Well, I have 6 weeks of summer and not much prior commitment. This means I can go backpacking! I’m currently rounding up my friends to see who’s keen to come along and diving into my California hiking and camping books as well as my fabulous Nat. Geo. maps of the Tahoe Basin and of the northern SF Bay Area. This is getting exciting,! Plus, I need to get fit for the 3 week trip I’m taking in August to do the John Muir Trail so it’s like I have to get out there and get hiking. What a shame! All of this reminds me of the trip 5 friends and I took to Death Valley over spring break. We spent the whole week there and hopped to different campsites, did day hikes, drank good beer, and saw everything we wanted to see. Here’s one of my favorite pictures from that trip: it’s from Dante’s View at the southern end of the valley looking north.