Our First Camping Experience and Muir Woods


Since we're going to be camping out during our US road trip (spending $50> per night on a motel room is a bit pricey), we wanted to make sure that we would be okay with the experience. We loaded up our road-warrior Vette with our tent (many thanks to our friend and landlord Rene and his family for trading tents with us), new sleeping bags and other newly purchased outdoor gear and headed toward Muir Woods. The plan was to go hiking in the Muir Woods National Forest (I think that's the official name, but i'm too lazy to look it up) and then spend the night at the KOA campsite in Petaluma (north of San Francisco). Now onto more details about Muir Woods, followed by a synopsis of our night in Petaluma (writing tech papers can lead to boring sounding sentences like the previous one -- in reality every one of these should begin with a line saying "the rest of this description is as follows, in section 2 we highlight..." -- a bit of paper-writing humor if you will).

Muir Woods

This was the first "hiking" experience that either one of us had done in quite some time and I'll be the first to admit that it was *wonderful*. The woods (forest?) were beatiful with nice tall trees and a refreshing bubbling creak running the length of most of the trail that we went on. We tried to take the Bootjack trail up to a picnic area that was supposed to be a 2 mile hike, but we never found it (I think we missed it because it seemed like we had gone at least 3 miles or so). Despite being unable to eat our lunch in a nice area up on the mountain, we got to break in our new shoes and had a lot of fun. One word on the pictures below, I have *NO* idea what that squirrel-looking animal is, but it is *definitely* not a squirrel (living in Berkeley makes me an unofficial expert on these creatures since they are all over the place and we see them all the time). As Daria said, "It kinda looks like a mouse with a bushy tail". So, for now, this create is a "not a squirrel"...


Petaluma Campsite

Ok, I'll be honest, this wasn't your average run-of-the-mill campground... I mean the place had a laundry facility, a store where you could buy all kinds of stuff, showering facilities with *hot* water, and a heated pool and spa. I hardly think that qualifies as the "great outdoors", but we gotta slowly work our way into this camping thing, right? In any case, we did end up sleeping in a tent, on a small patch of grass, so that part was pretty realistic. The KOA facilities were really nice and we took full advantage of the pool and spa in the evening after our hiking in Muir Woods. Interesting stuff about the place: lots of different animals at the campgrounds, including cows which grazed less than 10 feet from our tent, a petting zoo full of sheep, several roosters who were confused about the time (they kept crowing during the evening and well into night), and a hen with several chicks who were running around all over the place. Unfortunately, the only picture we snagged during the entire time was that of the hen with her chicks. Enjoy.

Picture (note the lack of plural here)