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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Return to Dos Picos; The Possum from Hell (Thurs, May 19 2011)

You guys know the drill.  I loaded the bicycle the night before.  Thursday I rode to work.  I got the books caught up.  By 2:00 pm I was off to go camping.

Dos Picos is still an absolutely lovely spot.  Not a lot of folks this time... but Memorial Day weekend is nearly here.
I followed the same route as last time (Kearny Villa Road, Miramar Rd. to Pomerado, Scripps Poway Parkway, north on the 67, right on Mossey Grade Dr.).  Set up camp; quick shower.  Sat back and enjoyed the approaching evening.

I made one "newbie" mistake that every boy scout knows not to do: I brought food - In 'n Out Burger, in fact - in a paper sack.  Over the course of that afternoon the smell of those greasy fries and that greasy burger penetrated the sack and left an aroma in my front saddle bag.  Ah well, I wolfed it down shortly after showering.  Food's gone.  What's the harm?

Roughly around the middle of the night I was jolted out of a deep sleep.  Something was busily scritching and scratching the ground right next to my head!  Good god, I sat up.  It was too dark to see anything but, as my eyes became accustomed to the light (or lack thereof) I saw the silhouette of something small.  I worried it was a skunk - a distinct possibility - and how if I tried shooing it I'd get a squirtful of stink juice all over the tent.

This manic creature then began to hunt around the side of the tent.  I gave a tentative slap to the fabric.  "Go on!  Get outta here!"


A few moments later more furious scratching.  I hissed and slapped the fabric, "Shoo!"

Another silence.  I used the opportunity to grab my bike light and cautiously unzipped the inner door, shining the light through the door mesh.  Dammit.  No sign of it.

This sequence continued a few times before I finally caught it in my light beam.  A possum.  Well, I grew up around possums.  They aren't necessarily dangerous but they are persistent.  This particular possum was like a creature obsessed.  Every time I'd drift off to sleep: scritch scratch sniff sniff sniff.

Finally I really gave the fabric some good slaps and hissed menacingly.  That possum walked away, "Grrrrrr.... grrrrr!"

I worried how wise it is to piss off a possum.  But apparently this wasn't a "I'll get you, you SOB!" grrrr... it was a "Aw, the hell with it!" grrr... because I didn't hear from it again that night.

The following morning I broke camp early and rode into Ramona for some breakfast.  When I locked up my bike at the local McDonalds there was a baby-stroller sort of affair filled with stuff... although not baby stuff.  I didn't give it a thought until I was about to leave.

A gentleman was removing a few things from it and rearranging his gear.  He commented on my bike and asked where I was going.  I told him only to Julian.

"Just came from there," he told me in what I detected to be a Scottish accent.  As we talked I learned he was running around the world while pushing all his gear in the stroller.  Ambitious!

But I am an idiot.  I took no picture of him.  I didn't give him my card.  I didn't ask for any particulars.  I simply nodded my "isn't that interesting!" asinine nod and pedaled on my way thinking nothing more of it.

And that wasn't to be the last time during this trip I missed the opportunity to take a picture.  No, no.

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