Bliss Camp 2012

Bliss Camp 2012

Well. The annual Far West Bliss Camp has just completed (June 26-28). Due to annually falling numbers we tried a new tact and hosted it in early summer instead of September like we had been. That seemed to work! We had 20 camp attendees plus coaches, Mary Ellen Benier, Stefan Benier, and Ben Grasseschi. Everyone seemed to have a good time.
For our first day, we arrived at Bliss in the early afternoon, set up camp and then hiked/ran out the Rubicon Trail followed by vigorous games on the beach and a brisk swim. Chefs Beniers and Grasseschi whipped up some Mac N Cheese with sausage and Bear Grylls aka Peter Carroll, sent out some smoke signals with the fire he started. Everyone warmed themselves by it and a few mild ghost stories were told. Trying to go to bed the girls were scared by the boys and then stayed up giggling and talking well into curfew.
Next moring a leisurely breakfast of ham and eggs and hashbrowns and toast followed by a run or hike down the Rubicon Trail (it’s such a beautiful trail why not do it twice!?) to Emerald Bay where we took turns on SUPs and kayaks we leased from Kayak Tahoe. Some of us went out to Fanette Island and hiked up to the tea house, others paddled over to the far shore and checked out the trees you can see at the bottom of the lake, remnants from the landslide several years ago. Tahoe is SO Clear! A few of the gang ran back to Bliss campsites on the Rubicon Trail (the trail is so beautiful why not do it three times!?) and the rest piled in the van to have lunch and quick.
After Lunch a little respite and then we loaded up for classic rollerskiing at Blackwood Canyon. The older boys went with Ben and the rest of the gang tried to get the hang of rollerskiing for the first time with Stefan and Mary Ellen. Everyone was doing great until Jacs chewed up some asphalt with her chin and anyone that slowed down or stopped was chewed up by mosquitoes. After some emergency surgery on Jacs by Doctor Mary Ellen and Nurse Grasseschi, we all scared some local gents off the public pier at the end of Blackwood (you’d leave too if 20 wildcats and two cougars invaded your quiet pier) for a quick n Frosty Dip in Tahoe.
Dinner was again prepared by the excellent spanish chefs, this time burritos and carnitas. For dessert, make-your-own S”mores! Who doesn’t love a gooey dripping mass of chocolate and marshmallow? The gang was a little more subdued this evening and curfew met easily. Anyone tired? We have a big hike tomorrow!
Tomorrow came early as we had to pack up and make sack lunches before leaving Bliss campsites. We came close to our goal of 9am and then we rallied up to the Bayview Trailhead. We all headed towards Granite Lake but soon realized we were headed towards Cascade Falls. A quick group turn around and off we went. One group galloped up the steep trail and then sauntered off trail to the top of Maggies Peak. The rest continued on the trail and then veered off of it on to a secret trail to Azure Lake. After a bit of descent in the hot sun we were rewarded with a spectacular setting, Lake Azure looking rather; azure… until we crested the beautiful cool water with some cliff jumping and isle swimming. Lunch and then we hiked back out of the hole. Most of the group went back to Bayview and a few went out the Eagle Lake Trail for a nice loop. The group hiking out Bayview experienced some more team bonding when Peter Carroll fell on his ankle running down the trail. He heard a pop and felt a twist, sure enough, it was broken, his distal fibula. Ouch. Doctor Mary Ellen splinted him up and Nurses Stefan and the girls helped haul him to the trailhead and waiting cars. Meanwhile, everyone figured they had a wonderful new tan until they went home and showered all the dirt off. Darn it!
So how could we not have had a good time!? Even Peter and Jacs…
Thanks ALL for a GREAT CAMP!

Next stop, June Lake Camp, 19-22 June. See you all there!

Ben, Stefan, and Mary Ellen

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