious wildlife!) I guess in a way backpacking got us ready for moving, it worked the right muscles and prepaired us for the hard work of walking back and forth carring stuff. Even though we didn't get all the way to Tower Peak, it was worth it. Every damn mile.

Kenneth in all his glory

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Night of the Living Deer


I'm sitting here on my lunch break, writing a brief update on the weekend's backpacking trip, in a feeble attempt to be timely.

We never reached Tower Peak. In fact, we never saw it again after the first few miles in Leavitt Meadow. As Kenneth so profoundly put it near the beginning of the trek, "that looks far away".

Out intended, and unreached, destination. Yes, it does look far away.

But we did have a blast! We made it most of the way to our planned destination, sleeping in Piute Meadows instead of at Tower Lake, but the hike took it's toll on Amber and I, seeing as how we had done little hiking lately to get into proper condition. Still we charged hard, and did about 11 miles each day, "uphill both ways", with heavy packs.

Kenneth adjusting his pack in Piute Meadows

The need to be functional today for work precluded the sanity of any summit attempt we might have made. In addition, we experience an event we can only describe as "Night of the Living Deer" that motivated us to attempt to move camp or hike out on Sunday. Regardless, we had a lot of fun and Upper Piute Meadows was spectacular, and we can't wait to plan another backpacking trip (and maybe one a bit more leisurely).

A full trip report should be coming soon...

Related Posts:

Photo Gallery:
Piute Meadows Backpacking

And now for something completely different:

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Tower Calls...

As I write this, we are already on our way to the Sierra for a long-anticipated backpacking, peakbagging adventure. Kenneth, Amber, and I are off to attempt Tower Peak in the Hoover Wilderness, some 15 miles distance from the Leavitt Meadows trailhead.

Tower Peak in the far distance, this is taken from near where we will start

It was the sight of Tower Peak that 'piqued' my interest in climbing and mountaineering, though I didn't know it at the time. Researching the peak exposed me to many resources I now find invaluable. So, I have high hopes for this venture to be a sort of culmination of the other adventures we've had in the meantime, summit or not.

But there is one bit I'm a little apprehensive over. Backpacking.

Amber sporting a pack in the Los Padres

Though I camped a lot growing up, I never did any backpacking. Not until two springs ago when Amber and I went on a trek through the Los Padres near Santa Barbara. What a nightmare that turned out to be! Overgrown trails, bushwacking through steep canyons of Poison Oak (to which I am highly allergic), and a painful last two miles night-hiking out so as to be able to shower off the allergens.

Really the poison oak was only a couple mile-ish sections, with really beautiful trail the rest of the way. But it was enough to create psychological misery. And on top of all that, the camera broke after we passed the point we had dayhiked before!

Last year's backpacking camp, before the madness

Nope, we were beaten. And sick of hiking for a while after that. In fact, that is how we discovered rock climbing! But in the end we're very excited about this trip, even if we need to drag our asses a ways in there to get up this thing.

So wish us luck! And we'll report back!