We spent Memorial Weekend camping. I have been hankering to go camping for weeks, it had been eating away at me so I was super-excited to go. I booked pretty much the last available pitch at Lake Chabot campground, a state park about 45 minutes away in the East Bay. It was the perfect reminder that you don’t need to spend hours on the motorway each weekend to camp somewhere beautiful. About half an hour from home, we drove up a road and all of a sudden it was rural and beautiful and amazing. The campsite was large and, although full, it didn’t seem too crowded and our pitch, space 45, was isolated at the edge of a eucalyptus grove. It smelt heavenly.
We had a new tent. Now, we HAVE a tent…but it’s a beast of a thing. It’ so big I can’t put it up alone, I can barely help as I’m not tall enough. It sleeps 7. We are 3. I’ve never loved it and when I popped into Big 5 to pick up some gas, I spotted a 4-man dome-tent for $50. Somehow I bought it. The Husband was uncertain about how ‘small’ it was but when we put it up within 5 minutes, he was sold. It’s a little snug inside (mainly due to our enormous air mattress) but once we were all hunkered down inside, we all kind of loved it. We named it The Cocoon.
The weekend was so much fun. We spent so much time outside and it was bliss. The Dude had asked to go fishing, his first ever time fishing, and we’d borrowed a pole. On Saturday, after Danville, we went to the extremely crowded Lake Chabot and bought some foul-smelling play-dough style bait. We fished for a couple of hours, helped by the nice guy fishing next to us who took pity on us clueless Brits. We caught nothing but the heron nearby caught 10. It has to be said…fishing is dull.
Sunday morning started early. The Husband set off on his training run, the Dude and I hiked down to the lake ‘to fish’. We found a beautiful spot next to the lake and ‘fished’. We caught nothing. Fishing was STILL very boring and so I was more than bitter when we refound the Husband and he told us about his BOBCAT SIGHTING from his run. I died of jealousy. The mother turkey and her six adorable babies didn’t quite measure up.
Fishing did get better that afternoon . We went back to Lake Chabot and rented a motorboat for a few hours…and it was bliss. The boys drove the boat (which proved much more exciting than fishing) around the lake and I sat there and read my book. The only blot on the horizon was that the play-dough bait was switched for live worms. There’s nothing quite as foul as watching a worm squirming with a hook through his body. Stomach-churning. But apart from the Game of Thrones-style worm torture, it was a perfectly wonderful afternoon!
So it turns out that whilst fishing is lethally boring, camping is a delight. We really loved the campground and its wildlife opportunities. We loved snuggling up in the Cocoon. We loved eating s’mores. I loved waking up in the early morning when people were still asleep, boiling water and making tea as the beautiful morning light streamed through the eucalyptus trees I loved spotting two coyotes as we drove home early on Monday morning.
Camping, I love you…can’t wait to go camping again!
Fishing…not so much.