Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park was an ideal getaway for family camping in California. We had originally planned to go all the way up the California coast to Oregon for an end of summer 10-day camping trip. Let this be known as the summer braces took away our vacation! An 8 year old child isn’t supposed to need braces! I was anticipating that expense more in the 12 year old age bracket. The camping trip was off.
But I didn’t cancel our reservations. I think I was waiting for a windfall. No surprise. Didn’t happen. But then I started calculating the actual expenses. We’d pre-paid the campsites on ReserveAmerica.com – an already sunk expense. What would really eat up our dollars was the gas money. So what if we just stayed closer to home? What if we didn’t travel so far? We’d already reserved 2 nights at Pfeiffer Big Sur . . . what if one more night was available? It was! So we changed our 675 mile/10 day trip to a 298 mile/3 night trip.
I must give a shout-out to my favorite camping blogger: CampingBlogger.net! His family camping checklists, camp food recipes/suggestions, and especially tips on how to “pre-cool” the cooler, made our trip run very smoothly. Our cooler has never stayed so . . . cool.
Here’s what it looks like along the road into the campground:
Remember when I wrote that post a few weeks ago about identifying poison oak? When we arrived at our campsite, I was thinking you’d all be laughing at me! See ALL that low brush around the trees? Guess what it is? I’m happy to report NONE of us got it, despite it being everywhere. Don’t touch it and you’ll have no problem.
The beautiful Big Sur River runs through the campground providing a peaceful sound as we drifted off to sleep.
It also provided a wonderland of play opportunities for the kids: catching water bugs, throwing stones, watching the sticks and leaves float, swimming, seeing another family catch (and release) crayfish, stacking rocks to make sculptures, feeling the force of the water, looking out for trout (no fishing here), and walking along the dry river bed.
We all enjoyed the short Gorge Hike where we scrambled over rocks and under tree limbs. We didn’t cross the river, but many who passed by were suited up for the swim and wearing their water shoes. Next time . . .
My favorite part of the day was emerging from our tent to see what critters visited us during the night. I think this was a racoon:
We also saw what I think is a paper wasp next on our hike to the Homestead Cabin.
In the next post, I’ll share a famous viewpoint and a lesser known hike which was a highlight of the trip!
We have to save these parks for future generations!