Lupita's Tostadas for Hungry Backpackers

With a week of perfect weather ahead of us, the only question was where to go and what to do with it! We had managed to get out for just one backpacking trip so far this whole spring, so we decided it was time for our second trek to the wilderness overnight.

Morning found us packing up our gear - backpacks, tents, ground sheets, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, coolers, chairs - and loading it into the car, and then heading for the woods of Sproul State Forest, and a backpack site we call Pine Glen. We hit the Bookmobile on the way to return some books and get some brand new ones (including the latest Pendergast novel, hooray!).

We also know that backpacking is hungry business, so as a preventive measure, we decided to stop for a hearty lunch at Lupita's in Milesburg. I ran in and got our tostadas and a sope; in this photo you may see the two tostadas, with everything on them.

So far at Lupita's, I've had tostadas, empanadas, sopes, and tacos. Our favorite turns out to be the tostadas, which are just $3.05 apiece. In the car, my husband had extra cheese, salsa, and sour cream waiting, and so we piled them high with lots more good stuff; what we ate was even MUCH more loaded than what you see in the photo!

Our appetites sated, off we went on our adventure. My husband was able to get his car back the bad dirt road to the spot where we park it in Sproul. At that point, we packed our gear up, loaded it onto our packs, and then put our packs on our backs and headed into the woods. "Now we enter the stooped position of the backpacker," we sometimes say to each other to be funny.

Pine Glen is typically our shortest backpack. It's not a long walk in, and there are several short ways to walk back out. So we take along our chairs and even more crap than usual, as we know we won't be carrying it far.

For those who tuned in for the tale of our first backpack trip of the year, about a week ago (see here and here for that tale), you may recall that our night out that time was quite chilly, just 23 degrees F. Yes, some days are like spring now and other ones are like winter or summer!

Last time, I had brought overnight clothes that left a gap at my midriff, and I froze and had a rather sleepless night. I also just about gave myself carpal tunnel pumping up poor Agnes, the big green inflatable sleeping pad, for what seemed like hours upon hours.

This time, I must have used better technique (I also sat in my chair to do it), as it only took me 25 minutes, tops, to pump up Agnes. I think I was at about song 7 in The Cars Greatest Hits, Tonight She Comes; we didn't even NEED to get into The Doors.

It is apparently my new custom to omit something or do something bone-headed to add a special degree of difficulty to my camping trip. This time, I swore I'd do better than the poorly selected overnight outfit that left me freezing my bipper off! (Translation: a bipper - or bippy - as in, "you bet your sweet bippy" - is another term for the posterior. Now you know!)

So this time, I packed the nightshirt I wear to bed at home, which is long and guaranteed to cover my back and my tummy, along with my regular hiking clothes and long underwear (both top and bottom) and a fleece jacket and a vest. What did I forget? PANTS to sleep in!

When I changed into my hiking pants before leaving the house, somehow the fleece pants I intended to bring for sleeping in ended up on the bed at home, which didn't do me a darn bit of good. This choice posed the additional degree of difficulty that I apparently can't go camping without! Yay, me!

I felt like a real ninny for that one, but the stakes weren't as high this time. Our overnight at Pine Glen would not be as cold, and I felt that I would be able to make it with what I had. In the end, I would head to bed with just my sleep shirt and my long underwear on, which turned out (thankfully) to be sufficient.

We spent a very nice afternoon and evening with the half-moon, which rose over our heads at just the right time to be useful. Yes, I do bring a headlamp and a flashlight (always TWO) but I didn't really need them until well after twilight, as the moon provided a nice light of its own. When true darkness falls, my husband also hangs two nice LED lanterns around the site.

And then, with everything all set up, my husband and I spent our evening sitting around the campsite, which you may see in the extras, reading and listening to music and talking up a storm. That's my tent and backpack and chair on the left; his on the right. You may note that we're camping in a pine stand; thus the term Pine Glen.

The extra photo was taken just as dusk was falling and we were settling into our campsite for the evening. I wouldn't actually get into my tent until after 11, and I didn't go to sleep until around 11:30, which may be a personal record.

Now, there are some favorite tunes that we tend to listen to in the woods, and I'm going to give you one or two of those, just for fun, so you can feel like you were along with us on our big adventure!

First, this is for the wild PA woods, which seems like home to us. In fact, this campsite is one of several of our homes away from home. Here are the Wailin' Jennys, with Heaven When We're Home.

Second, this is for the streak of wildness that runs through each of us, that loves howling and dancing under the moon in the deep woods. You can sing along LOUDLY if you like! Here are Thin Lizzy, with Cowboy Song.

I am just a cowboy lonesome on the trail
A starry night the campfire light
The coyote call
And the howling winds wail
So I'll ride out to the old sundown

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