Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Posted by Stella on Tuesday May 31, 2011

May 27th, we went to Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California. I was just sitting at the table, looking out the window as we drove along the Avenue of the Giants, and suddenly we stopped in a pull-off. I guessed we were just pulling over to let the cars behind us go by, but I heard the RV shut off. Then Dad said, ” Whoever wants their picture taken, come out now.” So I did. There were lots of thin, windy, zig-zaggy, criss-crossy paths heading into the forest of redwoods. Just in case you don’t know, redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet.

We wandered through the woods, and took a few pictures. Here are some:

Here's a big redwood tree with the center burned out, but it just keeps on living.

Here's our family inside a fallen redwood.

Here's a picture of a redwood that goes way up into the sky.

We had a fun time wandering through the land of the earth’s tallest trees.

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Another Short Visit To The Beach

Posted by Greta on Tuesday May 31, 2011

After leaving our nice little campground in Mendocino, we left to go to Redwood Forest National Park. On the way we spotted a nice-looking beach to run around on for awhile, so we pulled over and hopped out. I brought my camera, of course.

Can you see the tiny dots near the waves? Those are us.

The water was much warmer than the ocean in Pacifica, and there were lots of pretty shells, sand dollars, and seaweed. There were also mole crabs and lots of dogs. (Those weren’t living on the beach, though. 😉 ) I tried SO hard to keep my feet dry and free of sand, so I was mostly the photographer. My sisters played around in the ocean and ran from the waves as they splashed at their ankles. It was really entertaining to watch them scream and have fun.

I only took a few pictures before Stella and Ana got caught in a sneaker, a big powerful wave that you don’t notice until it hits you. Dad was watching, and so we had to head back to the RV because the waves were getting strong. We cleaned the sand off our feet and then drove the rest of the way to the Redwoods!

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Derby Party!

Posted by Ellie on Tuesday May 31, 2011

On May 25, we got out bowls for ice cream and popcorn. We all ran to the table to get our seats. Then we watched the Kentucky Derby. And they’re off! We wached the horses take off. They were going so fast. They were coming down the home stretch and then Animal Kingdom won. After that we went to read To Kill A Mockingbird. Then we went to bed. I had so much fun waching the Derby.

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Mendocino Campground

Posted by Ana on Tuesday May 31, 2011

On May 24, we went to a really fun campground that was really fun. We were there for three days. There were many flowers all over the campground.

There were azaleas all around

There were “doaks” which are goats. We named one goat Dolly and the other one Fern. We loved dolly and fern. We fed them grass. Fern had big ears and Dolly didn’t have ears.

With Fern the Doak, which is a goat.

We saw some turkey vultures that were crowding around something.

There was a big field where we played games. We played Capture the Flag. This is how you play. You get a towel. And hide the towel. And then you split into teams and dash into the other team’s side. And try to get the towel. We also played Bite Tag, where you run from Bite the Dog, who is Ellie. Ellie is always Bite.

We found a slug, a banana slug. We had never seen one ever before. It was long and yellow and fat. We went dashing to the RV because we were excited about it.

The banana slug was as big as Stella's hand

We planned a horse race called the Derby. Me, Stella, and Ellie were the horses. I wiped out in the middle of the race behind a tree where no one could see me. I was crying. Ellie came to help me and she told Greta to come, too. She also told Stella, but Stella didn’t come because she was so tired from the racing. Ellie and Greta helped me get up and Greta offered me a piggy back ride but I didn’t want one. I just walked back to the RV. I don’t think I want to play Derby again.


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Posted by Ellie on Tuesday May 31, 2011

On May 24, we woke up as my mom was driving from Point Arena, where we spent the night, to Mendocino. When we got up we went to look for a bathroom. Me, Ana, and Mommy found a bakery where we could use the bathroom. After that we bought four ginger bread cookies and three muffins. When we got back we shouted and said we got ginger bread cookies! After that we drove to what we thought was a beach. When we got there we went and got on our shorts and went outside to the water. “No!” we said. There was no beach. Then we went back inside and looked out the window. Then Daddy made me and Ana go on a walk. He told us to watch the waves. They were bright blue. We saw some ducks. Then we went across a natural bridge. I was scared but I went across anyway. We got our pictures taken and then we went back and went to another place to see the waves. We walked for a while and then we went back to the RV. I had a fun time with Daddy and Ana.

