Been busy – but not camping…

This summer has been busy for me. However, most of it has not been camping. I have been exploring the town of Walnut Creek, CA with my grandkids.  It is a quaint town.


Adam needed some help watching the kids this summer as he settles into his new position. During our first few weeks, we lived like royalty in the Walnut Creek Embassy Suites. Other than wanting 2 rooms, so I wasn’t sleeping on the sofa bed, what more could I ask? Breakfast every morning. Room cleaned every day. Snacks brought around in the afternoon and Happy Hour at 5:30 pm. Most of the staff got to know us on sight. The kids fed the fish in the coy pond every day. Even the maintenance staff knew who we were and if I had a problem, it was fixed right away. You would think we owned the place.

Eventually Adam found a place to rent, but unavailable until the July 9th. This was fine, as we had planned a camping trip to Door County. Actually, last January we planned a family camping trip at Peninsula State Park in Wisconsin. A long time has passed since we were camping with all the kids and our friends Ann and Steve. However, on this trip we would occupy three campsites and have four grandchildren with us.

Hayden, Adalie, Adam and I took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the San Francisco airport and flew home to Chicago. The next two days I spent getting Tortoise ready for our trip. I felt rushed and was sure to forget something. The weatherman predicted rain for most of the days we would be camping. I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be too bad. For the most part, the rains held off. The weather was cooler than the June/July weather I remember in the past.

Hiking and eating were our two main activities. We hiked about on the park trails, and visited various shops in the towns of Fish Creek, Ephram and Sister Bay. For some reason, our campsite was the gathering spot for dinners and campfires with smores.

After 5 nights, we were headed back to Walnut Creek. We spent a day in San Francisco around Fisherman’s Wharf. The kids really wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge. A Sunday drive meant very crowded roads; but we did find a spot to park and take a few pictures. Once they saw the bridge, I don’t think they were as impressed.

The kids and I have settled into a routine. We usually take a walk to the park and library. Not a long walk, but a couple blocks. Everything in town is within walking distance. I feel a bit guilty when I take the car to Safeway to grocery shop. But I justify it thinking that the ice cream would melt, if I were to walk home. Walnut Creek gets pretty hot. It seems that every weekend has been over 100 while the weekdays are in the 90’s. We did head up to the top of Mt. Diablo, which lived up to its name – The Devil’s Thicket. Many bugs, which the kids hated. They enjoyed a festival in town with many people dressed as their favorite characters.

Soon the kids wil be heading to school and I will be heading back home. I have been searching out campground host volunteer opportunities. When I find something of interest, I apply for it. Perhaps one will pan out and I will be once again hit the road in Tortoise.


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