This is tentatively just an idea.
...maybe 1 - 25% chance of happening.
I'll know more by late October.
One deciding factor will be the weather...so we'll need to wait until October to get a better idea of how/what the weather will be in November.
Okay, this is gonna sound weird, but does anyone want to go to Vegas for some hiking?
Yeah, I know, I know.
Well, I was thinking either
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Valley of Fire State Park
Both aren't far from The Strip.
If anyone prefers gambling, dancing, or seeing a show, that's fine too.
Hiking isn't required. It's what I'll probably do, but everyone is welcome to do whatever.
If some want to go hiking during the day and then go party at night, that's cool too.
Again, this whole thing is just a wacky idea. I need to think about this some more.
This is intended as a small group trip, maybe around 4 - 8 people.
The start time posted is 5:00 pm, but this event is flexible. If anyone wants to drive up Friday morning / afternoon to have more time for exploring the area (or hiking), that's fine.
Drive time is around:
4 - 4.5 hours from LA - https://goo.gl/maps/dkpvqGAQQsbQepVT8
4 - 4.5 hours from OC - https://goo.gl/maps/EUznhGpiS3hmUzEt8
If anyone arrives late on Friday night (e.g. 11pm or later), and wants help setting up their tent in the dark, I'll bring extra lights, and lend a hand and foot.
It helps if people contact me directly (via Meetup) with answers to some questions.
If there’s room and I feel okay about someone attending, then I’ll reply and include my Paypal and Venmo. $25 per person/adult. Kids are usually free*.
Those who contact me, confirm, and pay will be saved a spot at our campsite.
We’re sorry if room isn’t available for everyone, and some people can’t go.
If any guy (who has never met me) wants to attend, near the bottom is an additional request that involves sending me a photo/selfie of yourself. I’ll elaborate/clarify later.
Sometimes people try to communicate with me in the comments section, and imo, it’s inconvenient. Plus, Meetup sometimes doesn’t notify me of comments, so I might not see questions/comments immediately, so messaging me directly is preferred.
Our camping trips are intended as fun and friendly get-togethers to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Everyone has many options of things to do on the weekends. You all could be doing several other things/activities.
Our trips are an opportunity to get away for the weekend, meet some new people, and have some fun exploring our beautiful planet with others who appreciate life.
Maybe you’ll have an awful, awesome, or awe-none time. I don’t promise or guarantee anything. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide if they want to go or not. Clearly I’m a bad salesman. ;) I never try to convince/persuade anyone from joining.
The two places I'm thinking of hiking at are:
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Valley of Fire State Park
If anyone prefers going to a show (music, dance, comedy, magic, Cirque du Soleil, Thunder Down Under, etc.), then feel free to research on your own for tickets and other details.
If anyone prefers going to a casino for lounging at a pool, gambling, dancing, eating, etc...then same then, feel free to research on your own.
Discuss with others if you want to do something together at the Strip.
If anyone prefers going to Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, or some place else, then same thing, discuss with each another.
The campground should have potable water, fire ring, and a vault toilet.
The campground does not have electricity or showers, but a nearby city should have a gym that offers hot showers to the public for a few bucks.
Everyone should bring/buy their own food, but if anyone doesn’t have a cooler, Vegas should have plenty of markets / grocery stores and restaurants.
I usually bring foil and get wood if anyone wants to cook over a fire.
Parking at the campground is limited...so carpooling will help.
Food / Meals
Some people are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, taste-free, etc., so that's why we avoid potluck type meals, because not everybody can eat the same things (and some are picky and hard-to-please).
Ergo, it's best (and everyone will be happier) if everyone chooses/brings/buys their own food, snacks, & drinks.
If anyone is new to camping and doesn't know what to bring/buy, Google camping food, camping meals, or camping recipes.
My suggestion is to keep things simple (easy to prepare & clean).
Breakfast - fruit, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, Nutella and banana slices with bread, etc.
Lunch - PB&J or tuna sandwiches, ham/turkey sandwiches if you have access to a cooler to keep lunch meat cold, granola bars, nuts/almonds, trail mix, protein bars, jerky, fruit, dry fruit, etc.
Dinner - I usually cook veggie burgers over a fire. Some people make simple dinners like ramen noodles, soups, salads, etc. Some grill / BBQ meat. If anyone is vegetarian, you can wrap veggies in foil (asparagus, bell peppers, eggplant, etc...) and add olive oil or sea salt, and cook it over a fire.
I usually bring a gas stove, and sometimes my small pot & pan are available...so if anyone wants to cook something, just lmk.