The white dot is Greta

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A Windy Day at Point Reyes

Posted by Ellie on Tuesday May 31, 2011

On May 23, after seeing the elephant seals, we drove out to the tip of Point Reyes. When we got out of the RV, we almost got knocked over. We walked in the wind for a long time, straight to the Visitor Center, where we saw whales’ baleen that the krill and the water comes though and a huge jaw bone of a whale, which was bigger then me, way bigger than me. We also got a game on the national parks.

After that we went to look at the lighthouse, which was way down a steep hill next to the ocean, down lots and lots of steps in the rocks. We weren’t allowed to go all the way down to the lighthouse because it was too windy and too dangerous because we people might get blown off the steps into the ocean. The rangers told us that Point Reyes is the windiest place in America. And it was really windy. The wind was icy cold and it had a lot of force. We got our pictures taken. We looked real funny.

Point Reyes is the windiest place in America

We looked at the ocean and saw a big boat in the distance. On the way back we saw some birds trying to fly against the wind. After that we left and went back to the to the camper. We got blown to the RV most of the time.

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Elephant Seals

Posted by Stella on Tuesday May 31, 2011

May 23 we went to Point Reyes National Seashore. I really liked the elephant seals.

On the way to Point Reyes we saw some harbor seals sunbathing on a sandbar. There were four or five of them laying together.

We drove out onto Point Reyes as far as we were allowed in our RV. Then we walked the rest of the way down a narrow road to a lookout over a beach, to see some elephant seals. There were about 100 pups on the beach. The pups were huge, about the size of me. The parents on the beach were about 500 pounds, but they were only 3 or 4 years old. A ranger told us that a full grown elephant seal gets up to 4000 pounds, almost as heavy as our RV, but we didn’t see any that big.

The elephant seals look like gray cucumbers lying on the beach

The difference between a sea lion and a seal is a sea lion can walk using its fins, but a seal sort of waddles along kind of like an inch worm or maybe a person with their legs and arms tied up. That was how the elephant seals moved on the beach. Whenever they moved, their blubber would shake and jiggle. They looked weird and it looked difficult for them to move.

We could hear the bulls barking. They would get all up in each others faces and bump like sumo wrestlers. Their barks sounded like someone with a low voice with a really bad, hoarse cough or something.

I wished we could see the elephant seals closer up, but the view we got was great.

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Uhggg, We Have To Get Up?

Posted by Stella on Tuesday May 31, 2011

After Marin Headlands, we drove along the most twisty and turny road ever to get to Muir Woods. I was reading my ” What Your Fifth Grader Needs To Know” book, and I had read the whole Language and Literature section and the Geography and History section and I was just getting to the Visual Arts section ( which I was really looking forward to ) when we pulled over in a big pull-off at the side of the road. I was disappointed when I had to stop reading, but when I heard we were having dinner, I tossed my book into my schoolwork bucket, and then sat back down on the seat. We were going to have Indian food for dinner! I love Indian food! And naan, too! Naan is a really good kind of bread. It’s delicious! Whenever Jean says we’re having naan with the Indian food, everyone says, ” Yes!” So, yeah, naan is marvelous.

When we had naan that night, I pretended it was a tree. A giant sequoia tree. I told the story of my tree. ” This is my tree. Its name is General Naan. At the very beginning of its life,” I pointed to the center. ” It was very healthy. For about five hundred years, it stayed healthy. Then one day, there was a small drought. He survived well, and continued his life. Then, about eight hundred years later, there were lots of bugs. The bugs destroyed part of the bark.” I pointed to where it was slightly brown. ” Then, as it got old, very, very old, like, three thousand years old, there was a forest fire. General Naan got burned, but still didn’t die.” I put my finger on a couple burnt spots around the edges. ” Then he lived for a thousand more years, and he was four thousand years old, and he was the oldest tree that ever lived. Eventually, he got so big that he toppled. It is sad, but he lived a very long, wonderful life.”

