December 26, 2009

Time to Start Planning

It is that time of year when everyone makes their lists: Best Movies of the Year; Best Sports Plays; Best whatever. Around here our list is where we want to go camping next year. Since we usually can only make reservations six months in advance, the end of the year gets a little fuzzy.

Winter is always a little rough because of the basketball schedule, but at the Frosh level, there are never any weekend games, so it is actually easier this year. In January, Sherry has a ladies’ retreat, so that weekend is a guys’ trip, and we’re looking at either Joshua Tree National Park or maybe another try at Ocotillo Wells.

We’ve got a couple beach trips planned for the rest of the winter. In February, we’ll be in San Mateo Campground, inland from San Onofre State Beach. Our reservations include day use at any State Beach, so we’ll spend daylight hours on the coast and head inland for the night.

March is at San Elijo State Beach which is right on the coast. It is a nice place to camp because some of the sites are on the bluffs and some on the sand – whatever floats your boat. There is also a fantastic taco stand in the campground, so it is easy to let someone else cook any or every meal.

Our long trip this year is at Sequoia National Park in April with lots of friends. We’re hoping the snows clear early so we can explore Crystal Cave, but even if it is still under snow, we’ll be camped next to the Kaweah River in the Sierra Foothills.

May is pretty busy. We might start with a boondock in Death Valley with friends, but the busy month may prevent that trip. We're also planning a trip to the apple orchards at Oak Glen. We’ve never been there before, but have heard from friends it is a great getaway. Even if the apples are gone, there are shops to stroll and waterslides at the campground lake.

Summer brings us back to the mountains. We’re planning a June weekend at Big Bear Lake, staying at Serrano Campground. This wonderful retreat got Sherry’s highest rating ever, and it is the yardstick she uses for every other campground. It is in a Ponderosa Forest, close to where they filmed the Bonanza TV show, and there is a terrific trail to the Discovery Center (and gourmet coffee).

July is where it starts to get fuzzy because we can’t make reservations too far out in the year. Where Sherry uses Serrano as her yardstick, I use Dogwood. The forest there is more reminiscent of the Sierras than the Ponderosa, and the little town of Blue Jay is close by.

In the late summer of August or September, we could head to the beach or to the mountains of Idyllwild. I think Sherry and Andy enjoy the beach more, and working at the Black Mountain Fire Lookout, I get a couple days a month at the top of the forest. It is tough getting beach reservations in the summer, so we could end up camping in the pines and a couple day trips to the beach.

In October, we want to try something new and head out to Mitchell Caverns in the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area. The SRA is surrounded by the Mojave National Preserve, which has been brought before Congress for creation of the Mojave Trails National Monument.

November is a Death Valley boondock, and we might slip another beach trip into November. Doheney is fun for camping, but the surfing isn’t the greatest. San Elijo is close to Legoland, so it might be a trip with our Godson.

December is always a tough month, but we usually try to sneak in a Doheney Beach trip during the holidays. It gives us time to plan our 2011 calendar.


Josh Turner said...

Great post Ed! This has inspired me to start planning now. Don't be surprised if I steal a couple of your spots :)

Ed said...

Just an FYI, this post has been edited to adjust a couple dates.