Thursday, April 27, 2006


This weekend promised to be the first weekend without rain in months so we decided to go camping with Danny & Tonita. With only a 10% chance of rain, we loaded up the car with our tent (no rain fly, but we did bring the poles this time), warm weather sleeping bags, and an extra set of clothing (no gloves or warm clothing).

After picking up some food at the grocery store, we met Danny & Tonita in Ramona and headed over to the campground to set up. Unfortunately, the campground was completely booked for a YMCA kids camping event that weekend… good thing we had a backup plan! We decided to go shooting at the BLM range and then drive to Palomar to find a campsite called Fry Creek.

Shooting was a blast (no pun intended) and Kenny’s black powder pistol worked so much better outside then at the indoor range… let’ just say gun powder, smoke and a poorly ventilated room do not mix. We all managed to pull of a bunch of rounds before it stared to drizzle. Figuring it would be no fun to shoot or clean up the guns in the pouring rain, we all made a quick exit and left for the campground.

After driving for about an hour though thick, thick fog and clouds and gaining 3,000 feet in elevation, we finally reached Fry Creek only to discover it was closed! We managed to find another campsite in Palomar State Park with 5 sites left for the night. I guess everyone else had the same idea to go camping! The campsite was great and we had fun hiking with the dogs and sitting by the fire playing with fireworks. Yes, Tonita had brought illegal fireworks into a State Park… well, they were only sparklers so that makes it okay right?!?

That night we went to sleep pretty early because it was so cold outside and none of us had brought warm clothing. We were a bit worried about the tent because as soon as we got inside it began to rain. It rained all night long, but we managed to stay dry… I guess our tent doesn’t need a fly.

About 6:00am we awoke to the sound of Danny & Tonita talking and zipping and unzipping their tent. Figuring they wanted to get an early start on the day and were packing up their tent, we tried our best to ignore them and go back to sleep. Finally we figured we couldn’t sleep so we asked what they were doing and if they were trying to wake us up. “It snowed and our tent is collapsing!” they yelled back. No way, we told them they were lying and that we wouldn’t fall for that joke. Well, they weren’t lying and we unzipped our tent to discover that it had snowed about 2 inches that morning and their 3 season tent was indeed ready to collapse! By dumb luck we had brought our camouflage, extreme cold weather North Face tent, which lived up to its name. We were nice and toasty and had no idea that it had even been cold enough outside to snow.

Well, needless to say, we decided that we did not want to cook breakfast in the snow… besides, the eggs were frozen! After packing up the tents and gear and letting the puppies play in the snow, we drove up to a little restaurant and had breakfast.

Since it had stopped snowing, we decided to drive to Palomar Observatory and look around. The Observatory was mostly closed, but what we did get to see was pretty interesting. We can’t wait to get up there some day when everything is running.

Without a doubt this weekend was one of the best camping trips we have been on. It was Pilot’s first time camping and sleeping in a tent- he did great and had so much fun. When we got home he slept for about 2 days straight! The spur of the moment plans, random events, great company (we love you Danny & Tonita) and of course the SNOW made it a weekend we won’t forget!

More pictures to come soon!