January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Sherry and I took a four-mile hike through the Hidden Valley Nature Center on Saturday. This is the wetlands of the Santa Ana River and past home of a duck hunting club. The ponds are now naturalized wetlands and there are nice trails through the area. Near the nature center are a couple of recreated homes of the Tongva people who lived here long before us.

As the new year begins, I traditionally take a look at the calendar and start thinking about the camping trips. Like every other camper, we're limited by a six-month reservation window, but we can think about future goals. We've also got to think about the growing autonomy of a 17 year-old son.

Grand Canyon Lodge
With the cost of gas, we're usually content to stay within a two-hour radius of home. The exception of course is an extended trip every year: In 2011 we went to Florida and Mexico; Sequoia and Yosemite in 2010; plus Big Sur and Zion in 2009. We can't get the RV into Kings Canyon because of vehicle length restrictions, the cabins inside the Grant Grove at King's look interesting, but I can't imagine more than a long weekend there. That exhausts the National Parks within a six-hour drive of home. I could stretch it and look at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but I might prefer the Grand Canyon Lodge over the anxiety of driving the RV that distance. The California State Parks are being hit hard by the economy and it may just be that we end up doing an extended stay without La Rana, or just sticking to weekends. If I were to pick today, it would be a stay at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon at the Grand Canyon Lodge.


Brian said...

Have you tried Carpinteria? Great spot but pricey since it is a state park. Plenty of full hookup spots too.