Friday, April 24, 2015

Camping Trip at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

I'm not one to give up on basic comforts while traveling, like a nice cosy bed to sleep on or a private bathroom. Naturally, camping did not occur on my list of activities to try. However, when a friend asked me if I wanted to join her family on a camping trip, something made me say yes. Perhaps a sense of adventure or maybe because I haven't taken a trip in a few months and I was desperate. Nevertheless, we ended up going on our first ever camping trip in the Big Basin Redwood State Park.

Camping trip-Big Basin Redwoods State Park

This park is an hour's drive from Sunnyvale and is close to Saratoga. It is the oldest State park in California and is home to giant redwood trees. The drive up to the park is through super windy roads and people with motion sickness need to ensure they are well prepared before the journey. The campsites can be booked online.

Since we had never camped before, gear like tents, sleeping bags and stove were rented. Some of the basic stuff like camping chairs and lanterns were bought. I came to understand that a camping trip for two people for just one night meant carrying a car full of luggage, right from tents, firewood, food, snacks, water, warm clothes, lanterns, chairs to odds and ends. A lot of preparation for an overnight stay!

Me clearing our path while hiking :)
Wild Mushrooms

We didn't get a chance to hike much and spent most of the evening pitching the tents and trying to get the campfire started. The logs were slightly damp and had to be broken into smaller pieces before they could catch fire. Quite a time-consuming process.

Vishnu pitching the tent

Our tent

Me trying to start the campfire
We had nachos for snacks. Burgers were grilled and marshmallows were roasted for an authentic camping experience :)

Yummy Nachos

It was quite a cold evening and we were freezing. While warming ourselves around the fire, we saw a huge raccoon stake out our campground for food. It was a very scary experience as I had never seen a raccoon before let alone one that big!

Despite wearing several layers and covering myself in blankets, the cold did not let me sleep well. I woke up stiff and with a body ache. I must say sleeping in sleeping bags is not comfortable at all.

After freshening up, we tried restarting the campfire but in vain. The cold was unbearable. We quickly had some bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, started packing and headed home. It was a very time consuming and tiring. Still a fun and learning experience. This trip reinforced the fact that I'm not the camping-type. I prefer a comfortable cabin with heating and a warm bed.

Ajay making coffee for breakfast