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Westy Trip 2013 :: Part 1

August 21, 2013

Yup! We did it again! We packed the kids (and the dog) into the van and headed out on a long camping trip. This year our trip was much shorter than last year, only ten days, but we still had a great time.

Day 1:  Things had been super busy at our house in the weeks before our departure date, so we didn’t have much of a chance to get things ready before Day 1. It ended up taking us most of the day to get packed up and get the house ready for house-sitters. We finally left mid-afternoon and drove to Butano State Park. We had heard great things about this campground and were not disappointed. The boys were thrilled to be camping again and quickly got on their bikes to explore the campground. Peso went wild! Running around sniffing, he was excited to explore a new place too. We took a walk to an area with lots of downed trees and there was much fun to be had making fortresses.

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Lesson learned: Getting ready for a ten day camping trip the day you plan on leaving is a lot of work!

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Day 2: We woke up and drove to the coast. First we headed to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and had a look around.

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We were disappointed to discover that we couldn’t take Peso to the lighthouse or to Año Nuevo to see the elephant seals. He couldn’t even stay in the car so we drove to Santa Cruz for lunch and then to Henry W. Coe State Park to camp. It was very dry and dusty up there.  Sam and I had fun playing a card game from our younger years while the kids played in the dirt. Boy were they dirty!  Lesson learned: Find out about dog regulations before you show up at a place.

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Day 3: We left Henry Coe right after breakfast and started the long drive inland.

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We knew we wanted to camp in the Sierras by a lake, but there was currently a big forest fire in the area which limited our options. Luckily, we got spot at the Spring Cove Campground at Bass Lake. We then proceeded to spend most of the afternoon by the lake. Lesson learned: Nothing feels better than jumping in the lake after a long drive.

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Day 4: We bought an inflatable raft and tested it out at Willow Creek.  The boys had a great time exploring the creek and going down the natural water slide. Peso and I hung out by the lake and worked on his swimming. I’m not sure if he likes it…

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Lesson learned: Cooking dinner and washing the dishes surrounded by a swarm of yellow jackets is not fun.

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Day 5: We got a boat! After eating breakfast at a restaurant (no yellow jackets!) we headed to the boat rental place and got ourselves a fishing boat for the day. We boated all around Bass Lake stopping at different coves and beaches.  The  boys took me up Willow Creek to show me what they had discovered the day before. In the afternoon Sam and Oliver boated around with a friend. Burgers and ice cream for dinner!

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Lesson learned: Always get a boat (even if they are hard to get into by yourself)!

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