Wednesday, May 5, 2010
After all these years that I've been saying, wishing, hoping, thinking about going camping we finally did!!! HOORAY! And we had a wonderful time!
Now for those who are of the hotel variety, I'm sure there isn't much to be impressed about concerning a simple camping trip. (I shouldn't say anything bad about hotels. I like them too!) But I've got a list of reasons why camping has been on my mind for so long and why I've got the bug already to go back.
1. Childhood memories. One of my favorite childhood memories as a kid was my dad taking my brother and I to the Kern River on camping trips. It was a long ride in the back of the pick up truck (couldn't do that nowadays I guess) but once we got there there is just a certain spontaneous fun to exploring around and under trees, throwing rocks in the stream, and eating outside for a few days. Sure your feet get cold at night, but you're in a cool sleeping bag and you get to see stars at night and a sunrise in the morning.
I really really want to make these memories with my own kids. I want to be that family that goes and sees new places, pitches a tent and eats outside. I want my kids to see stars and trees and have those same childhood joys.
2. Nature and a change of scenery. I miss nature. A lot. My world is very suburban and it seems to get more claustrophobic all the time. When I grew up in San Dimas it was just in its beginning stages of becoming a developed city. There were still many agriculture plots with oranges or strawberries growing. I suppose my heart craves a slower pace of life, and yet the environment around me has only gotten busier with time. I am grateful to live in this part of Pomona that borders Claremont because there are a lot of nice trees here and nice homes, but it isn't the same as open space.
Also, because I am an at-home mom, I spend a huge chunk of my life inside of this house. I have been craving a major change of scenery for a long time!
3. Frugality. I always enjoy things more when I know it isn't costing me too much money. The lower cost of camping ups its fun-factor for me by a ton. Without the stress of thinking about the money, I can more fully enjoy the whole experience.
Now up to this point the main things that have prevented a weekend vacay in the woods are either pregnancy or baby related (how do we camp with a young baby???) or just our inexperience with equipment and such. There have also been work/schedule conflicts too.
Perhaps my dad took pity on us, or perhaps he was mostly sick and tired of hearing all the "talk but no action" in regards to the Oh-how-I-want-to-go-camping-we-need-to-go-camping-why-don't-we-go-camping discussions that have taken place over the years, but either which way he took the bull by the horns and organized this thing.
Thank you Dad!
He made the reservations, organized all the food, took me to buy a tent, bought us an air mattress, brought the tarp, tent stakes, and a bunch of other stuff. It was my job to pack clothes and bring my kids. And Jason too! Whew, that was tough!
Anyways, we decided to go to Malibu Creek State Park for our trip. It is local, has restrooms and showers, and has the type of scenery I was going for (wooded as opposed to beach). Here is the State Parks website where I searched for camping facilities http://www.parks.ca.gov/ If you know of other good websites that offer campsite searches, please let me know.
We arrived on Saturday and stayed until Monday. Here are the pics!
The Super Cool Tent
Oooh an Instant Tent! The box claims you can set it up in one minute.
It took about 20, but not bad for a first try.
It's big. 10'x14'
Big enough to fit Nattie's Pack n Play. There she is taking a nap.
Big windows! What a great view.
Dad cooked all the meals. And washed all the dishes. LUXURY! He made beef stew, brought hot dogs, for breakfast it was eggs, bacon and potatoes one morning and pancakes and sausage the next. Yum yum!
We saw several different types of fuzzy caterpillar.
There were lots of gophers poking their heads out of holes to say hello.
AND we saw a huge rattlesnake. Didn't get a picture of it though (the above is a web pic). Jason and I were walking and a man came up to us and asked if we knew the number for the Ranger Station because he saw a rattlesnake. He motioned for us to follow him and sure enough, there was a very healthy snake slithering through one of of the campsites that bordered the mountainside. I'm guessing said snake got hungry and wanted to give a go at one of the many gophers.
Jason, Dad and I had several sandbag tossing tournaments. This game is addicting!
Nattie was one dirty baby. Note to self: Next time bring the stroller so you have somewhere to sit her down when you don't want her sitting in/playing in/eating dirt.
(We never did get a pic with all six of us, but I will next time.)
Posted by Jamie at 10:09 PM