I found this place in the Weekend Sherpa newsletter. There is a small state park with a campground, close to the ocean. And there is a commercial park farther inland – Gualala River Redwood Park. I was very concerned about the closeness of the ocean due to cold. But I was also concerned about the commercial park. Usually those parks are tight and overpriced. Some people on the internet were complaining about mosquitoes. Well, that’s nature. So I had to take a gamble of sorts to book that campground. I took out two backpacking (read – small) sites for the total of 4 families. Eventually only two came.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Start driving. The distance is closer than Tahoe and also the direction is different. We made a decent progress right up to Sunset. Then we went into this winding and no reception area. It was dark and very winding. Took about an hour to get through last section of the PCH. Arrived at around 10PM. Girish was there helped me set things up.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Morning start. Regular breakfast and stuff. The mornings in these areas are cold and foggy, which wasn’t bad concidering the heat we were getting lately.
All I had planned was to go to the river next to the campground. Just enjoy the nice weather and nature. No cell phone reception here. Sam liked to play with numerous rocks there. He was happy. Then we had lunch. I managed to get him to sleep. Walked round a bit. And then it was dinner time. We just had fire, watched the kids play – just enjoy the nature. The benefit of this campground is that it had some amount of play things – swings and slide, and ping-pong table. Enough to occupy little kids and big kids.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Sunday started with a little rain! There wasn’t much to do but just pack and drive home.
It was hard to get the boys out. We stopped at a tiny local beach right outside Gualala. The weather was great – warm and sunny. But the water was still freezing. It was interesting to see all those sand crabs on the beach. After the beach we went back to Gualala for some lunch and headed home.
National atomic testing museum, part of the Smithsonian, is right next to the Las Vegas airport. One more interesting thing to do in Vegas if you are not into gambling or shopping.
Another little gem in our bustling with museums capital – National Bonsai Museum. The museum sprouted into life in 1976 when the people of Japan presented Secretary of State Henry Kissinger with a gift of 53 bonsai trees to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. (This wasn’t the first time Japan gave the U.S. a botanical gift—in 1912 it sent over the 3,000 cherry blossom trees that still decorate the National Mall).
Tucked in the back of the lobby of the Drug Enforcement Agency headquarters in Arlington, Virginia is a public museum detailing the effects of drug addiction and the law enforcement agency’s history in fighting their manufacture and trafficking.
The museum is located one block north of the Pentagon City metro stop. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is free.
The U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation was created in 1988 when a local physician wrote to the Titusville City Council suggesting a project to preserve space history and to honor men and women associated with America’s space program. With a downtown redevelopment program in progress to enhance the riverfront, the suggestion was welcomed by the council and the Titusville Community Redevelopment Agency. The idea resulted in the formation of the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation, a non-profit organization.
There will definitely be busy visit to Florida at some point. I just hope I can convince my kid that Disney world is overrated.
Went to Lake Tahoe for some car camping. Two nights required Friday off. It was good because the drive to was just insane – 6 hours. We arrived late, way late. And Sam was just besides himself. It was a difficult sleep for all of us, but especially Rita. I don’t think we should do it again. Next year I will buy a 3 person tent with more gear for Sam so he can sleep properly. I hope he will sleep by that time.
Saturday, September 10
In the morning we eventually rolled out of our tent and went around. The campground was clean and neat. The bathroom was a bit far though and also the water source. There were, however, a lot of edible pine nuts on the ground. A small nut with one wing. It would rotate on the way down allowing the seed to be flown further with a possible wind. Unlike the nuts I was founding around the Bay Area with ~1mm shell thickness, these local Sierra nuts were just like sunflower seeds. And they were everywhere. So after some setup we went to the local West Shore Market for some food. Rita gotten a burrito and I had some pastry and coffee.
Out team-mates woke up a bit late. The other team-mates weren’t coming either. So, after some food, I picked a trail to hike and went on to it.
The trail was Rubicon Trail in the Emerald Bay SP. I was hoping to drive to the park, leave the car, and hike as far as possible along the Emerald Bay and come back. The map showed the trail to be on the flatter side. The trail also lead passed some sort of Vikingsholm Castle. I actually never been there so it should be interesting.
Apparently a lot of people had the same idea because all the possible parking spots around Emerald Bay on Ca89 were taken. Well, we also started a bit late. My plan was to bypass all of this madness and park somewhere in the Eagle Point Campground and walk from there.
The campground looked very nice. It seemed to have been recently remodeled. It was also closed. There were a couple of parking spots right next to the closed gate. At least we gotten lucky there. The hike started on asphalt. I thought I would just go to the end of the campground and start the trail. However, the campground ended, but trail didn’t start. In reality the Rubicon Trail starting from a small obscure amphitheater used for some presentations. I’ve missed it on the first pass, but then I found it. The trail itself was very nice – relatively flat and shaded. We were able to get to the water quite quickly. Then we looked around the visitor’s center and just stayed on the beautiful beach.
There were some kids playing in the water. Sam was a bit shy first. But then he stated doing almost the same things as those kids. I wanted to leave sooner, but Rita wanted to stay. In the retrospect it was better because we skipped the main heat time. The way back wasn’t that hard – just slowly climbing the trail.
We arrived to the campground to the full active cooking by our friends. Just the fire wasn’t there. There was enough food to feed several groups like ours. A lot of booze too. Kids managed to occupy themselves relatively well. They also didn’t try to get bare hands into the fire. I was surprised Sam didn’t do it.
It was interesting to see the difference in age. Even Ayan, who is a bit more than a year older than Sam, focused on other people and communicated. Sam, on the other hand, was rather absentmindedly picking things to play with, without much direction. Give him another year or so.
Sunday, September 11
The day was supposed to be rather slow. We would slowly do something and then start the long drive back. As a result we slowly packed our things and wet to Kings Beach on the North shore. It was recommended by Girish. Sam was a bit reluctant to get into water.But eventually he even started running after birds, which didn’t end well with Sam falling into water. I also took a dip, finally, to wash away my sweat and dust. That was nice if a bit “refreshing”.
The drive home was uneventful and fast.