My dad, the great socializer he isn’t, managed to barter construction work for a weeks stay in a cabin at Hume Lake. So, the night before we left, my family began preparing for the trek. Awkwardly arranged, my dad and I spent an hour maximizing the storage capacity of my grandparent’s green van despite the hovering of my grandmother. Later, with everyone else’s luggage situated in the van, I decided to begin packing. I did all of this and managed to lay my head down on my lack of pillows -for they were already packed- the earliest I had since May: 11:30pm.
Waking up at 5:30
the next morning and planning to leave within the hour, we left the house at 8:30. Upon our departure, we bottomed out on our flat driveway. Mason (7), my little brother, is very susceptible to throwing up on windy roads; to be precautious, I guided him to look right if he felt sick. I was sitting at his left; my sister Mallory (14) was not.
Once we arrived at the cabin, I came to the realization of two things. Our cabin was at least a mile from the main camp -uphill both ways- and at any given moment it was possible to spot three Suzuki Samurai’s. I scored the upstairs loft complete with a queen sized bed; my full size sheets fit nicely and the thread count had almost doubled by the end of the week. That night, I began a marathon of the first season of The Office: six episodes, a lengthy 20 minutes each.
Hume Lake is like Mammoth, only better. Mammoth is heavily forested, but drive 30 minutes in any direction and the scenery changes into spacious plains. We drove an hour from Hume into Kings Canyon and we were still surrounded by giant sequoias. Various activities were available at the main camp. Swimming, hiking, fishing, and rowing were all things my family and I enjoyed during our stay. When my dad took my brother and me out on the lake in a rowboat I figured I could swim and push faster than he could row. Not true. On our way back to the dock, my dad discovered a gigantean underwater rock. The thing was alive and moving: turns out Hume has their very own blue whale.
We were welcomed on our second night by a brown out, most likely the after effect of hundreds of cabins in the area, all products of the 1950’s, running gratuitous amounts of power through jerry-rigged systems. I went to sleep that night to the sound of nature: the next door neighbor’s backup generator.
Some of the week’s highlights include waking up at 6:00am on the wrong morning, free climbing close to waterfalls with thoughts of Aron Ralston lingering in my head, driving though a fallen sequoia, seeing the largest living organism in the world: the General Shermanwasright Sequoia, going on a Samurai 4×4 tour of Hume with my dad, along with two personal firsts of mine: gagging down my first pill and exploring a vast cave. The pill was pretty amazing since I’m 17 and Boyden Cave was a neat experience even though there was no gold or diamonds or crystals.
My trip to Hume would not have been complete without a very important lesson from my dad: it’s the raccoons you have to worry about and not the bears. A barreling bear doesn’t have the brute strength to break through a van however a measly raccoon can shred through a screen door faster than you can ask it if it needs a hug.
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