Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Camping in the Los Padres National Forest!

We had such a great camping trip this weekend with our friends the Hoffman's!  We went about 3 hours south to Los Padres National Forest and camped in the Memorial campground.  We purposely picked this area because it was a primitive camping area - no running water, no power, first come first served.  We really didn't want to be right next to a bunch of people and pay a bunch of money at the state parks.  It was so nice!  There were very few other people at the campground and on Saturday we were the only people at the nearby swimming hole.  The swimming hole itself was awesome!  Perfect for the kids and it had a rope swing and big rocks for jumping for the big kids.  We spent much time there.
Here's a panorama of our camp site
My words to Zac, "Take my picture - I'm camping!"

We were making some observations about camping in CA as opposed to WA.
Pros to camping in CA: it's dry - we slept in the tent without the rain fly and could look at the stars from our sleeping bags!  The terrain is beautiful with tons of amazing rock formations.  Most of the city people go to the developed campsites which leaves the primitive ones open.
Cons: ticks - I suppose this is true anywhere, but it's a big issue here (we were all tick free).  Poison oak - if you stay on the trails you are fine. Rattlesnakes - they are found in all parts of CA.  Our friend Gabe spotted a big snake at the swimming hole on Sunday.  Someone else that was there had an ax and chopped off it's head (since there were kids and dogs all around that area).  It was pretty crazy to see one in the wild and hear it rattle!
Yup - Keanan's holding a (dead) rattlesnake

It seems that Keanan and Kyla have reached the age where camping is now fun instead of a lot of work.  We could have gone many more days.  It also seems that Keanan has transitioned from little kid to big kid.  He was very independent and adventurous on this trip, in a good way.  I was impressed at how he went off the rope swing at the swimming hole and jumped off some of the big rocks into the water without much thought.  They are growing.  *sigh*

This is our last week of Maker Camp with friends, and on Friday we start our road trip to Washington!

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