Big Basin or Bust!

Before it slips my mind and gets too far away for me to properly remember, I wanted to share my photos from our lastest camp trip, the last one of 2011.
We took advantage of the long Nevada Day weekend that occurs on the last weekend of October. Daddy-O made the reservations and we worked out our schedules so we could also take off Halloween, giving us four days to hang out and enjoy.
301:365, Road trip ready
We hit the road and headed west to Big Basin which is located in the Santa Cruz hills. The trees are stunning and humbling, they have stories that I only wish they could tell. We set up camp, made dinner and took a nice walk around the campground and around to the neighboring campgrounds, then headed into the tent for an early night.
my little forest gnome
Saturday we spent the day in Felton where we hopped on the Roaring Camp train and took a ride through the redwood trees. I cold see this train ride being a regular part of our Santa Cruz camping trips. In the summer they run a train from Felton down to the beach and back again- what a fun way to travel.
Train Ride to the trees
NVDay_BigBasin2011-831110 NVDay_BigBasin2011-911110
 After our ride we found a great playground and picnicked and let the kids run amok and tire themselves out on the slides, swings and grass.
There is an old covered bridge next to the park, and I got this photo of Fifi- a new favorite of mine.
302:365, covered bridge
The boys took a snooze once we were back to the campsite and so I put Fifi in the backpack, in hopes of her dozing off as well, and took a hike. There are all sorts of easy trails around and I it felt good to stretch and work my leg muscles and spend some quite time with my girl as she sang her sleepy song in my ear, but never did fall off to dream land.
Big Basin Web
Sunday was a very full day. We attempted the docent guided tour to see the "Mother and Father" tree of the forest, but the kids were a little too squirmy so we jetted ahead of the group and played on fallen redwood trunks and in burn scar tunnels.
303:365, all four
big tress, little girl
After our walk, we opted for a tailgate lunch in the parking lot- I think we all needed the food, spirits lifted instantly.
tail gate lunch
Once our bellies were full of grapes and salami and cheese and crackers we headed further down the hill to Santa Cruz. It couldn't have been more beautiful on the beach.
beach time
beach girl
The kids had a great time getting sand in all sorts of places and it was all we could do to keep Fifi out of the ocean. O is a bit more cautious, but of course got his footing loose and went in, much too his dismay.
Santa Cruz Board Walk
After we showered the kids off and got them in dry clothing we headed to the boardwalk in search of the photo booth.
img013Even though they no longer have the old fashioned black and white booths, we still make it a point to stop every time we visit. A family of four is tricky to squeeze into that little space, I still love the strips we got all the same.
The sunset along the coast that night was so pretty. The light is so different on the beach compared to the high desert.
We wound up having dinner in a great little restaurant out on the pier. We were a little worried about bringing the kids into a place that looked like it catered specifically to adults, but they sat us in the back along with another group with 4 kids. They all played and had a blast and we didn't bother anyone with the noise of a 3 and 1 year old.
The kids were so funny the entire weekend. Fifi had a permanent dirt goatee and O was in search of all the acorns in the forest- they make a great sound when the heat up and POP in the campfire.
children of the woods
We only had one real run-in with the pesky raccoons- I haven't heard O scream that loud in a long time- the darn thing tried to swipe his s'more- I would have screamed too. We lucked out with good neighbors, the people on the one side were actually hard of hearing- I watched out of the corner of my eye when I realized how quite their camp was and noticed they were signing to one another- what luck- I didn't feel so bad about the late night crying from our tent.I feel so lucky to be able to spend this time with my little family.
Campsite love
We love camping!

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