I doubt if anyone out there has not gone through a period of stress while driving a vehicle with concerns about reliability. "Will we make it to our destination? Where can I pull over on this mountain road if something does go wrong? Why did I take this trip with her?" I'll admit that last question probably does not come up that often!
When we pulled in and parked at the ranger station, it was like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. I don't think I mentioned it earlier but this trip took place during the third week of September last year. We arrived on Tuesday with plans to leave Saturday morning. California state parks have an advance reservation system. While the park only had two occupied sites that Monday morning, most of the sites (and all of the really good ones) were already reserved beginning Thursday night. Would we relocate on Thursday or would we just have to go home early?
Equipped with a campground map, we made two complete walk-throughs of the camp discussing the pros and cons. We settled on site #19 based on proximity to rest rooms and water, level site to park and distance from the highway. The ranger told us that #19 was reserved beginning Wednesday night so I paid for only two nights which turned out to be a really good thing!
We pulled into #19 which was a super-easy, head in parking space and almost level. One 2 x 6 under each rear wheel and we were level enough! We proceeded to set up our campsite. Neither one of us had ever set up a camp for an RV. We actually worked quite well together! Within an hour we had the camp site arranged to our liking.
Since we had skipped lunch we decided on an early dinner of hamburgers, potato chips and baked beans. Even though Dod is fully self-contained, I had not tested out any of the appliances. I did, however, bring a portable propane BBQ, two single burner butane cook tops, a 32 qt. ice chest, a propane lantern for outside, and a battery powered LED lantern for inside. I had forgotten how much fun it is to cook outside and how much better the food tastes!
Dinner and a first glass of wine completed, DJ volunteered to do the clean up while I lit the campfire. I didn't remember campfires being that hard to get going. After further consideration, I think the problem was that the firewood we bought from the ranger did not include kindling, the pieces were two large to start easily with just bundled up newspapers and park rules prohibit gathering of kindling, pine needles and pine cones. Note to self: bring a hatchet next time!
Dishes done and the fire finally going well, we moved the camp chairs next to the fire pit and settled in for cocktails and conversation. It was a perfectly clear night with an abundance of stars visible between the tree tops that surrounded our camp site. We took advantage of the relaxed atmosphere to catch up with what had been happening in the almost 2 years since we had last seen each other. Three hours (and a few glasses of wine) later it was time to turn in.
I had hoped to get a little further in today's post but my word count is already above 500 and is seriously challenging my attention span.