Did learn a few things and was reminded of some others though:
- I still pack too much food when backpacking.
- I need to work harder on travelling lighter.
- SteriPENs are not in the least bit reliable for backcountry work, but they sound great at first.
- Grand Pizza in Grand Lake, CO makes some of the best pizza I have ever tasted.
- And the beer is good.
- Don't pitch your tent across the slope, on even the mildest slope, if it can be avoided.
- Don't then sleep on the downhill side of the tent if you can't avoid it.
- Everyone rolls downhill when sleeping in a tent on a slight slope.
- Backpackers Pantry dried food is better than most Mountain House dried food.
Very disappointed with the SteriPEN, I've only used it on two trips and it broke mid way through this one! I was treating a litre of water when one half of the UV bulb started to flicker, then the whole thing went out. I ran a battery test by hitting the power button and the sequence of lights suggested the batteries were dead. So I put new batteries in, nothing. Put another set of new batteries in, nothing. Then I noticed there was water in the bulb housing - not cool for something that is supposed to be waterproof!
At home I got some more batteries in it and the indicator light went through a flashing red, solid green, solid red sequence, then switched off. Which, helpfully, isn't even in the trouble shooting guide! Usually I see SteriPENs returned because the user just doesn't have a clue and it actually does still work, but I've used this with no problems before and then it leaked and packed in, and knowing that it could be fragile I've been careful to make sure it doesn't get bashed about. My guess is water got inside the body somehow and, to use a technical term, fried something or caused a short.
If you are ever going backcountry camping take a pump filter, don't bother with the fragile SteriPEN. Nice idea, not sturdy or reliable enough.
And now for some pics taken by my exceptionally talented (in my opinion anyway) wife. Hey, if she can occasionally make even me look good...
Lot of pine beetle kill in the forest, lot of dead wood.
View from the campsite, looking roughly north west.
More evidence of the beetle kill, looking north along the meadow.
Morning on the second day - it was cold overnight! Nice frost and the sun creeping slowly over the meadow as it rose over the hills. This is looking north from the campsite.
Big Meadows is made of awesome. Go camping. Go now.