It’s been another crazy year for these Oregonians in Silicon Valley. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Carmel Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains and, yes, even the House of Mouse. In all, we put well over 5,000 miles under our belts this year, from Southern California to Eastern Washington – in this, a year that saw $4.50 gasoline.
California will never be our real home, but we don’t regret the many great places we’ve been able to visit here. It’s difficult to comprehend the shear size and variation in terrain of California, even for many Californians. We can camp at the beach one weekend, and be in Yosemite National Park the next; from sea level to 10,000 feet is only a four-hour drive.
There are great places to see all over this country, and camping is the best way to do it. It’s one thing to daytrip into an area, but for the total experience you really need to be there longer than a few hours. This is particularly true if your kids are into wild animals, like mine are, since the early morning hours are best for seeing them. I think it is difficult for young children to appreciate magnificent scenery, but they’ll talk about seeing a bull elk for months!
The inspiration for this post came last Thursday night, when I had one of the magic father-son moments. My 4-year old son and I were playing catch (we’ve only broken a few things) when, out of the blue, he says “daddy, when are we going camping?” Not soon enough, son. Not soon enough.