Monday, June 29, 2009

Fairies, clams and Spencer Spit

June 09 146 So I did bring three times as much food and clothes than we actually used but as long as it fits in the car what’s the risk right?  I’m definitely going to cull the menu and food list and amend the kit list in my camping box – but what has left the biggest impression on me is how great it is to spend focused, time together as a family and - as much as I obsess about it - the food was the least of my concerns on the weekend. 


June 09 094

If you ask the four year old toasting marshmallows was the highlight of the trip.  For me it was the fairy house.  I think my husband would say the clams. The three year old? Maybe the piece of driftwood he adopted as his ‘baby’. 


June 09 037

So much to elaborate on, I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventure.  For now though a couple of pictures will have to do. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy-Peasy Camping Menu

Here it is Wednesday and we leave tomorrow for our first trip of the summer, a four day trip to the San Juans. I, of course, have been focusing on the food aspect of the trip. Planning wise I have completed the menu and my husband has pulled out most of the gear. I hit Whole Foods this morning and now just need to do the hard part – fit it all into the cooler!

Breakfast x 3: I can only really bring myself to do one cooked breakfast a trip – it’s not so much the cooking, it’s the cleanup I can’t deal with.

  1. Bacon, Eggs, Fruit – i may substitute pancakes for thbatter blastere eggs – I was seduced at whole foods by the simplicity of the organic pancake batter in a can – however having not used it before I’m making sure i have a back-up – i suspect the ‘batter blaster’ will be a hit with the kids
  2. Croissants and Yogurt
  3. Granola

Lunch x 4: We usually do packed lunches so we can eat on the trail or at the beach – again minimal clean-up!

  1. Mini-Bagels: cream cheese, ham, peanut butter and jam, avocado
  2. Left-over Pasta

Dinner x 3: Most of this is done on our trusty Coleman stove, but this time I’ve planned one dinner for over the campfire. Can you guess which one?

  1. Tortellini with pesto and ricotta cheese; tomato/arugula/parmesan salad
  2. Hot (Hebrew National) and Veggie (Yves) dogs; corn on the cob; baked beans
  3. Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Snacks, treats and extra stuff

Fresh stuff: mini-carrots, snap peas, grapes, blueberries, apples, bananas, tomatoes, hummus, juice, chee

Treats: Oatmeal banana mini-muffins, Green and Black’s Almond Milk Chocolate (see my other post about this heavenly stuff), marshmallows, graham crackers, fig newtons

Dry snacks: cashews, fish crackers, trail mix

All of this is in addition to the basic kitchen staples that are packed away in a camping box downstairs. Now – time to check on that….

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kalaloch and Salt Creek Campgrounds

Just as I suspected – my attempt to shame myself into getting prepared early for the Spencer Spit trip didn’t work. I did however get a great campsite recommendation…we haven’t been there yet but it sounds fantastic. I’ve quoted Kathie directly below. Thanks Kathie!

I would add that both of these sites are on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula. My mom has just moved over there and man we can’t get enough! The region is stunning – and we’ve barely begun exploring the coast and National Park. Kalaloch is at the top of next year’s camping list.


Olympic National Park Campground Info

If you are up for a little drive (about 3-4 hours), Kalaloch (on the coast) is absolutely the best camping…especially for kids. There are lots of trees for climbing around on, pathways to hike on, and you are on the beach so you can never get bored. There is a little convenience store nearby with ice-cream and lattes. It can rain like crazy, so we always come prepared, but when the sun is out, it is beautiful. We always bring the boys’ scooters too as people tend to drive slowly through the campground and there are lots of nice long stretches for scootering where you can still keep an eye on them so that they are not out of sight. I have done a ton of camping over the years, and this is probably at the top of my list. If you go there, I suggest the A loop…it’s my favorite combination of trees and sun.

Salt CreekThe other place I would recommend is Salt Creek Campground…it’s a really fun campground too, although not quite as beautiful as Kalaloch.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spencer Spit Planning Week: Day 1

summer08 003Well spring has sped away faster than i imagined it would and here i am, after all my talk of planning, planning, planning, and not having done a bit!  Well i suppose since we are not going until the end of the month i still have some time but June is shaping up to be crazy – what with preschool graduation (kindergarten here we come!), field trips, the occasional tennis match – June will be gone in a snap.  So in an effort to concentrate efforts and focus my thoughts – June 8-14 – is officially devoted to planning the trip.

Why Spencer Spit?

Spencer Spit State Park is on Lopez Island in the San Juan Island.  To quote it’s website its key features are:  “excellent crabbing, clamming and ‘car-top boating.’ This is one of the few state parks in the San Juan Islands that is accessible by automobile. A sand spit encloses a saltchuck lagoon”.  Translation – preschooler heaven!

More objectively – it was recommended by a few friend and the write up in my trusty guide book “The Best in Tent Camping: Washington” was great.  One feature that attracted me was that they have campsites right on the beach. They are not accessible by car but are not far from parking, which could be wonderful however i did not book early enough to secure one of these coveted sites.  Still after considering these sites more thoroughly i decided they weren’t going to be for us this trip anyway.  We are in the midst of potty training the 3 year old and close access to toilets and running water unfortunately trumps a tent door view.  I’m going to scope it out for next year though….

now i need to think about gear – what does one need for crabbing? – here i come – time to prove yourself!