Wawona Trip, June 2009

We went to the Irving cabin for five days this June (2009). We followed our usual pattern of reading, lounging, hiking, eating and drinking. This time the weather was cooler than previous years when we stayed in July or August, when the mercury typically trips the 90's; the highs this June were in the 70's. In fact is was raining when we arrived, and continued to rain every other day in the afternoon. Since we did our hiking in the morning, it turned out to be a very civilized weather pattern.

We had been warned of a mosquito problem in Wawona this season from more than one source, but they only came out later in the day because of the cooler temperatures. Hiking locations where we had been eaten alive in previous years only produced a few blood-suckers and we were grateful. We were also well-supplied with an insect repellent that was 5% DEET; not a very high concentration, but enough to keep the odd skeeter at bay for awhile. I had brought along a bottle of "jungle juice" which is 98% DEET and will soften the plastic sides a Swiss Army knife as well as keep mosquitos away for hours, but didn't need to use it.

We weren't total slugs: we went on hikes and walks around and in Wawona every day. I had brought along a GPS unit from the REI store gear bank, a Garmin Oregon 300. It has no keys or buttons on it, and has an interface somewhat like an iPod in that you scroll through menus and fields of icons by dragging your finger across the screen. I had taken a couple of GPS classes through the store using a Garmin 60CSX loaner unit, and it was a keyboard beast (well, arrow keys anyway) and although it was an effective device, its interface is definitely last generation.