Friday, August 17, 2007

Camping Adventures

We took 2 camping trips this month, one in Tahoe Aug 10-11 (1 night) and one on Angel Island Aug 23-25 (2 nights). The Tahoe trip was just the 3 of us and was our practice for Angel Island where we wouldn't be able to bail to our car (30-40 min hike and ferry ride from car). My Dad (Grampa Martin/Galieber) flew out on a free Southwest voucher and joined us for Angel Island and we all had a great time. Reagan enjoyed both trips as long as we were hanging around the camp site or exploring rather than stuffing her into the hiking backpack or bike trailer.

We lost a bit of sleep the first night in Tahoe, waking up every few seconds to make sure she didn't need another layer or to put her hat back on her (still) bald head. We had plans for 2 nights in Tahoe but decided there was no sense losing sleep again ... we knew she could sleep fine in the tent and we'd already done everything we planned to do - gondola at Squaw for dinner with a view, hiking part of the trail to Mt. Tallac, and a buffet dinner at the top of Harrah's Casino in South Lake Tahoe - but I like buffets! Notice a lot of eating and a little hiking in our plans ... and I wonder why I can't drop the rest of the weight!!

Here, we stopped hiking to let Reagan have some fun... little rock climber
Good morning ... this fun jumpy bed is still here!

Anyway, on Angel Island, our view was fantastic and it was really wild to look at San Francsisco and both bridges and Alcatraz while we sat at a camp site roughing it. We saw tons of Deer (or as Reagan calls them, "Dee") and they were so much less skiddish than usual since they don't have any predators on the island. We also saw lots of birds (Reagan flaps her arms for them). Since Reagan wasn't willing to be in the hiking backpack that long, Cam stayed at camp while she napped in the tent and my Dad and I hiked to the top ... even greater view. It took about 45 min to go up and 30/35 to come back down.

Hiking up to camp from the Ferry dropoff point (Ayala Cove)
My Dad at the top, Tiburon in the background Our site
View of SF from our site (enlarge this or you can't really see SF in background) (it was really cool at night all lit up)Reagan's make-shift high chair ... she only lasted a couple minutes like this, but it was funny :-)
Morning hike down to the beach (where we saw a lovely sea lion carcass washed up on shore ... that smelled good!). "So, we sit on this like a chair, huh Grandpa?" Took her a while to go down for a nap, but checking out the iPod & making a few calls on my cell wore her out.
As soon as she realized this water spicket was here, it was non-stop "hand-washing" time
Heading home ... with less stuff, so we were able to squeeze Reagan into a bike trailer and all ride our bikes down to the ferry. Sooo much faster than the walk up! Here's the happy camper:
Ferry ride back to Tiburon
Reagan zonks from a tiring weekend
Still zonked through half our lunch at Cheesecake Factory
We also encountered the "smart" racoons, as the ranger put it with a smirk. We put our food in the food locker thinking it was there to keep food safe ... ya know, like the bear lockers do at yosemite, right? wrong!! They managed to pull 5 bananas, 2 apples, 3 peaches, and 6 hot dog buns through the 1/4 inch gap at the bottom of the food locker door! I am not joking. It certaintly wasn't an easy task ... they obviously struggled based on the insane sounds we heard ... a half shrieky, half growly, really frustrated/mad sound ... we could have swore a pack of lions were fighting outside our tent. We finally heard my Dad unzip his tent (he later told us he sat and contemplated this for a while though) ... and good thing, cause we weren't going out there! :-) ... and he yelled and threw a couple rocks to scare them away. He only saw one racoon ... found it had chewed into the baggie holding the dish sponge. So, he wedged the food locker door shut at the top with a thick stick. There. Now they won't be able to get anything. Ha! That was before the afforementioned feast. After enjoying our bunless hotdogs for lunch the next day, we meant business the second night. They were trying to get serious too... approaching our campsight before it was even dark! One of them was really daring and would come within 10 feet of us. Holy crap, this is war! We wedged a tent stake in the food locker door, wedged a huge log against the front doors so they couldn't be pulled open at all - no 1/4 inch gap this time! - and we didn't store anything on the bottom shelf this time... oh and my Dad rounded up an arsenal of rocks to throw to scare them off. We never heard a peep and everything was untouched in the morning. Ha, we won!


  1. That happened to us once, those boogers can unlock a cooler! Ate a whole cheesecake...

  2. dang, that's worse than fruit and buns! We fortunately outsmarted them by wedging our cooler under the picnic table bench.