Posts Tagged With: camping

The Space in Between

“I wonder if this is insulated,” Abby questions.

Why?

“Because I might consider sleeping in here!”

These past two nights we have been camping as we journey north from Yosemite to the Redwoods–first at Lassen Volcanic National Park and then Castle Crags California State Park. So I guess our nights have been a little rougher than our stay at the Chalet View Lodge in Maybe, California where I last posted.

Lassen wasn’t a terrible campground. After we hiked around some bubbling steam pools, we stayed close to a pretty lake, and they had nice bathrooms. They even had a small closet area with a large sink for washing dishes, where Abby made the opening comment. The problem was the tiny bugs. They stuck to our clothes, arms and legs the whole afternoon and while we were eating dinner. They were very annoying, and no matter how much we brushed them off, they kept coming back. However, we found refuge in the dish washing closet, thus prompting Abby to consider sleeping indoors. Thankfully the bugs disappeared as it got dark and we went to bed without any further incident.

We have our camping routine down. We pull up to our camping space in the late afternoon. While some of us quickly put up the two tents (the bigger one for the girls and the smaller one for the boys), others work on dinner preparation. We slowly move all of our food and scented items into the bear locker, which have all had a different kind of locking mechanism. Not difficult to open, but you have to be “smarter than your average bear,” as Caroline put it. Sometimes I help; sometimes I go for a run. There are more than enough hands to go around.

After dinner and dishes (I wash and Caroline and Abby dry), we usually pause and hang out for a bit. At Lassen we sat by the lake and skipped rocks, and at Castle Crags we drove up to Vista Point where we could look out at the scenery around us. The Crags were pretty cool, but the dormant volcano Mt. Shasta was very impressive. At over 14,000 feet, it towers in the distance.

Sometimes we get to shower (state parks!), but other times we go straight to roasting marshmallows for s’mores. We recently bought Hershey’s special dark chocolate for the s’mores, and we’re wondering why we never got it to begin with. It makes them taste much better, especially with peanut butter. And yes, we do have s’mores every night. Evan would be quite upset if we didn’t.

He was also thankful that the only hiking we did Wednesday was a short quarter-mile walk to the scenic overlook in Castle Crags. Since it was rather hot, we decided to take a break from hiking and ended up visiting with one of our friends who is volunteering at a nearby camp in California for the summer. For a trip all the way out in California, we have seen quite a few familiar faces.

It’s hard to believe our journey is more than halfway over. It has been quite an adventure, exciting and interesting, yet also a little tiring. The forest moon of Endor here we come!

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I’m Divin’ In

“It’s a little warmer if you keep coming further in,” my dad beckons to Abby and me as we dared to enter the cold water.

We’d been enjoying the beautiful scenery at Lake Tahoe while reading our books, but it wasn’t until the end of our visit that Abby, Caroline and I decided to brave the elements and get all the way in. And even though the water was chilly and we didn’t stay in for very long, it was definitely worth the plunge. It’s not every day that we get to swim in something so clean and pretty, even if it is a bit chilly.

Out of all of the places we’ve been so far on this trip, I think Lake Tahoe has been my favorite. This huge fresh water lake is crystal clear and displays a beautiful blue color that gets either darker blue or greener depending on the depth of the water. Picturesque mountains encircle the lake, their rocks providing perfect places for people to jump off into the lake. In the distance we could see where the ski trails would be during the winter.

For the past two days we’ve been camping (hence the space between posts). Our first night, we stayed just outside Yosemite in a fairly rugged campground. However, last night we camped in a California state park at Lake Tahoe. Besides being a beautiful area, we also had the opportunity to take hot showers, and it didn’t get quite as cold as it did while we were in Yosemite. In other words, we actually slept.

A question I often ask people is whether they prefer the mountains or the beach. Both are beautiful in their own way, and I have a hard time choosing which is my favorite. But at Lake Tahoe, I didn’t have to. True, the beach at the lake was a little different from the Atlantic Ocean. The water was colder and the only waves came from the boats’ wakes, but it still was a warm, sunny place with a large expanse of water. Perfect for reading a book and soaking my feet. And I’ve never gone to the beach and then hiked in the same afternoon before.

My parents and I hiked part of the Rubicon Trail, which I had run on the evening before. (Side note: if you run on a trail, other tourists assume you are a local). It wasn’t very steep, but it offered great views of the lake.

Lake Tahoe also provided a pleasant break from the more activity filled Yosemite visits. Evan certainly enjoyed playing in the water, and the rest of us definitely appreciated this more relaxing adventure before we climbed in the car on our way to more sight seeing adventures. Who knows what awaits us at Lassen Volcanic Park?

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