Saturday, July 20, 2013

california adventure road trip part two: camping near pescadero

After our camping trip up near Mendocino, we headed south. We spent some time with family in Marin and Santa Cruz, and then headed out towards the coast. We camped at Butano State Park, which was a place I camped and hiked when I was a little girl. I have lots of exciting memories from adventures there, so I was happy to get the chance to visit with my own little family. We chose the hike-in campsites, which were great because they were mostly empty, so we had a lot of space and privacy. We just let S walk around and explore to her heart's content (since we didn't have to worry about cars) and Uzi was all about looking for banana slugs and climbing on old redwood stumps. It was beautiful with huge old redwood trees and ferns. In the morning, we went on a wild adventure hike that U loved! 

There weren't a lot of signs or maps, so we decided to go a hike near the campground. We went down to the creek and made face paint from the rocks (like I did at camp when I was little) and made little leaf boats to float down the stream. Somehow we got a little lost of our hike and ended up bushwacking up some steep hills, crawling over huge logs, and trying to find the rest of the trail. It was very fun and wild (somehow S fell asleep in the carrier) and Uzi loved the thrill of it. At some point we had to slide down the hills to get back to a trail and it was quite exciting. He declared this hike "the best time in his life" and did not complain once the whole way (and it ended up being a very long hike!). We also kept a banana slug count on the hike, we spotted 25! To add to the excitement, I ended up getting stung by a bee on our hike back up the hill. It was a bit bothersome, but I am very glad it wasn't one of the kids (who have yet to be stung), and just me who has been stung many times in my life. 

On our way back towards the ocean there was a beautiful poppy field, which U was so glad to see as he loves the story of the Wizard of Oz and the poppy field that puts them all to sleep. The stretch of coast from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay is so gorgeous and I always feel like I am home when I am there. I spent so much of my childhood playing on the beach there. Of course we had to make a stop on our way inland at the San Benito House Deli for my favorite sandwich in the world and ate it on the deck by the flowering artichokes. Oh, and a stop at the tide pools, for a little sea anemone petting and seal watching. Good times, indeed. 

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