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LASC: Tree Dramming 2013

October 12, 2013 LA Scotch Club, Past Events 1 Comment

One of the better events that the LA Scotch Club holds every year is Tree Dramming. Really, it’s a camping trip that gives us a chance to escape the smoggy city, kick back and relax in the wilderness with friends and premium (!!!) scotch.

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This year, we originally planned to stay in the Sequoia National Forest, but due to the U.S. government furlough which closed all national parks (a blessing in disguise for us), we detoured, discovered, and hung out at the Moses Gulch campground in the Mountain Home State Forest. This place proved to be freaking awesome. It had all of the same amenities of Sequoia (big trees, fire pits, and threats of dangerous bears) but with less people.

The event itself was pretty casual, in the sense that there was no set activities planned — simply, show up with a decent bottle of scotch to share. And really, it was exactly what I needed to decompress and get away. While most people stayed 3 days, I had to cut my trip short by a day due to work obligations (sucked!).

On the first day, we really did not do much. I left home around 8am and got to the campsite around noon or so, just when KP and FP finished their lunch. After I unpacked my car, we caught up for a bit, and then proceeded to do what we do best – drink scotch and smoke cigars (ah, it was like we never left the city!). After some time, JB and DK showed up. While lounging, we could hear the sound of water nearby. So, once we finished our cigars, we went on a short hike to explore the area. It was a pretty leisurely walk, and the weather was fantastic (mid-70s). We saw big trees, pine cones, a river, a waterfall, big rocks, and even a young couple mid-coitus (!).

When we got back to the campsite, AS, BS, SV, and KR finally arrived (they took a detour to a local BBQ competition; of course, the gentlemen that they are, brought some to share with us.). After everyone got settled, we all brought out our scotch for the trip. It was a pretty impressive lineup. Before dinner, I had mini drams of everything. In the end, the Single Cask Nation bottling of 12 year old Glen Moray was my favorite. It was a very balanced whisky.

When everyone’s stomach started growling, JB and DK made carne asada tacos… for all of us! It was fantastic! We would spend the rest of that night around the campfire, talking about random things, laughing, and having a great time!

Admittedly, I was the first to knock out. Oh well. Though the night was cold (next time, I will bring gloves!), I woke up the next morning refreshed.

Rising pretty early along with me was KP. We hung out by the fire and had coffee. Because I had missed out on the bulk of the previous night’s festivities, I made s’mores and  had a dram of Campfire by Sea Cliffs – a unique 9 year old Ardbeg bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

When everyone finally got up, we had a proper breakfast, which consisted of eggs, bacon, and tortilla cooked in bacon fat. It was all delicious! With food in our tummies, we went off to do some hiking. We settled on the Adam and Eve Trail, the Hercules tree, and finally, Sunset Point. We took a lot of touristy photos.

Getting hungry, we went back to camp. Because I had to get to work the next day, I ate something small, said bye to everyone, and headed back home.

Here are some photo highlights of the trip.

The drive from the bottom of the mountain, in Springville, to the campsite took about an hour.

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Note, a mini sports car is not the most practical vehicle for camping, but with all of the curvy roads, at least where it was paved, this mid-engine toy was a blast to drive. However, with no spare tire or cellular phone reception in the mountains, it was a tremendous risk taking this car. Thank God, I was kept safe.

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Upon arrival, I was pleased to see my tent already set up, and all that was left for me to do was to pour myself a dram. =) In this case, it was The Glenlivet Nadurra, a 16 year old single malt scotch, which is, in my opinion, the best expression from The Glenlivet.

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I was sharing the tent with KP and FP and they showed up the day before. This was the second time I used that tent and it continues to be awesome. For those looking for a good tent, LL Bean makes awesome ones. This 6-person dome accommodated two queen size air mattresses in the main area with no problems.

While waiting for everyone else to show up, KP and I kicked back with some Habanos cigars –  Montecristo No. 2.

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Our party took over two camp sites. This is the view from the fire pit of the one that I was not staying at.

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We went for a walk near our campsite, and discovered this picturesque waterfall.

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a big rock

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Encountered deer on the way to hiking the Adam and Eve Loop Trail.

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big tree and an empty scotch glass

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Photo of  scotch left on the morning of Day 2. These arrived at the campsite full. A pretty impressive lineup!

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From left to right, we indulged in a 9 year old Laphroaig bottled by Signatory, a standard 10 year old Laphroaig, a standard 16 year old The Glenlivet Nadurra, an amazing Chieftain’s bottling of 22 year old Mortlach, an organic Benromach, a 9 year old Ardbeg bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a 12 year old Bunnahabhain also bottled by Signatory, my favorite 12 year old Glen Moray bottled by Single Cask Nation, and a 14 year old Laphroaig bottled by Chieftain’s. Outstanding!

I can’t wait to do this again next year.

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. […] I had an incredible time in 2013, and was bummed to miss it last year; I forget the reason why I could not make it. In any case, I made up for my absence this year by doubling my camping trip to 4 days and 3 nights. Last time, we stayed at Moses Gulch, which was nice and peaceful. […]

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