The Outdoor Ed team at Aveson was planning the signups for the 2014 camping trip right as we were winding down our time at school, so I nudged my friend Kathy to see if we could crash the party and her answer was, thankfully, an enthusiastic yes. So, last weekend we packed up as much camping gear as we could find in our as yet unpacked garage and headed south 4+ hours to El Capitan State Beach. We set up camp here with the Bannings, Pintos, Bondsmiths and many other friends. Not too shabby!
We had a great time of bike rides, beach trips, shared meals, s’mores and a wee bit of wine. Cari and I even got a walk in … just like old times.
Here’s Finn’s giant s’more the first night.
Ezra is not so much interested in eating the marshmallows but he couldn’t wait to do “marshmallow sculptures” like he did last year. Here’s one of his best.
He says, “They’re harder to make than you think.” I bet they are.
We also had several obligatory trips to the camp store for treats. I can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of all the chocolatey faces, but here’s one of Finn, pretty chocolatey, and getting ready to have a taste of Chapin’s snow cone.
If there’s one thing that remains constant at El Capitan it’s the tar, and true to form the kids came back from the beach covered. I think Ruby got the worst of it; apparently, she (and Finn, I think) were making a nest. It took Rob about an hour and an entire bottle of Goo Gone to clean it all off.
Somehow I escaped most of the tar clean up because Finn’s was handled by Reiner. I have no idea why but I wasn’t going to get in the way — I just took a picture and disappeared!
On Sunday we spent a good amount of time at the tide pools.
Bren brought Charlie and Henry up for the day and those two and Finn ran around like crazy people for a while.
Ezra stayed busy building some rock formations.
He and Chapin later worked together to make Big Rock Battle.
The grownups found ways to entertain as well. Bruce, Rob and Ian formed a trio to make music with blades of grass.
Here’s their debut video.
After the concert and some kite flying, Bruce and our boys went to the other beach for more tar and sand. Finn had loaned his bike to Amelia and so he caught a ride from Bruce.
After a few hours, they came back soaked, sandy and tired — all signs of a good day at the beach. Here’s Finn and Henry.
Unfortunately, it was time for us to go as we had to be back at school and work the next morning. We had planned to leave about mid-day but really just couldn’t tear ourselves away. We finally got on the road about 5:00pm and pulled into the driveway a little after 10:00. We were all exhausted but our buckets were full from the much needed time with such great friends.
Here are a couple of pictures of me with two of said great friends, Cari and Kelly.
I have a few more photos here.