Tuesday, August 4, 2015

summer road trip - part 2

little basin state park
we left paso robles tuesday morning and made the 2 hour drive to santa cruz.  we did our grocery shopping here where there is a target and trader joe's - felt like home.

it's fun shopping with the whole family. ok, maybe not fun.  i have to describe what we need and where to find it and then send them back if they got the wrong thing. but it's helpful to have five people going to five different places at once.

bobby packed the ice chest and then we drove another 45 minutes to the campground.  little basin is part of the big basin redwood state park. and that is as much as i know about it.  well, that and it's beautiful, secluded, quiet, used to be a corporate retreat for hewlett packard filled with bluejays, mosquitos and racoons. and it was the only camping we could find for this week - so we went with it.

but seriously! this was unbelievable.  our first campsite was nice but too small for the five of us, two tents, chairs, kitchen and it was by the stream that was not flowing but covered in mosquitos.  we spent one night here and then bobby requested that we move to a bigger site - there was literally no no one else camping on our side of the campground.

we picked up our tents and walked them across the road.

to a deluxe apartment in the sky... to a more spacious spot.  we had room all around us to spread out and play, still close enough to the restrooms and not too far from the entrance - pretty ideal if you ask me.

we turned our little spot into our home rather quickly stringing up battery operated lights.  these were helpful when it got pitch black and you were walking back from the bathrooms trying to find your site.  and it made it feel special.

we had no plans during the four days we were here, other than relax, play games and explore.  we had some wicked bananagram tournaments and got vicious on phase 10.

we have a good set up for cooking.  bobby's been camping since he was a little kid and has tools that he's been using for a long time. i am always surprised when we camp like this and i can get by with one pot and one pan. granted the meals are simple and don't require lots of prep but it's a good reminder to not get bogged down in the things and just make life simple. we also set up our dishwashing system, sofia does the washing, andrew does the rinsing and jordan dries. who needs a dishwasher?

our meal planning is exactly what we do at home. i came up with a menu that included breakfast and lunch for the week.  we made a list trying to keep the ingredients to a minimum. we bought salad kits, meat/chicken that was already seasoned, and pre-made salsa, guacamole, and pasta sauce. simple and quick. this night we had prepared bbq ribs and tri-tip from trader joe's, a salad kit that i added strawberries to and the kids favorite shells and cheese mix.

the rangers warned us about critters coming into the camp to eat food so we kept everything in the provided bear box in our campsite - no bears in the area but that's what they call it.  one night after dinner we were playing a game and had yet to take the trash to the trash can. andrew looked over and said, there's a really big cat under the table. i looked to see it wasn't a cat, but a big fat raccoon tearing open the trash bag and eating the scraps of fruit.  the kids and i jumped on the table and watched bobby wrestle the bag away and yell at it to go away. we were no help. everyone decided it was bed time after that. 

we had eggs, pancakes, breakfast burritos and cereal for breakfast. we also had lots of fruit and trail mix to munch on. lunch was ham and turkey sandwiches, chips and fruit.  easy to make ahead and pack in our backpacks.

 you cannot go camping without making s'mores.  we had the biggest marshmallows you have ever seen to roast over the campfire.

 they made the s'mores extra gooey.  our secret ingredient is fresh fruit.  bananas and strawberries are the best.

i also bought some specialty chocolate for fun; caramel brownie and molten lava cake. but i've heard a reece's peanut butter cup is the way to go. something for next time.

our campground sold these chubby cubby ice creams.  two cookies sandwiched on some chocolate ice cream and covered in chocolate. the kids hated them.

big basin state park was about 20 minutes away from this campground. it's much bigger with lots of good hiking trails and natural sights.  our first visit we took a 2.5 mile hike through the park headed toward one of the waterfalls.

i have so many photos of trees. tall trees and lots of sunlight peaking through. it was awesome.

the waterfall wasn't as impressive due to the lack of water.  but we made it there and then made the trek back.

so much green.

one of the days we were there we saw a group who were hiking from the park to the ocean over a few days. they were dressed in pioneer type clothing and carried all of their supplies in wagons that they took turns pushing. kind of a cool things to see.

the park also had this cut out from a tree that illustrated the growth of the tree in relation to significant historical event.

it was impressive.

this was our last morning in the campground. everyone was packing up and moving out as a big group of 400 campers were coming in for the weekend.

 we went to the campfire put on by the rangers at the park.  we've been to a few of these and it's always fun to hear the stories and learn a little more about the place we are staying in.  the kids used native american tools to start a fire, or at least try.

they also played games with simple tools and rules.

we got to use the telescope to look at the moon.  i loved the skyline right as the sun was going down.

we did a lot of reading in our tents, to get away from the bugs. nights were cold - at least for me and it's the hardest thing for me to cope with when we're camping. i get cold, really cold in the tent. i need a ridiculous amount of blankets, a sweatshirt, long pants and sometimes even a hood or i hide under the covers to warm up my nose.

on our way out of town we stopped at a local deli to get sandwiches and then went to the park to eat. a park with a beautiful stream.

stunning views on the drive home.

we spent a lot of time in the car together. we don't have a tv or dvd player and jordan is the only one who listens to his iPod in the car. we have to agree on music, find things to talk about and look out the window at the world.  we couldn't wait to get home on friday night to unpack and do a load of laundry. saturday morning it's back in the car for part 3 of our trip.

1 comment:

Gina Boulanger said...

I love your kind of camping! Looks like a great trip.