Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In the Depths of the Forest...

We took grand-daughter P on a camping trip over the long Thanksgiving weekend to the Little Basin State Park in the mountains north of Santa Cruz. (The week before we had driven from the north coast via Redding and Vallejo to Menlo Park, parking at Rebecca and Jeremy's). Little Basin was the only state campground nearby that had vacancies...it's a few miles south of Big Basin, California's oldest state park and home to some of the state's most majestic redwoods. Little Basin's redwoods were majestic enough, and the campsites are scattered in the woods around the central meadow/basin. The place was originally a retreat/conference center for H-P employees (remember H-P?). The basin is a hole in the mountains surrounding it, and the campsites are by and large quite dark, owing to the thick and immense trees. In late November, there's barely enough light to go around anyway. So there we were, with P, four days and three nights, in the depths of the forest (Siegfried, Act II), also without much phone signal nor wifi. Fortunately, P provides all the entertainment anyone (well, any grand-parent) could want.
Plenty of light up high, not so much on the

Typical site, adjacent to three different redwood fairy rings

Big stump and ring adjacent to our site


It's California, where we practice crumb-clean

But you can have campfires...and roasted hot dogs and
s'mores...(is this what they mean by paleo?)

The main playground; Little Basin really has a lot of features
and facilities, especially for groups (we shared it with half a
dozen other families and with a couple score of Bay area Muslim
men on a religious retreat); its one shortcoming is sanitary
facilities, of which it has two small blocks (apparently H-P
employees were thought to be above mortal needs; or, since
they were probably nearly all guys, it was expected they'd go
behind the bushes); but I digress; above, Vicki heads for the
swings, and P begins her customary granular inventory...

Grandma just does not understand about playgrounds and sand...

Somewhat later

And somewhat later still, tea party time in the camper; with
pie crust cookies from home (we did have pumpkin pie, our
one concession to tradition)

In a small rig, everyone has to find his or her
own space....

Snug in her bag

Another day, hiking on the Tan Bark Ridge trail

Dusk--3:30 PM or so--brought deer out onto the basin; P got
quite adept at spotting them

Looking up from the center of one of the big fairy rings

Saturday, the (torrential) rains began--it's monsoon season
in California, where, after three years of record drought, the
rain is welcome; and on Sunday we drove back to Menlo Park 

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Great pics!