Camping/Biking at El Capitan State Beach

Spent the weekend camping with the family. Relaxing and challenging at the same time as we had our a 9 month old and a 4 year old. Ah, the great outdoors!

Well, at least it wasn’t really camping – it was car camping, which means schlep all your gear up to the campsite and unload the portable stove, tents and bikes and spend the weekend enjoying the fresh air. Here’s an aerial view of the campsite and as you can see we’ve got plenty of neighbors.

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The trek was about 4 hours and we left around noon – perfect timing as the drool machine was busy napping in his car seat.

Every camping trip is a learning experience and this trip, I learned that having extra space to pack things is great. We purchased the Sherpak Go! 15 Roof Bag for the trip, and what a difference it made. With the extra space I didn’t have to break out the Tetris skills of packing and we were able to take along our chariot bike trailer to tow the kids around as we visited our friend’s campsites.

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My wife and I also purchased bikes for the trip. I got a Marin Bobcat, and she got a Marin as well, but hers was more geared towards the street ride, and even had a little shock absorber in the seat post.

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There used to be a time when I went camping by tossing a backpack full of clothes and an external frame backpack with a sleeping bag strapped to it into the trunk of my car and headed for the wilderness. Welcome to family life!

My Daughter’s Adventurous Spirit

There is a timely post over at Discovering Dad called “Do It Because I Said So!”

Timely, because I find myself guilty of using the “because I said so” to the questions of “Why?”. Oh, I try to explain it, but after about the fifth or sixth why, I fall back on the old standby, maybe it’s because I can’t stand up to my daughter’s superpower, the mind bending power of 4 year old logic.

We have trees in our backyard. Beautiful plum and fig and apple trees. They make for excellent climbing, and she often uses them for these purposes. As I used to climb trees as a kid, I let her indulge herself for about 5 or 6 feet before I start to get the nervous pit in my stomach and then out comes parental mode!

  • ME: Don’t climb any higher please <parental concern>
  • HER: Why?
  • ME: I don’t want you to fall. <describe consequences of actions>
  • HER: It’s ok daddy, I won’t fall!
  • ME: You might climb too high and the break a branch. <property damage>
  • HER: I’ll be careful
  • ME: If you fall, you’ll hurt yourself <personal harm to herself>
  • HER: I’m not going to fall daddy!
  • ME: The tree won’t be able to support you if you go higher <limiting factor>
  • HER: I can see really far!
  • ME: OK honey, time to come down now. <ending the activity>
  • HER: Why?
  • ME: Because I said so. <Doh!>

So, looks like I’m off to the library to go check out the book Mike recommends on his site:


How to Work a Room, Revised Edition: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing
by Susan Roane

Read more about this title…