We spent this weekend at Sanborn Skyline County Park, basically a seasonal trial run for us with the tent trailer to test out systems and processes.
There was a bit of high frustration in the beginning when we had just arrived and were setting up. Since we were in a camper, we were in the RV section, which is essentially a glorified parking lot. You get a stall that isn't long enough to decouple the truck from the trailer, set up the tent trailer, and not stick out into the driveway. You get a patch of dirt with an immature tree for shade, and a 3-foot (0.91m) square picnic table with fixed benches on three sides. At first, it's not easy to tell which side is yours and which is your neighbor's. But eventually you determine that the entrance to the trailer side is where you set up your stuff.
What's nice about this park is that they recently, just this year, allowed dogs to have access to the entire park, leashed, of course. This is really different from most other parks, most notably state parks, where dogs are confined to paved trails (read: roads), parking lots and the inside of your tent and vehicle. Our boy dog got to come with us on a couple of nice hikes through the nature trail and through a steep climb around a mile (1.6 km) -long loop that ended up going through the walk in campground.
Some observations about camping at this park:
electrical hookups have only the 30 amp female connection. Our trailer has a regular "wall" plug, also known as 15 amp. We were not able to hook up to the electricity because I don't have the correct electrical adapter. But they are readily available at a very reasonable price.
showers are available and quite clean and roomy. Bring quarters. Fifty cents gets you five minutes, and those minutes go quickly!
the best site in the RV section is site 8. Shade and boulders for kids to climb on to stay occupied. We were in site 3, which is next to the disabled site, which means we didn't have a neighbor on that side the entire weekend.
the other side of the RV parking lot is where the walk in campers unload and park. They come and go all day long, and since this location is so close to a population center, they get a lot of newbie campers who do not know what they are doing. It's like they arrived on Mars without a space suit. So expect questions like, "Do you know where we are?". And comments like, "Boy, those carts are dirty! Do you know if they have others around here?". Heh, yep, I got asked that.
Rangers are cool people. That's been my experience 99% of the time. Except "Ranger Rollo" at Portola Redwoods a few years back. But that's another story.
make sure to go get lost in the redwood trails near the main park road. It's beautiful and you won't really get lost.
you can hear the Mountain Winery's concerts. The rock band Heart was playing Friday night, I and know that I was hearing some of their biggest hits wafting over the hilltops, as well as the roar of the crowd, all of it soft by the time it got to us, and it all stopped abruptly at 10PM.
the walk-in campsites require the campers to transport all their gear up a steep, paved hill. It isn't a really steep incline, but enough for many people to complain. However, walking past all the sites, I observed that the benefit of this inconvenience is a really beautiful setting with flat areas for your tent, 100% shade, what appeared to be fire rings (though I believe they are intended to be used as barbeques), and flush bathrooms close by. Recommend not booking a site too far up since all the sites are generally nice, though the lower elevation sites will see more camper traffic coming by.
Sanborn is a nice enough place despite being so very, very close to Silicon Valley. It's a stark reminder of how close we really are to awesome coast redwood forests that make you feel you are hundreds of kilometers away from the city.
Was out sick yesterday. In fact, the whole family has been sick throughout the weekend. Harold even threw up on mama a couple three times on Saturday morning. We're starting to this this is weather related. It's been kind of muggy, cloudy, not cold but threatening rain for the past several days or even past week. Saturday was pretty bad and I felt pretty bad, then Sunday was a nicer day and we were able to get some stuff done, but then Monday was blah again, and again with the blahs.
We're going out soon for a quick little overnighter at a local county park with the tent trailer. We pulled it out of the weeds last weekend and set it up in front of the house, going through all its systems and making sure it is travel worthy. It hasn't been on a trip since before we started the big remodel, so that puts it at a couple of years of idleness.
I flushed and santized the water system, charged up and installed the battery, checked the city water system, lights, brakes, breakaway switch, fridge, propane systems. So far, so good, all systems are a Go.