For some reason, this summer, I’ve caught the camping bug. I grew up with a love of the outdoors. From a very tender age, I would go camping, hunting and fishing with my dad. He taught my sister and I to love and respect nature…then to blow the little squirrels right out of the ground. (Hey, the other squirrels eat their deceased comrades, so we were really just feeding them from a distance!)

Now that I am a grown adult with big-girl responsibilities, I don’t get as much time as I’d like to really get into nature. It is now July, and I’ve yet to return to the woods (since January). This has been killing me that last couple weeks, and getting up into the trees has nearly become an obsession.  Two weeks from today, that will no longer be an issue. Last week, I quit procrastinating and made our family camping reservation for Big Basin State Park!

My husband and I have been camping in the redwoods above Santa Cruz twice now, most recently at Big Basin. I must say (although I know I haven’t been to a ton of them), it is my favorite California State Park thus far. The grandeur of the redwoods, the serenity of being surrounded by these guardians of old, the miles of hiking trails, and the sheer awesomeness of the plethora of historical discoveries around every corner make this camping opportunity one not to miss.
The tent and RV sites are fairly close together, but they are separated well by the trees and underbrush. Privacy is definitely not a problem! It is incredibly family-friendly, with activities several times a week and easy trails throughout the park. It is a slightly lengthy but beautiful drive in to the town of Boulder Creek, which is quite possibly one of the cutest towns in the world.

Ever-present are the token squirrels and birds (no, I’ve not shot any), and last time we were there, we even had a few deer come into our camp and peek timidly at us from about ten yards away.
The weather is pleasant, albeit cold in the mornings (but with Northern California, that is to be expected). However, the slight chill is a small price to pay for the morning activity all around. There’s the little kids waking up, excited for another day of getting down and dirty with their surroundings. The adults are merely craving a hot shower and strong coffee. The teen girls crowd into the bathroom to use one of two outlets for their hairdryers and the dull mirrors to apply their makeup. The teen boys try to avoid waking up altogether by burrowing down further in their sleeping bags. And thanks to eBay, this year, I have a new digital SLR camera to capture it all!

Yes folks, they call them the great outdoors for a reason! Now if I could just avoid having to come back…

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