If you plan on making something fancy (or messy), maybe bring your own pot & pan.
If anyone is new to Meetup, please disregard / ignore the RSVP list.
The majority of people who signed up will not go.
I’ve planned several camping trips, and for some unknown reason, usually what happens is many people sign up, but a fraction are serious about going, so the RSVP list means nothing.
People can easily change their mind, get busy, not want to drive, not be able to get a ride, make other plans, etc...so the number of people who signed up does not accurately reflect the number who will actually go.
My guess is 4 - 8 people might go.
If anyone is new to Meetup or afraid/scared of camping with strangers---that’s totally normal and human.
My suggestion is to not go.
We don’t want to worry about you and we rather make room for others who want to go. So if anyone is nervous, hesitant, or maybe about going, it’s totally fine if you don’t go.
I'm not a mind-reader, so if anyone is interested in attending, please contact me directly (message me on Meetup) with answers to the following questions:
(1) Do you want to drive or ride with someone else? If you can drive others, how many passengers can you accommodate? What time do you want to leave SoCal? What city/area are you leaving from? (This helps with finding you a carpool buddy).
(2) Do you have your own camping gear (e.g. tent, sleeping bag, mat/pad/cot, etc.) ?
(3) Do you understand you are responsible for bringing / buying your own food?
(4) Do you have a preference on what you want to do/see? Hiking (Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire), Vegas Strip (gambling/casinos, shows, dancing, etc.), Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, or something else ?
If using Meetup via the phone app or a computer (e.g. web browser), look for my name/profile (wise|man) under Attendees, and then click a shortcut for messaging me (e.g. an envelope icon shortcut or "message").
Please message “wise|man” instead of using the comments section. Thank you.
If anybody is new to camping and doesn’t have some camping gear/equipment, or wants help coordinating carpooling or tent sharing, just lmk.
After messaging me your answers, a $25 contribution will be collected via Paypal or Venmo.
More info on the campsite & final details will be sent to those who confirmed & paid.
Leftover money will be used to buy some items to help a few homeless individuals.
Something new for 2019:
If any guy has never met me before, in addition to the aforementioned questions, I will also ask each guy to send me a photo of yourself.
If possible, hold up a piece of paper with 3 things: my name, your name, and the date.
Email it to [masked] or text it to[masked]
Totally understandable some guys might not want to do this (inconvenient, a pain/hassle, etc.). If anyone doesn’t want to do this, that’s your prerogative.
Q: Why don’t you ask women to send a photo?
A: Because I’m sexist. After 20+ camping trips of encountering 400 to 500+ people who attended one of my camping trips, I don’t remember any woman harassing a man, but a few guys have bothered women, so now I’m taking extra precaution with just guys.
If anyone is thinking about going, please look at the RSVP list.
If any guy seems weird or creepy, or messaged you out of nowhere, or makes you feel uncomfortable, just lmk.
I trust women's intuition, so if you don't want someone to attend, just lmk.
After the news in 2017 with sexual abuse, harassment, inappropriate behavior, #MeToo movement, etc., I want to be more vigilant and careful with who joins.
I've planned numerous camping trips, and surprisingly, many women have attended.
By default, I take on an over-protective brother/father role and need to look out for everyone.
We've been lucky in having some good guys attend, but a few have been questionable, and therefore, that’s why we now have to be more judicious and cautious.
Believe it or not, I’m a Jane Austen-liking, hopeful romantic.
At least 6 group members have met through my meetup events and started dating. I’m happy whenever two people can connect (as long as there’s mutual interest/attraction).
However, I also need to be vigilant and diligent.
It probably is not easy for some women to go camping with strangers, and whenever other women put trust in me and are willing to attend, I need to look out for their safety and well-being.
I have enough to stress about:
...will people arrive safely (no accidents, flat tires, speeding tickets), have food, water, and all the camping gear they need, sleep okay, stay warm, not get lost / injured, etc…
So if you’re a guy who is interested in attending, please “be cool.”
If you can help me have one less thing to worry about, it preserves my sanity.
So if any women attend, thank you for being respectful toward them.
If anyone can drive and is open to carpooling...or if anyone wants to go, but is looking for a ride:
- Post a comment and maybe others will respond
- Check the comments section if maybe someone else is offering a ride or needs a ride
- Let me (Wiseman) know because sometimes people message me (and they might not post a comment), so I can also try to connect people for carpooling.
Note: If you successfully connect with another person for carpooling, please let me know b/c it helps me coordinate the campsite assignments for # of people and vehicles per campsite.
