camping { russian gulch }

As summer slips away from us (can you believe most of California has already gone back to school?!) I wanted to share with you a couple of little camping trips we took over the month of August. When I say little, I mean, three days or less, and with the ease of camp sites with hot water showers and back-in car spots. “Big” would be week-long backpacking trips, or intense spots with no amenities and raw, wild, Mother Nature. Alas, we have a three and a one year old, so such adventure is not yet for us. But we did load up our gear, stuff Matt’s truck to the gills and head to two different campgrounds on two different trips with toddlers in tow – and we lived to tell the tale. That I consider a big success!

In honor of such an accomplishment, I proclaim it to be camping week here on the blog. I’ll even be sharing Matt’s tried and true boyscout recipes for cooking on a campout, and how to organize your campsite, as well as things to do while you’re there. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a big hootenanny at the end. You won’t want to miss it!

First off, we trekked four hours over to the north coast and stayed at Russian Gulch in the Mendocino area. Here was the view from our campsite:

Lush, green, and very moist and chilly. Russian Gulch is situated in a little inlet creek just a short walk from the ocean…

Which is completely lovely and breathtaking.

We visited two lighthouses…

{ point cabrillo lighthouse }

{ picnicking outside the lightkeeper’s cottage }

The second lighthouse (second day) the weather was drastically different…

{ cold & windy }

{ point arena }

The movie Forever Young (flashback Mel Gibson!) was filmed there. It was cold and blustery and generally freezing. We did carry two children up a scary tall metal staircase to the top of the lighthouse. I later realized I was completely crazy to walk out on that windy rail up top carrying toddlers. Yikes.

Two years ago, we camped at MacKerricher which is quite nearby, with a very small two year old (remember this video?) Here is a little side by side comparison of how little Cam has grown up…

So serious, too! 😉

Around camp, we did little fun kid things. Playing Pooh Sticks at the bridge…

And Cam hiking up the long log all by himself…

Look at how tiny he gets! The ranger came by and complimented Cam on his climbing prowess and you should have seen him swell with pride! So big, so fast.

In case you think I forgot our other child, Lance was there too! He mostly hung out in the backpack carrier…

Or crawled around and got dirty…

He also multi-tasked and grew in two big molars while we were on the trip. AKA a whole lotta drool for a looong time. Way to go, Bud!

All in all it would have been picture perfect, except for the puke-fest that it became at the end. First Cameron, then Lance… then Matt & I together. All I can say is ugh, but it does make quite the memory!

Stay tuned for more camping next week! Meantime, do you have any favorite family campspots? Do share!

Happy weekend!