I recorded this audio this weekend. It sounds kind of like TV static, doesn’t it? It’s certainly a nothing kind of sound thats at the same time maybe something more.
Well, this weekend I went camping in a place called Coulson’s Gulch about an hour North West of Boulder, Colorado.
Its not a particularly difficult hike- in fact the powers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture rate it an “easy to moderate" hike- but it sure kicked my ass being 7,000 feet up when I spend all of my time at sea level NOT carrying 50 pounds of bullshit on my back.
But “easy” or not, a hike it was, and it took a bit more than two hours to get from the road we parked on down to the bottom land where the camping was good.
Pictured: Austin, Texas municipal worker, Chris Anderson.
The way in was mostly down hill and there was a great big field about midway down. It was a crossroads where you could continue on, or take Button Rock Trail into a no camping valley. We saw some people on horses there on the way back and fantasized about giving them 40 bucks to haul our packs up- but they were rich people. What would rich people do with 40 dollars? About as much as we could with it out there I suppose- but maybe they’d come out half a rich breakfast ahead in town.
Anyhow. We hiked down a couple of really nice, but somewhat strenuous hours until it got flat. Bottom land. The good stuff. We’d left a little early and we hadn’t really seen anyone, so we thought maybe we were the only people there. But the thing about bottom land- if you hang around long enough you’ll run into someone who came first.
Scott Luis, our guide and hero friend pictured on bottom land wearing his H.S. graduation shirt.
As we looked around for a good camp site, we saw the evidence: cinder blocks, fence posts, steel pipes, even a concrete slab. A hell of a lot of people came before us, including two big groups of campers who snapped up an okay spot near an island, and the king shit nicest spot on the creek.
But hell, whats that matter? We were still a few hard-hike (well, easy/moderate) miles away from any kind of navigable road, we were still relatively alone out there- 15 or so smattered campers aside- and things were pretty real.
Pictured: Real shit. Only Chris’ toad slow reflexes saved him from hopping right on this guy. Seriously. It rattled at us. Twice.
But we picked a fine site- 50 yards from that fucking snake- but a fine site where all the cougars and bears in the gulch could find us if they cared to look.
Pictured: Rocks, trees, tent, do the math.
Thanks to the hazy foresight of our guide, we got down there with no effective water filter and two pot-heats worth of propane. No water filter meant we had to start boiling all of our water for 10 minutes- which sucks a hell of a lot more when you run out of propane.
But in time we learned to use the fire, and we learned many tricks beyond filling our water bottles.
Pictured: Nathan’s bun length all beef dogs, Ranch Style Beans & Wolf Brand Chili mixed, canteen tin of coffee.
Yes, though we nearly went without clean water, we didn’t hardly come close to starving. We ate every few hours on the seemingly endless food we brought.
Pictured: Scott Luis in a tie dyed shirt and Kasey McCabe overseeing her wonderful hot dog, cheese, croissant on a stick meal idea.
We kept the perishables fresh in the 50 degree snow melt creek that hauled ass just off our campsite. It was way too cold to do more than step in for a minute and wash your face, but a few cinder blocks in the water made a mighty fine camp fridge- though the attrition rate on cheap plastic packages was pretty high.
By my count we lost two half-packs of salami, three knuckles-worth of high quality waxed cheddar cheese, and four primo breakfast burritos to that fucking creek. We nearly lost a couple of boiled eggs, but we salted the shit out of them and ate them anyway.
As an aside, we also lost two hot dog buns and some parts of a loaf of bread, though the culprit in that fiasco was a small animal smart enough to get to our hanging bread sack, but dumb enough to leave most of it behind. Possibly a fat, stupid raccoon.
But that creek, even for all its faults, it was amazing.
Pictured: my feet and clothes.
We slept like rocks. Like champion rocks. We slept 10+ hours the first night- no air mattresses or anything- good sleeping bags, but hard ass ground. Every time I would wake up, the creek would remind me to bundle up tight and hurry me back to sleep.
When I woke up in the dark to piss, it hurried me in a different way, but still all above-board natural creek hurrying.
So yeah, you might have guessed by now that the point of all this rambling is to wrap this story back to that clearly labeled audio clip and talk about that creek.
You see, I live on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and every manner of loud fucking vehicle uses it to haul its ass here or there- stupid van taxis with crazy fucking horns that are supposed to cue people to something that I don’t understand, dump trucks smash trash just outside my window, loud fucking ambulances from an old people hospital nearby, fire trucks- well actually, no fire trucks I can recall use this road? weird of them- but certainly fucking ambulances and bull-dick cops and shit heads who haven’t discovered mass transit or buddhism who fucking lay on their horns at the first sign of trouble, I’m just saying, its FUCKING LOUD city vomit right outside my window.
But that creek. It was loud in just the right way.
It kept us moist (its dry up there!), it kept us watered, it kept us fed, it kept us clean(er than we would have been), and it kept us asleep longer than we needed.
Pictured: Creek through tent window.
Thats her. And maybe now that audio clip that you maybe played earlier will sound a little different to you when I tell you that I recorded it right through that very window. It sure does to me.
Pictured: A ding dong at golden hour.
If it still sounds like white noise to you, well then shit, who knows, you weren’t there and maybe you’re not supposed to get it. Or maybe the magic of prose, at least by my hand, has no effect on your imagination.
But there is a scene in that Kevin Klein movie French Kiss where this works for Meg Ryan with wine, so maybe watch that, see how it works, then re-read this and try it again?
Ok, if that didn’t work and you really still want to play along and you need spoonfeed help, watch this video, idiot.