In past camping trips, some people became friends through carpooling. Yes, riding with a new person might seem awkward, so feel free to exchange social media, or talk over the phone, or meet for coffee or a hike beforehand to break the ice and become more comfortable with one another.
Examples of recommended items to bring:
Sleeping bag + pillow
Sleeping pad / mat or air mattress
Tent (or share with someone who has one)
Tarp, stakes, guy lines, and rain fly for tent
Appropriate clothes, socks, & shoes
Changes of clothes & shoes if you plan on going to the Vegas Strip for dancing, gambling, pool party, shows, nightlight, etc.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, & other hygiene items / toiletries
Lip balm / chapstick
Hand sanitizer or baby wipes / wet naps
Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat or a bandana
Flashlight / Headlamp
Cell phone charger cable (car adapter) or portable charger
Water or water filter
Water bottles or hydration pack
Food (and cookware)
Towel, soap, shampoo, & flip-flops / water sandals (if showering)
Music or games
* Some other camping events on Meetup might prohibit kids. I admire parents who introduce their child(ren) to the outdoors and respect parents who encourage kids to take a break from tv, video games, phones, computers, etc..
So parents and kids are welcome to join.
I usually ask for a payment per person (adult), so kids who attend are free. As long as there’s space/room at the campsite, and the child genuinely wants to attend, and it’s not a large # of kids (boys/girls scouts, youth group, etc.).
Some people on Meetup don’t want kids to attend, but I try to be cool, understanding, and supportive of parents. However, we want to avoid a situation where a kid is dragged to camping trip and doesn’t want to be there (foul/negative mood, tantrum, drama, etc.)....so thank you for your cooperation.
The following is just filler that I need to add b/c Meetup has some weird character limit, and I might need to add to this description later...so the following is just a short story that you can ignore...it's seriously just filler.
Genesis and Catastrophe
“Everything is normal,” the doctor was saying. “Just lie back and relax.” His voice was miles away in the distance and he seemed to be shouting at her.
“You have a son.”
“You have a fine son. You understand that, don’t you? A fine son. Did you hear him crying?”
“Is he all right, Doctor?”
“Of course he is all right,”
“Please let me see him.”
“You’ll see him in a moment.”
“You are certain he is all right?”
“I am quite certain.”
“Is he still crying?”
“Try to rest. There is nothing to worry about.”
“Why has he stopped crying, Doctor? What happened?”
“Don’t excite yourself, please. Everything is normal.” “I want to see him. Please let me see him.”
“Dear lady,” the doctor said, patting her hand. “You have a fine strong healthy child. Don’t you believe me when I tell you that?”
“What is the woman over there doing to him?”
“Your baby is being made to look pretty for you,” the doctor said. “We are giving him a little wash, that is all. You must spare us a moment or two for that.”
“You swear he is all right?”
“I swear it. Now lie back and relax. Close your eyes. Go on, close your eyes. That’s right. That’s better. Good girl… ”
“I have prayed and prayed that he will live, Doctor.”
Of course he will live. What are you talking about?”
“The others didn’t.”
“None of my other ones lived, Doctor.”
The doctor stood beside the bed looking down at the pale exhausted face of the young woman. He had never seen her before today. She and her husband were new people in the town. The innkeeper’s wife, who had come up to assist in the delivery, had told him that the husband worked at the local customs-house on the border and that the two of them had arrived quite suddenly at the inn with one trunk and one suitcase about three months ago. The husband was a drunkard, the innkeeper’s wife had said, an arrogant, overbearing, bullying little drunkard, but the young woman was gentle and religious. And she was very sad. She never smiled. In the few weeks that she had been here, the innkeeper’s wife had never once seen her smile. Also there was a rumor that this was the husband’s third marriage, that one wife had died and that the other had divorced him or unsavory reasons. But that was only a rumor.
The doctor bent down and pulled the sheet up a little higher over the patient’s chest. “You have nothing to worry about,” he said gently. “This is a perfectly normal baby.”
“That’s exactly what they told me about the others. But I lost them all, Doctor. In the last eighteen months I have lost all three of my children, so you mustn’t blame me for being anxious.”
“This is my fourth… in four years.”
The doctor shifted his feet uneasily on the bare floor.
“I don’t think you know what it means, Doctor, to lose them all, all three of them, slowly, separately, one by one. I keep seeing them. I can see Gustav’s lace now as clearly as if he were lying here beside me in the bed. Gustav was a lovely boy, Doctor. But he was always ill. It is terrible when they are always ill and there is nothing you can do to help them.”
The woman opened her eyes, stared up at the doctor for a few seconds, then closed them again.
