We chose Samuel P Taylor because of the Redwoods that were said to be all over the place and the trails everywhere. The reviews also said the sites were packed together and that seemed to be the case with most of the sites.
When we pulled up, the attendant gave us two choices. One was a non-reservable (Site 45) and the other (Site 31) had been abandoned because someone had gotten ill. Sit 45 was on a rise and was a decent size for a 4-person tent. But it looked directly over another site right next to it and then the road. The other site, I can't remember the number, had a very large group in it so that didn't seem attractive. Site 31 was very small with room for 2 small (maybe 4-person) tents on either end. It was basically connected to Site 32 and divided by only a wooden fence. So the two sites together would be perfect for 2 families to camp together. That actually seemed to be the theme for the entire campground... that you need a couple families or couples to camp together or you're in strangers' spaces. We chose Site 31. There wasn't anyone is Site 32 when we got there and that was nice. No one ever showed up to stay in that site so that was even better!
We got our 3-person tent set up then went for a walk through the Redwoods. Amazing! Just amazing! It was getting to the end of the day by the time we were out there so we didn't get to go too far. Back at the campsite, I kept thinking that it felt like it was going to rain. So eventually I put up my Kelty Noah's Tarp so that our chairs were covered such that we could still sit out by the fire. It did start to drizzly but it was very pleasant! The tree coverage also kept us from getting wet much of the time.
We went into the tent a little earlier than usual because the rain got a little harder. We watched "The Closer," our current series while listening to the rain. After awhile I started to worry that maybe the tent wasn't totally waterproof. I think it actually was waterproof but there was some sagging in the top and touching the mesh. I decided to go out and move the Kelty over the tent just to be safe.
As an aside, we haven't used the 3-person tent (REI Taj) in several years because with the two dogs we needed the REI Kingdom 6 ("Queendom") to have our side and also room to keep the 2 dogs separated. After Cacciatore passed away, we kept using the "Queendom" because Blue, as she got older, needed to wander more. So that tent gave her the space to do that. Without the pups, a) we didn't want to use the tent and not have them with us, b) we just didn't need that space, and c) that site would not likely have been able to handle such a large tent.
Getting the Kelty moved in the dark and drizzle was a little more difficult than I expected. Bozo helped keep it steady and we eventually got it all worked out. With the tent covered and the hour late, we headed off to bed again to sleep in that beautiful rainy sound that I have missed so much since moving from Minnesota!
|REI Taj with Kelty Noah's Tarp above|
Back home relatively early to enjoy our Sunday evening before returning to our weekdays. It was a good and easy camping trip. I wouldn't say that we enjoyed ourselves all that much as it truly was a "get it over with" campout.... being our first without either of the dogs. But it was relaxing to be out in the fresh air around such beautiful trees. Also, the people in the campground were all very quiet with only a couple spurts of music and no loud voices at night. Honestly, that's a first since we moved to Cali. I guess it will get easier but we are still in the stage of not wanting it to be easier... we want Blue back!