The outdoors, escapism, and selling hamburgers

Sometimes, this is enough

As I pass the one month mark since Burger Bench has opened, my urge to have an outdoor adventure has increased incredibly. The restaurant has been very successful, beyond what we could have hoped for. Our customers have been friendly and generous in their reviews. As can be expected, my entire days are filled with […]

Granite Springs Trail Camp – Cuyamaca moon

East Mesa highpoint, almost to Granite Springs Trail Camp

Summer had just come to an end, but it sure didn’t feel like it. It was sweltering in the lowlands and in the past I’d headed to the hills to get some relief. Since my daughter had a day off on Monday, we decided to go backpacking. We had already backpacked to Arroyo Seco in […]

Not Every Adventure Needs to be Epic

Sunshine Mountain from the trailhead

On TV, YouTube, and social media, we constantly see images of people trekking over hundreds of miles, scaling ice walls, sailing across oceans, living out of their vans, and traversing crevasse-ridden glaciers. Then there’s the rest of us. Leading normal lives, yearning to taste even a little bit of what these sponsored athletes are doing. […]

Green Valley Campground – A short overnight camping trip in Cuyamaca

Our campsite

I knew that Veteran’s Day was coming up and Soph wouldn’t have school, so I decided to take her to Cuyamaca for the night. Her cousins wanted to join her, too. So, three of us fathers, with a total of four daughters packed up two family tents and a bunch of food and headed to […]

Cemetery Hill – SD Peak #69 – A Short Backpacking Trip Bathed in Sunset Light

Our tent on Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill Elevation: 3,459′ Total Mileage: 3.6 Trailhead Map Agency: Cleveland National Forest I had gotten settled back into San Diego. It had been a couple of months since the Muir Taco trip to the Sierra. I had only gotten out for some short hikes around my house. I’ve been curious about a place in Cleveland […]

Muir Taco – Four Days in the Sierra Nevada from Bishop Pass

Jeff, continuing to descend into Le Conte Canyon with Langille Peak dominating

We had a mission for Muir Taco: Deliver fresh carne asada tacos and cold beer to unsuspecting hikers along the John Muir Trail at the Muir Hut at the top of Muir Pass. While we missed our ultimate destination goal, we had a great time in the Sierra Nevada, saw some stunning scenery, and, in […]

San Gorgonio Mountain – No summit, but a great overnight backpacking trip

Sunset view from High Creek Camp

This hike was to be a training hike for our upcoming backpacking trip into the Sierra. The idea was to do an overnight trip to High Creek Camp and wake up the next morning to summit San Gorgonio Mountain and make it back to the car. Well, half of us made that trip. The PD […]

Gear Review: The Skeeter Beater – screens for your car windows

The Skeeter Beater

Last December, Soph and I were planning a trip to Carrizo Plain National Monument. It was going to be cold, so I decided we were going to drive out there and sleep in the car. I wondered how stuffy it would get, so I’d probably want to crack the windows. Then I started wondering if […]

Davy Brown Campground – Car Camping with Soph

Making moss cakes at Davy Brown Campground

Once again, I had an opportunity to go camping with my daughter. This time, because I recommended it about 7 months ago in the winter, she wanted to go car camping. That doesn’t mean she wanted to go to a campsite and pitch a tent next to a car, she wanted to actually sleep in […]

Montgomery Potrero and McPherson Peak – A Backpacking Trip

Painted Rock Campsite

Total Trip Length: 33.5 miles in 3 days This trip to Montgomery Potrero started like many things do: in a bar, over drinks. Several coworkers and I were sitting around chatting, and, as most conversations with me go, it turned to hiking and the outdoors. All three of us were experienced backpackers and were eager […]