“My little girl was called Ida. She died a few days before Christmas. That is only four months ago. I just wish you could have seen Ida, Doctor.”
“You have a new one now.”
“But Ida was so beautiful.”
“Yes,” the doctor said. “I know.”
“How can you know?” she cried.
“I am sure that she was a lovely child. But this new one is also like that.” The doctor turned away from the bed and walked over to the window and stood there looking out. It was a wet grey April afternoon, and across the street he could see the red roofs of the houses and the huge raindrops splashing on the tiles.
“Ida was two years old, Doctor… and she was so beautiful I was never able to take my eyes off her from the time I dressed her in the morning until she was safe in bed again at night. I used to live in holy terror of something happening to that child. Gustav had gone and my little Otto had also gone and she was all I had left. Sometimes I used to get up in the night and creep over to the cradle and put my ear close to her mouth just to make sure that she was breathing.
“Try to rest,” the doctor said, going back to the bed. “Please try to rest.” The woman’s face was white and bloodless, and there was a slight bluish-grey tinge around the nostrils and the mouth. A few strands of damp hair hung down over her forehead, sticking to the skin.
“When she died. . . I was already pregnant again when that happened, Doctor. This new one was a good four months on its way when Ida died. ‘I don’t want it!’ I shouted after the funeral. ‘I won’t have it! I have buried enough children!’ And my husband…he was strolling among the guests with a big glass of beer in his hand. He turned around quickly and said, ‘I have news for you, Kiara, I have good news.’ Can you imagine that, Doctor? We have just buried our third child and he stands there with a glass of beer in his hand and tells me that he has good news, ‘Today I have been posted to Braunau,’ he says, ‘so you can start packing at once. This will be a new start for you, Kiara,’ he says. ‘It will be a new place and you can have a new doctor.”’
“Please don’t talk anymore.”
“You are the new doctor, aren’t you, Doctor?”
“And here we are in Braunau.”
“I am frightened, Doctor.”
“Try not to be frightened.”
“What chance can the fourth one have now?”
“You must stop thinking like that.”
“I can’t help it. I am certain there is something inherited that causes my children to die in this way. There must be.”
“That is nonsense.”
“Do you know what my husband said to me when Otto was born, Doctor? He came into the room and he looked into the cradle where Otto was lying and he said, ‘Why do all my children have to be so small and weak?”’
“I am sure he didn’t say that.”
“He put his head right into Otto’s cradle as though he were examining a tiny insect and he said, ’All I am saying is why can’t they be better specimens? That’s all I am saying.’ And three days after that, Otto was dead. We baptized him quickly on the third day and he died the same evening. And then Gustav died. And then Ida died. All of them died, Doctor… and suddenly the whole house was empty.”
“Don’t think about it now.”
“Is this one so very small?”
“He is a normal child.”
“He is a little small, perhaps. But the small ones are often a lot tougher than the big ones. Just imagine, Frau Hitler, this time next year he will be almost learning how to walk. Isn’t that a lovely thought?”
She didn’t answer this.
“And two years from now he will probably be talking his bead oU and driving you crazy with his chatter. Have you settled on a name for him yet?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure. I think my husband said that if it was a boy we were going to call him Adolfus.”
“That means he would be called Adolf.”
“Yes. My husband likes Adolf because it has a certain similarity to Alois. My husband is called Alois.”
“Oh no!” she cried, starting up suddenly from the pillow. “That’s the same question they asked me when Otto was born! It means he is going to die! You are going to baptize him at once!”
“Now, now,” the doctor said, taking her gently by the shoulders. “You are quite wrong. I promise you you are wrong. I was simply being an inquisitive old man, that is all. I love talking about names. I think Adolfus is a particularly line name. It is one of my favourites. And look-here he comes now.”
The innkeeper’s wife, carrying the baby high up on her enormous bosom, came sailing across the room towards the bed, “Here is the little beauty!” she cried, beaming.
“Would you like to hold him, my dear? Shall I put him beside you?”
“Is he well wrapped?” the doctor asked. “It is extremely cold in here.”
“Certainly he is well wrapped.”
The baby was tightly swaddled in a white wool shawl, and only the tiny pink head protruded. The innkeeper’s wife placed him gently on the bed beside the mother. “There you are,” she said.
“Now you can lie there and look at him to your heart’s content.”
“I think you will like him,” the doctor said, smiling. “He is a fine little baby,”
“He has the most lovely hands!” the innkeeper’s wife exclaimed. “Such long delicate fingers!”
The mother didn’t move. She didn’t even turn her head to look.
“Go on!” cried the innkeeper’s wife. “He won’t bite you!”