Archives for posts with tag: camping

As an extension of our trip, we booked a campsite near the farmstay. These collages sum up our 2 nights at Calaveras Big Trees State Park! Without cellular service in the woods, the boys managed to find their source of entertainment: made bows and arrows; practiced their archery skills; collected twigs for a raft; and built bond fires on their own.

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We even got to try zip line for the first time! Not a bad way to end the summer.

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Boys off to overnight camp for a week! Our honeymoon officially starts now…Untitled

Joined by my sisters and their families, we explored Clear Lake State Park this weekend for our annual camping trip. Everyone got their share of work, and my biggest responsibility is to transport all the kids to the campsite on Friday. Other than that, I am also planning for activities to keep the kids busy during our short stay.

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For my boys, it’s easier to engage them because they are older. Got them to help out setting up the tents and canopy, do dishes, find ways to hang up the dish rack, towels, etc.

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On Saturday, when we have the full day to ourselves, we tried to fill up the day with things to do: collected twigs and built floating rafts, hiked to the lake (adding some fun with a scavenger hunt along the way), climbed rocks, and finally enjoyed a light lunch by the lake.

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The boys tested their rafts while others splashed in the water.

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By dawn, it was time to go fishing with the uncles. Though we didn’t catch any fish, but the experience was unforgettable. The boys learned some casting techniques from their uncles.

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We came back to the site for dinner, shared some stories and Ah Lo gave his presentation about “bullying.” We ended the night with campfire and marshmallows, and of course, not to miss out on the stargazing opportunity which was absolutely stunning.

As always, we spent Day 2 of the camping 2 filled with activities. After we had breakfast, we found an easy trail and hiked for about an hour. Then the boys got some fun in the beach/river.  We brought our fishing gear but didn’t get a chance to use it since the riverside was pretty shallow. It was of course difficult to drag the kids back to the campsite.

At the campsite, we made our faces from materials picked up from our hike. Next, is the rock painting. I printed out some examples for the kids to look at to give them an idea and off their imagination went. We had a turtle, lady bug, bumble bee, baseball and a stadium, and uhm…some abstract painting. It was so beautiful and fun.

Then comes dinner and dessert time. We had the most amazing fajitas! Either we were hungry or it was that good having that warm tortilla wrapped in guacamole, beef flank, shrimp, onions, bell peppers in your mouth. After the s’mores, I took out the glow sticks and glass jars for another camp activity. First, break the sticks in half, they are non-toxic. With the kids’ help getting the glowing contents out (by wiggle the sticks) into the jar, instantly, a line of beautiful glowing lanterns kept the kids in awe.

The highlight of this trip was definitely a visit from an unexpected guest – the red tail fox. The park ranger stopped by at 5pm and told us there was a citing of a red tail fox around our campsite area. The fox just had her pubs and therefore would attack if she sees anything/anyone that would be a threat. Her den was just around the corner of our site! The park ranger offered us another campsite if we wanted. We decided to stay put since we were leaving the next morning. We went out in groups and managed to pack 6 in the car on our short ride to the bathroom to avoid the red tail fox. Sorry, Mrs. Fox for our intrusion.

This weekend we camped out at Caswell Memorial State Park in Ripon. It was a very well kept park, one of the better ones we stayed. Bathrooms were cleaned to campground standards. Our sites were a bit far from the bathrooms which gave a perfectly good incentive for the boys to bike there. Most of the sites were shady and plenty of vines hanging from the gigantic oak trees. The campsites were not that big, so luckily, we booked two for the 12 of us. I noticed some of the sites were a bit tiny, but most of the sites have a good cushion with bushes in between to allow for some privacy. This is definitely a great place for family camping. If you didn’t wake up from birds chirping in the wee hours in the morning, you’d definitely hear the crying / laughing / scream sounds of young children.

On the first day, while we waited for the rest of the group to show up, we walked around the campsites and found an access to the riverside beach area. The boys cooled down a bit while Mr. Piggy and I roasted like marshmallows (we didn’t bring anything on the stroll). We saw people launching their inflatables along the river which was very relaxing. The river was definitely a big plus to give the boys something to do.

When we got back to the campsite, we stopped a park ranger to get some education around the park. We learned there were no poison oaks in our campsite area, but they are in certain areas of the park. No worries, usually, that area was labeled.  The park ranger explained to the boys what poison oaks look like and how it can be harmful. He also cautioned the boys about stinging nettles and how it could be mistake as poison oaks. He was nice enough to bring one to show us. The boys learned so much they were promoted to Junior Park Rangers!