Our Summit Adventure Group at Bowler Campground
Sunday, August 27, 1989
Back row, L-R: Jo Schuitema, Mark Nave, Tish Roripaugh, Ankie Shuitema. Front row: Lai Kit Chan, Tanya Preiser, Jeff Dohzen. Seated, Peter Bergeron, one of our leaders.
On Sunday, August 27, Mark and Rod caught the Summit Adventure shuttle at the Fresno Airport shortly after nine. The shuttle was an ancient Buick station wagon driven by Elaine, a nurse who was working for Summit for the summer. Besides Mark and I, there was Lynne, an optics sales rep from Chicago and John, a tall PE & Health high school teacher from New York City.
Leaving hot, sunny Fresno we traveled about 2.5 hours to the Bowler Campground on Beasore Road. About half of that was for the ~50 miles to Beasore and the other half the trip down the winding 28 mile route on Beasore Road to the Bowler Campground.
There were 16 persons total for the Summit Adventure, two groups of eight with two leaders for each group. Dave Kelly was the overall coordinator. Pete Bergeron and Bobbi Ann Kupfer were our leaders. They had packs and individual gear laid out plus a pile of group gear and two boxes of food.
We had a group gathering at 1pm and Dave talked to us about the meaning of "Ascent for Adult Renewal", the name given to our Summit Adventure. The group shared reflections on "Ascent" and "Renewal". Then he got the group members to individually state a commitment to the adventure and to the group.
We spread out and packed our personal gear and a share of the group gear in our assigned backpacks. Mark, Jeff and Lai Kit put the finishing touches on their backpacks.
| Bobbi Ann and Pete are shown at right with Mark between them and Tanya and Tish. They gave us more specific instructions and inspected our personal gear. The gear they provided included an aluminum carabiner with strap attached like those used by climbers. That was a surprise!
They talked to us about low-impact camping and told us that we could not take soap or shampoo into the wilderness. Pete told us that we would not be shaving and directed us to a minimum of clothing and personal belongings to take along.
The group gear included climbing ropes, two stoves, fuel tanks, pots, tarps. When we divided up the food and gear, the packs were quite heavy.
We gathered in our final circle before the separation of the two groups. Part of the emphasis of the Summit Adventure was to form a trust group, and we had already found out a good bit of what that entailed as they explained to us the realities of camping in a protected wilderness area.
Finally we headed out down the road a bit and then up the steep mountainside. With frequent stops for rest/nature study/advice we hiked maybe a mile.
|The varieties of huge trees included the Jefferson Pine. Peter directed us to smell in the cracks and it had a sweet smell reminiscent of butterscotch.|
We reached a large rock dome named Turtle Rock where we were to spend the night. You got on the rock by climbing up a rock ramp and then up a steep cut where we took off our packs and handed them up.
Peter and Bobbi Ann directed us to a cupped-out hollow in the rock about 10x20 feet and told us that was the bedroom.
Once we were on top we could see the mountain range to the east, the wooded valley below with a stream and meadow, and a rocky promontory to our north.
This is the bedroom?
We laid out our sleeping bags in the hollow and proceeded to fix supper on the two single-burner white gas stoves.
Our group consisted of four men and four women. We got to know each other a bit better by sharing expectations and a little bit about ourselves around a big candle as "campfire" after the meal. There was 63 year-old John or "Jo" Shuitema and his daughter Ankie. They are from the Netherlands, are Presbyterian, are living in northern California near Oakland. Jeff, of Japanese ancestry, is a 38 year old administrator with some kind of rocket program. Tanya, a Russian native, is a divorced mother of two girls 8 & 16 years old and is an engineer in California. Tish is an athletic young lady from California - in her twenties I guessed. Lai Kit is a recently graduated graphic design artist who attended school in California on a student visa from Hong Kong.
Bobbi Ann reads to us from the rock above our "bedroom"
Our leaders shared a bit about themselves at that time. Peter is from Montana and has recently completed two bachelors degrees, one in wildlife biology and one in philosophy. He hopes to work with Campus Crusade for Christ for a couple of years and then perhaps some overseas Christian service.
Bobbi Ann Kupfer has a masters degree in counseling ad has looked for a job as a high school guidance counselor. She has traveled widely, spending a year in an Israeli kibbutz and traveling widely in Europe. She is tremendously strong for a medium-build, attractive girl in her late twenties. She made some comment about doing a lot of bodybuilding. I thought my pack was heavy, but when I lifted hers, it was heavier - and she seemed to carry it easily! Both she and Peter do rock climbing as a hobby in the off season.
After our gathering, we laid out our sleeping bags.
Our last task was to go down off Turtle Rock to fetch water. At right, Peter leads us back up.
We settled down for the night with a plastic ground cloth, a very thin pad, and a sleeping bag on the solid rock of our "bedroom". Needless to say, I didn't sleep very much. I turned from my back to my side dozens of times during the night . You just can't stay in one position long on solid rock. I learned toward morning that I could turn on my stomach with some degree of comfort.
Our sunset view from Turtle Rock
In the afternoon, we had received our instructions about low-impact camping in the wilderness. The most notable thing about that instruction was the latrine instruction. 150 feet from any water, OK. 6" deep trench, OK. No toilet paper allowed! Whoa! You have to use sticks and stones for toilet paper and bury them with the waste. Early the next morning I had the honor of initiating the latrine, and the use of sticks was not bad at all.