Wednesday was our last day camping. We had wanted to get down to Redding this year to introduce the girls to the WaterWorks Water Park and figured a two night hotel stay would be a sweet way to end the trip (not to mention earning us big time points in a Megabonus deal through Marriott). However, in hindsight, we all decided it was not enough time camping and the hotel nights weren't as special as the campfire, moonlight, and dining al fresco. Next year, we'll probably repeat that first night setting out in a hotel to allow us to set up camp before noon- but, we'll probably spend the whole week at the campsite. So sweet to know our girls feel the same as us about lovin' this outdoor livin'!
We took our time in the morning - it was kind of overcast and none of us were in a hurry to get moving. Besides, we were finding ourselves entertained by the little squirrel skittering around to retrieve the leftover bread we had.
Finally, some sunshine!
More card-playing - this time with Pillsbury Orange Rolls and sausage
We opted to break down most of the campsite - and then load it up once we returned from one more adventure. First, we checked out the waterfall viewpoints that were the main attraction of this campground.
I like how my head blocked the view of the waterfall in this pic...
By deciding to not load up, it allowed the girls to do their favorite thing, and sit in the back while we travel back roads. Such cuties!!!
We came upon this swimming hole by another close-by campground - note the ropes hanging from the upper left hand side of the pic. The water was a lot colder than the lake we went to and a little murkier - so I don't know if we'd ever choose this place over Lake Siskiyou - but it was a sweet find nonetheless.
Another return to a different place we'd seen along the route we'd taken to try and find caves.
As we started to trek off - all of us securely in Nikes this time - (Official footwear of spelunkers =)), I made a bet with Michele as to how long it would take before one of us had a "requiring a bandaid" injury. Lava rock is unsteady and very sharp - it seemed inevitable.
Michele was first with her injury. That might scab up a bit, but wasn't bleeding.
But, then, I did this.
Sorry if you are "blood sqeemish". This was actually taken back at the car after it had clotted up a bit. And, yes, it was right before I put a couple of band-aids on it. Lava rock cuts deep - I'm pretty sure it will leave a nice little scar the way it is healing up, all ragged and painful.
In the meantime though, it was a "no big deal" and the adventure continued.
We had seen this opening from the other side and went all the way around to find the other side...
It was a very satisfying (if not a little painful) end to our camping experience. And, I'll probably end up with a nice little scar to commemorate it.
The distance from our campground to the hotel was about 70 miles. The amount of gas in our tank was enough to go about 75 miles. We kept a careful eye on it as we drove through the Shasta Lake area and thought we'd be fine to get to a gas station just north of our hotel. But, what we didn't take into account was road construction that slowed us way down.
Literally, my fuel gauge indicated "0 Miles Left" of fuel just as we approached the gas station exit (while still on I-5). Thank God the gas station was visible from the freeway. Michele and I were seriously sweating it....and only informed the girls of the peril we were in AFTER we had pulled up next to the pump. Forget the fact that the gas price was exorbitantly high at this place....
After that, we were in Redding - and made our way to Target for a few items to tide us over in the hotel and, because we were in Redding - we couldn't pass up dinner here...nomnomnom....
And, then, on to the pool. While Michele played "Marco Polo" with the girls, I ended up having a final conversation with Julie before she flew out the next day to North Korea. Would love prayers for that girl - that is a scary destination, that's for sure.
Back at the room - after well-needed showers, the girls demonstrated their pleasure of getting online again. Honestly, with the card playing, they really weren't that obsessed with the computers and even when they were, Minecraft or Roblox hardly steals from the unified spirit. And also, when they were hogging the computers, it takes the responsibility off of me to worry about blogging our adventures thus far - so I was quite fine with it.
Next up - WaterWorks Water Park!