Del Valle (6)

Perfect fit in a nice site

I got a weekend off from classwork and it was good for us both to get a non cell service reset/refresh. We are both thinking ahead to a long summer voyage, and one of the things we did was reorganize the things we carry in Bruce. Turns out I lied last weekend; there are always more things to organize. I just didn’t have to procrastinate anything this time.

Water levels nice and full

We got a taste of what summer must be like in this campground, though we have never experienced it firsthand. We always seem to come in the winter or spring. The first clue that there is a major vibe shift approaching is that we arrived to a long line of cars and campers checking in at the kiosk. We heard that this is normal in summer months and that they open an additional two loops when things really get hopping. The tiny campground store was also open! We love campground stores, even if we don’t buy anything.


There were groups of Boy Scouts and groups of families all around us, and we found ourselves in the middle of a multiple family, many childrened, gathering. Our site was next to the river and turned out to be the premium play zone for all of the children. I’ve mentioned before how it seems to be a dying etiquette to not walk through other people’s sites, but this group had no apparent sense of boundary lines. When I saw that their current project was to drag enormous branches over to the river, so as to stack them for reasons known only to children, passing within inches of Dory, I decided it was time for a more passive aggressive approach. I pulled out my bag of solar LED string lights and shepherd hooks and pretended to decorate our site. Really what I was doing was establishing no branch zones. And while I was at it, I went ahead and reassessed what we carry and where it goes. Things either got better positioned, or marked for removal.

Looking ready to roll

In the end, Bruce will be carrying the “classic” awning (hopefully repaired), a 2-ply Aluminet awning, a 1-ply Aluminet awning, and 2 small sizes of Aluminet for all configurations of sun/shade/rain shelter. The Pahaque visor and screen room have been removed. We will have my grill and stove, plus the cooking table, for all outdoor culinary jobs. We have my kayak and Richard’s bike riding in the car, plus kayak paddles and a big bike box for all the tools and spare things. We have a plastic crate full of leveling blocks, and another for miscellaneous campsite things (tablecloth, hammer and stakes, Luci lights/string lights, shepherd hooks for the lights, and assorted bungees, clips, and water bags for weighing things down). We always carry a jerry can for water, and on long trips, we carry a gallon of gas for the generator. Then we’ve got the more frequently used items, like the Nemo chairs, footrest/tables, and big rug. I’ve added my yoga tent and mat to the mix now, but the hand weights ride in Dory. We also have collapsible cones with little blinking lights, and those worked extremely well to repel the younguns. Nothing beats a cone for making an official looking statement. We also always carry a foldable step for when Dory is very unlevel and the door side is high. Besides that, there are the little things, like hiking shoes and trekking poles, headlamps, walkies, etc. The Dory wind sock almost got cut from the team, but when I tried to see if she still worked, her little swimming motions in the wind amused me. So she stays. It was a satisfying reorg, topped off with the installation of our new personalized plate. Now we can have 98 more Dorys.

Such a pretty day

There was still plenty of time in the day for a good hike. We drove over to the opposite side of the lake, where the main day use area is, and saw that it too seems to be in the ‘get ready for summer’ stages. Lots of people were there already, though there were warnings not to go in the water because of toxic algae. I was very comforted by how high the water levels were. Toxic shmoxic, it’s good to see full reservoirs, even if I can’t boat in them. Our hike took us along the lake and past two hike-in group camps. There were groups in both. It was a very nice out and back hike along the East Shore Trail. We could have gone farther, but it was about five miles all told, and that was plenty.

Family of Black Tailed Deer saying, “What.”

Richard was thinking of riding home on Sunday, like he had before, but adulting anxiety is starting to creep up on him. There is a lot to get done before the end of May, the roads he wanted to take were narrow and full of road debris, and he just wasn’t feeling it. Instead, he rode out of the campground, which is quite a climb all by itself, and stopped at Tesla Rd. Then it was an easy backroads drive back home.

Fishtastic Families who know how to get me good

We are ready for the final push to launch. This will include a mani pedi for Dory at Randy’s, so there will be one weekend at home for us to do stuff like laundry. And on Monday, I was so thrilled to see my Learning Center door had been decorated for Teacher Appreciation Week! I love my kids and families ever so much. They are just the best! 🙂

Total miles: 40.6, 15.0 mpg, 2 hours 17 min taking all back roads. Site 48 no hookups. Not much solar because under big oak. Huge picnic table area, but far from pad. Zero cell service. Good dump, no pay.

2 thoughts on “Del Valle (6)

  1. Are Bruce and Dory married or do they just hang out together? (Haha — at least this is my attempt at a very early morning joke.)

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