All the anticipation paid off.
We left Mckinleyville at about 0800 hours. At the time, it was three adults and two boys (James was in Redding already with his aunt and uncle). So Dean, Tim, Ben, Tyler and I set off on out adventure. The trip over was uneventful, it was the Trinity River Valley. Its a beautiful drive at all times of the year, and this time of the year was no exception. We arrived at the Oak Bottom Campground around noon. We checked in and headed for our camp site.
Here is where we hit a snag. The camp site, which we reserved, is on the lake so we can moore the Dean's boat. The problem is that it is on a 8% grade (I don't really know if it was 8%, but it was really steep, that I do know). I wish I had taken a picture of the thing, but to give an example: the pic nick table there is on such a slope, one end had to be on cinder blocks to make it level. Ben took a small header off the thing at one point. Also, there wasn't enough room for our tent, which is quite large. So, we tried to squeeze it in. After spending a good chunk of the day there we quickly learned tat this site would not work for the next four days. So we made sucked it up and made do for the night, then requested a new campsite the next day.
Monday morning rolled around rather early. We made breakfast, requested a new site, then headed for the Redding water slide park. Its not horribly big. There are actually only 5 slides for adults and bigger kids, but we got our money's worth. We spent all day there, breaking only for lunch. We came home, moved our campsite, and settled in for the evening. That night we cooked chicken over the campfire and roasted marshmallows for smores afterwards. After the kids went to bed Dean and Tim and I would stay up playing domino's every night. Tyler learned to play dominos while we were there. He was able to stay up late one night and play some bones with the guys. He had a good time. And for us, it was a nice way to spend the evening after the kids went to sleep.
Tuesday we we spent a lot of time on the lake, but the fires (which were started by a lightning storm the day before we left) were clogging the whole are with smoke. So eventually we headed in and drove to a small park on the outskirts of Redding that is a water park (a free one too). Water cannons, sprinklers of all shapes and sizes, and a water volcano that went off every 10 minutes. The kids had a blast there.
We went back to camp, ate beans and weenies, and roasted more smores. We even invited the kids over from the next camp site. W had a good time.
Wednesday we went to the swim beach, let the kids swim around for a while, then made our way back to camp to make sure we all got a chance to shower. Sadly, the showers there are in poor shape. The only one that worked was the ADA stall, which had the nozzle at about my navel. So the kids showered easy enough, but the adults had to shower on their knees. We decided to head down to the local store and gal there told us they planned on shutting down 299 (our only easy road home) and that we should head out right then if we planned on making it home. So we broke camp in record time and off we went.
We didn't miss a whole lot by leaving early, it was only about 12 hours early. So we got home, took the kids for some pizza, and here we are now. It was a good trip. We had a good time, and I think the boys were absolutely wrecked every night we were there. I guess that means we were doing something right.
What follows is a little photo documentation, courtesy of Dean, of our camping trip.
As always, thanks for tuning in.