The boys and I went on a camping trip up to Mendocino (Daddy, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for him, had to stay home because he was still recovering from surgery) with some of our friends, Nathan and Galen’s families, and Christa and Conner. The boys and I went to REI the day before to buy a proper tent, and had the luckiest find, a 6 person REI BaseCamp tent, which has the highest ratings of all the tents on the website, but is being discontinued and is becoming hard to find. Someone had returned this tent the day before and the clerk had just put it back on the shelf – yay! John and I had brought our old 3 person tent many years ago, and while it still works, it just isn’t comfortable for more than a few people.
Anyway, Mendocino is about 175 miles away, but driving takes about 4-5 hours, because the second half of the trip is through hilly country roads, which can take forever, although the scenery is incredible. When we finally arrived, it was rainy and cold, but we got the tent up, and ate some dinner over the campfire, and went to bed pretty early. The next day, it was better, with even some sun peeking through the clouds. We spent a lof of time down on the beach, and Luke had a great time building a diorama with Dave, Galen’s dad. They must have spent about an hour collecting materials and building. The rest of the boys got soaked to the bone playing in the water and beach, but they were happy and tired by the time we headed back to the tents.
After changing and a late lunch, everyone except me, Luke and Jesse went on a 6 mile hike to see a waterfall, while the little boys and I walked around the campsites and played in the woods near the tents. I even got to read a little while Luke and Jesse played down on the stream – Luke did fall in the (very shallow) creek, but he wanted to keep playing!
We packed up in the morning and headed home, stopping at an orchard on the way for some apples and cider (yum). Unlike our experience in Yosemite 2 summers before, Luke seemed to enjoy this camping trip and wasn’t afraid of sleeping in the tent at all. He especially liked having roasted marshmallows for breakfast.