Sunday, August 26, 2012

Salt Point State Park with DD-l - Day 3

As usual, the final day of car camping is mainly about taking things down and getting everything back in the vehicle. We did spend some morning time having breakfast together. Then Natacha and Morgan took off to hike up to the Pygmy Forest. I was content to sit and read for awhile as I had not gotten much chance to do that on this trip.

The noisy people were again noisy. But it was funny because I made the comment at about 1am that they were being quiet and how nice that was. And then they got noisy. Geez! Shoulda kept my mouth shut! I think we all slept pretty well though.

We all set off on our own trips home. Rachel and Natacha made it out first. Morgan followed not long after with plans to take a different long scenic way home. Bozo and I finished up and got the campsite cleaned up better than it was when we got there.

We had lunch in Jenner at Cafe Aquatica. The food was good. Huge sandwiches. But sadly I could not taste the difference between the albacore tuna and the chicken salad sandwich. I think that's a problem! But whichever one I ended up eating was good. Bozo liked hers too. lol

Then it was a beeline home. Blue seemed to be back to not feeling well after having an okay evening. So we got home early in the evening. Got everything put away, had some dinner, and relaxed.

I think it was a pretty successful first time planning in Cali trip for us!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Salt Point State Park with DD-l - Day 2

Is there some rule that there must be one group of A-holes in every campground that stays up late drinking and being very loud?? I think there must! They were in the Upper Loop and somewhere behind us. I couldn't believe no one near them went and told them to be quiet. 3:00am was the last time I saw so I don't know if they finally passed out or if I fell asleep. But Blue was having a difficult night too. She was up several times whining and needing to go outside.

Needless to say I was not jumping up out of bed with tons of happy energy this morning! Once I'm up, I'm good. But it was difficult getting out of the warm bag. Fortunately we have some fire making tutorials happen so I didn't have to be the one to make it. A benefit of group camping!

It was a nice morning! I loved seeing the differences in how we all prepare food. Natacha and Rachel definitely win the "Creative Cooking" award! For breakfast they had, at home, put oatmeal into glass jars with soy milk and let it set until it was time to eat. They also made hard boiled eggs and shared those with Morgan. I cut up potatoes and cooked them with olive oil before cracking 3 eggs over them for Bozo and me to enjoy.

We relaxed around the fire for much of the morning. It was foggy and cool. Much different than at home! Then they all started playing the game Bonanza, which is about farming, while I got ready for the flower hike Natacha, Morgan, and I were going on with the State Park ranger.

We got a ride from Rachel over to the Visitor Center at Gerstle Campground and the hike started at 1pm. We hiked all along the coast up on cliffs and saw many flowers, including now dormant ones. We also saw seals lounging on the rocks in the water and what is now my favorite plant and reminds me of the Lorax trees, the Sea Palm. They get slammed by wave after wave and pop right back up every time with their lovely leaves all in order. I'm sure there's some message about resilience in there somewhere and is why I like them so much. We got back to the Visitor Center around 4pm and lo and behold, up came the sun! We watched a 10-minute video about the park and then Natacha wanted to hurry back to camp to see if there was enough sun to use their solar cooker! So off we walked. We hiked our first hill of the day and all of us were a little out of breath! lol We had to cross Highway 1 to get to our campground... not an easy feat! But we got across and walked single file along the road for about a half mile to Woodside and then walked along the campground roads to get to our site. More little hills!

None of us realized how long we would be hiking. The ranger kept asking if we were okay continuing. She said we went further than other groups are willing or able to go and ended up at Stump Beach Cove before heading back. There was a couple with us as well so 6 people total. I only took an Odwalla bar with me and Nalgene full of water. The others had also brought small snacks. So we were all quite famished when we get back to the campsite!

Rachel had already pulled out the solar cooker and was getting things started. We weren't sure how long the sun would hold out but it was fun watching them get everything together and then move the solar cooker from place to place as the sun moved. They ended up getting the cheese melted but the miso did not get warm enough. So they had a variation of their planned tortilla dinner and put what wasn't finished cooking into aluminum foil and into the fire to finish for tomorrow. They again got the creativity award! Bozo grilled chicken brats while I made organic mac 'n' cheese. Morgan had mac 'n' cheese also. It's just easy! But I might have been inspired by R&N to get a little more creative for our next trip. Just takes slightly more planning.

The rest of the evening was spent cleaning up and sitting around the fire talking. I was hopeful that the A-holes had either left or were too tired to stay up all night again. I know better than to think that the younguns don't recover enough to do it all over again the next night. But maybe someone said something to them. Who knows!?

Blue slept a lot of the day. We talked about leaving early if she didn't improve and she seemed to perk up a little in the evening. She even barked at Morgan for getting too close. lol So we decided to stay the final night.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Salt Point State Park with DD-l - Day 1

I organized my first camping trip in a long time for a group. My first in California. I did organize a couple in Minnesota but it always ended up being Bozo, me, and Nancy. lol For this one, I organized through dd-l and had about 8 people interested originally. We had 5 people show up. Not too bad for my first effort!

Bozo and I drove up to Salt Point State Park with Emma Blue on Friday morning. I wanted to be sure we got two sites adjacent to each other and close enough that we weren't all separated. Morgan said she would be there around 3pm and Rachel and Natacha would be there in the evening because of work.

The drive was great! Not much traffic at all except over the Hwy 37 causeway. I still don't understand the stoplight they placed at the end of that! But otherwise an easy drive. No cows on the oceanside road this time!

We took out time looking at sites. Though my reservation was for Woodside Upper Loop, the ranger said we could choose a site on either the Upper or the Lower Loop. That worked out well as we found the perfect sites in the Lower Loop. Sites 51 and 53 are basically one large site. They have a U-driveway connecting them and no foliage between them. There seemed enough space for our monstrous tent made more monstrous by the "garage" I purchased as an additional vestibule.

We got everything set up and did a little pouting as this is our first camping trip since Cacciatore passed away. Blue seems a little weak too so we never know when her last one will be.

Then we built a fire, read, and just relaxed. It is very nice to be away! And even more nice to be in cool weather away from the valley heat!

Two O'clock came and went. We started wondering if Morgan was going to make it. We don't know her and didn't have a number for her so there was no way to check. But she did have my number... no service up there though. lol I put signs up at the entrance with our site numbers as well as a sign near the campsite post with a light pointing at it.

Morgan arrived around 8pm after taking a very long scenic route with several stops. It was still light and she has a backpacking tent so it was pretty easy for her to find a little out of the way spot to set up. As we were chatting, Rachel and Natacha arrived about 9am. For them it was a dark tent set up. Bozo stood with them and held a light so they could see what they were doing. But I think they have a very good spot as well. There's is a 4-person tent.

Blue is acting a little strangely. She had a bit of a collapse while trying to poop and then stayed in her puppy tent most of the evening.

Not the most exciting day to blog or read about. But the relaxation and even some time for Bozo and me to be alone was definitely necessary. Some excitement tomorrow maybe!