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