Sunday, July 15, 2012

Camping Trip to Villanueva, July 13-14, 2012

Dorine with Kayla and Tyler
Kayla at the river's edge
Tyler on the bank of the river
Our campsite, next to the water tank

Mason, Kayla, Tyler
Easton and Devery

Mariah, Nolan
Dorine with Noelle

Mason and Tyler planning mischief

Another view of our campsite
Kristy and Devery with Noelle
The twins checking out the "bichos"

Zach, Nolan, Alexis, Nicole
Sweating out the heat

We took our annual family camping trip to Villanueva State Park on Friday, July 13.  It turned out to be a crowded evening at the park; it was a good thing that Dorine and I (along with Heidi and Dion's kids and Nicole's friend Mariah Smith) got there at 2:30 pm to claim a couple of "sheltered" campsites for our group.  As it was, we had to camp on the upper level at the water tank, which is about a quarter-mile walk from the river and the full-service bathrooms (although our sites did at least have running water and a decent pit toilet).  Feeling self-conscious about "squatting" on two campsites with one car, I didn't feel like we could even go walk around until Devery and Easton and their kids got there at about 5:30 pm, so we sat in the heat for about three hours.  (I should at least have gone and soaked my t-shirt to stay cool, but it didn't occur to me to do that until later.)  We had steak/chicken fajitas for dinner, which tasted great, and then Kristy and Chris and their kids arrived at around 7:30 pm.  

As always, it was a lot of work to set up tents, inflate air beds, and get out sleeping bags, but at least we had plenty of space for everyone.  We didn't do a whole lot that evening, but we did take the little kids on a walk down to the main bathrooms, both to wash up and to look for toads and bugs.  The next morning we had a nice breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, and orange juice.  We had brought along our inner tubes, so we pumped them up (and patched them, as necessary) and took turns using them to float down the river, which was enjoyable, and the kids got to play at the playground.  We didn't get to take any hikes to speak of, and our staying only one night once again raised questions about whether the trip was worth all the work, but overall we had a lot of fun.  Next year we may look for a different place to camp, as the "secret" is clearly "out" about Villanueva -- it's significantly more popular now than it was when we first went there in 2004.