Thursday, July 31, 2008

Camping Recap 7.31.08

We took off on our 8 week camping trip on May 31st and made it back yesterday - 60 days. We loved the fact that we were able to finally see & experience California at our own leisure. We had a great time, saw some beautiful scenery, ran from an awful lot of fires, had both good & bad days & learned a lot!

So time for some interesting stats... We traveled over 5,400 miles, fueled up a whopping 36 times, used 306 gallons of gas & paid an average of $4.54 a gallon. Our most expensive gas was at the gravity fed pumps at 5.75/gal and our least expensive was $4.11 in Reno, Nevada. We camped at 12 different campgrounds - meaning we put up & took down the tent, aired up the matress (350 pumps of the foot pump each time!), rolled up the sleeping bags, packed the get the picture. And that doesn't count the times we stayed at a hotel which totalled six.

We paid for most of our showers - most about 25 cents a minute for hot water. We ate most of our meals on the campstove, had campfires most nights, met some wonderful people - other campers, the campground hosts & rangers. We had two coolers - one that held all of the cold stuff & the other held water/wine/sodas. We brought several clothes that we didn't wear, but only about 2-3 pieces of camping 'equipment' that we did not use. One piece, surprisingly enough, was our lantern!! We only used it one time the entire trip! We used a smaller citronella mini tiki torch the entire time which gave off plenty of light.

Our favorite place? That's a tough question. We both loved the Big Sur & Redwoods campgrounds - but it's hard to determine a favorite all-around. The many hikes we went on were fabulous but our favorites were also in the Redwoods - the huge trees, the beautiful greenery, the coast, the cool weather. And the ranger evening programs & the hikes with a ranger were incredibly educational. The one realization was that each place was individually beautiful - each was unique & wonderful. It was also wonderful to see friends & family that Michael hasn't seen in 20-30 years and I have never met, not to mention our boating friends! The waterfalls, hikes, wildlife, trees, ranger programs, scenic drives....magnificent.

With all this beauty what could spoil it? Well, we suffered from poison oak, a $40 parking ticket in San Francisco, not having a hair dryer, having to do laundry every other day while we had poison oak, etc. Nothing horrible, just aggravations. Of course the biggest problem was that the fires of Southern California were burning all around us everywhere we went. Luckily, they only 'spoiled' the day on the 2nd half of the trip and it still wasn't a total bust. It rained only 3 days which was an amazing feat!

All in all, we had a fantastic time. We only hope everyone else has the chance to experience the places we visited.

This closes our 'camping around California' chapter of the year!! haha... now on to the next chapter.

More to follow! :-)


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