We went to bed after dinner, and Dad came back to our room to read ” To Kill A Mockingbird”. I really like that book. It is funny, and creepy, like when the main character, Scout, her brother, Jem, and their friend, Dill, go out to explore the Radley House, which is the haunted house, and Jem gets his pants stuck on the fence and he lost them. And when Dill is taken away, and then he sneaks back and hides under Scout’s bed.

So Dad came back and read, and when he finished reading a chapter, he shut the light off and hugged us goodnight. Then Jean came in, and hugged us too, and then they told us to get some sleep. So I did.

About two and a half hours later, there was a knock on the door. I was half asleep, but I could hear about half of what was said. I don’t know if it was Jean or Dad that opened the door, but I heard it open and suddenly a man was talking. He was a very nice ranger. He very politely told us that we must move. And that our sewage was leaking.

Dad fixed the leaky sewage, and then we moved along and found a place to sleep. We didn’t get to go to Muir Woods the next day because we had moved down the road away from it.

I slept really well. And when I woke up, we were at a playground. That I didn’t get to go to.

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Marin Headlands

Posted by Ellie on Tuesday May 31, 2011

On May 22, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. We went very slow on it because of all the traffic on the bridge. Me and Stella were doing our homework and they told us we were crossing. I looked out the window and saw the bay underneath us, but Stella still had her head in her book. She didn’t know we were on it. Daddy was teaching Greta that the bridge is a suspension bridge and was the longest in the world when it was built. We were almost to the other side and Stella still had her nose in her book. On the other side, I said, “Stella, wasn’t that really cool?” She mumbled, “Yeah, it’s really cool.” Then she said, “When are we going to cross the Golden Gate Bridge?” And I said, “Stella, we just crossed it.” She looked at me, bewildered. We all laughed, and she was disappointed she had missed it.

On the other side, we stopped for photos of the bridge and had some sandwiches for lunch. We went to the Marin Headlands, which are the hills on the north side of the Golden Gate (the Golden Gate is the opening from the ocean to the bay). We drove through a forest and saw lots of horses. Ana saw a sign that said horseback riding, and that made me very mad because we didn’t get to go.

We got bundled up and went on a hike to the Bonita Point Lighthouse. Along the way, we went through a cool tunnel. There was a ranger at the tunnel who said we had only ten minutes to go look at the lighthouse and come back. On the other side of the tunnel, we heard crashing waves. There was a bridge across to the lighthouse, but we were not allowed on it because it is too old and rusty.

The lighthouse at Bonita Point

We drove pass some batteries where there used to be big cannons. The cannons were there to protect the bay in case enemy warships ever tried to attack the bay, which they never did.

Looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge from Bonita Point

We returned to the visitor’s center and completed our junior ranger packets. They gave us stickers instead of badges, and we were sort of disappointed. But we were happy.

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Friends In San Francisco

Posted by Greta on Monday May 30, 2011

On Sunday, May 22nd, we left Pacifica in the morning and drove back to San Francisco to visit a friend of my dad’s. I’d never met her, but she sounded really cool. She was a tall, red-headed lefty, and she was an artist. I was looking forward to meeting her and her husband.

We couldn’t find her house at first and there weren’t any parking spots, so we called Kelly. Her response was, “Oh, just park right in front of our house and block the driveway!” but of course, she hadn’t seen the RV and she obviously didn’t know about the massiveness of it, so my parents thought this was hysterical. We parked in a nearby lot with a big red “NO PARKING” sign. Jean sat in the camper while we went in. Kelly and her husband, Stephen, came out and greeted us, and they still said, “Just park it here! The neighbors won’t mind!” So we did.

It was nice; they were both very nice and friendly, and so was their puppy, Trilby. They showed us around, and then we got drinks and went out to their backyard. There were lots of pretty flowers, and we were impressed when Stephen told us that he had built the entire deck himself. We chatted, or rather, the adults did (I did a little) while we sipped our drinks. I mixed lime seltzer water with cranberry juice, and it was surprisingly very good. 😛

Sadly, we had to say goodbye at some point. Hugs were given out by everyone, and lastly we showed Kelly and Stephen the inside of the RV. Then we drove off, ready for yet another day in California!

Our favorite friends in the city of San Francisco. Isn't Trilby adorable?!

I know it was a great thing for Dad to be reunited with his friends, and it was nice for me to meet some nice new friends!

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