Camping Trip: June 11-13, 2010

Discussion in 'San Francisco, CA' started by Taeriel, Mar 4, 2010.

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  1. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Everyone is responsible for their own food. We are not doing potlocks or group food for this trip. If a few individuals wish to make their own arrangements to share, that is of course up to them. But please do not come expecting food and drink to magically appear at the campsite. ;) Please plan accordingly and bring whatever you wish to eat and drink for the mealtimes that you will be there.

    As for cooking, there is no regular, standing BQQ at the site. The only on-site grill is a very small one that folds over half the campfire. It probably isn't reliable for cooking - the fire will be set at a level for sitting around, not for food prep. A few people are talking about bringing camping stoves and will probably share their use - but remember that you will need pots and pans to cook on!
  2. JedHead1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 1999
    star 5
    That's what I figured.

    :)
  3. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    The camping trip is in just under two weeks, so it's time to really start planning the details on this. I would greatly, greatly appreciate it if people could please start chiming in regarding planning for the trip. Things that need to be planned include:

    1. Sleeping space and equipment - make sure we have sufficient sleeping spot options for everyone. This includes tents or cars (for those sleeping in cars). Note that I am basing the following only for common sites - people at their own private sites are responsible for their own stuff.

    For tents, so far we have:
    -Eva: definitely bringing one large tent. It will hold the people in her group and I believe maybe 2 others. (Correct me if wrong.) She can bring 2 smaller tents as backup if needed.
    -Alison: small/medium tent (8x8'), can hold 2-3 people
    -Don: 4 person tent (3 spots taken, space for 1 more) - ONLY FRI NIGHT
    -Rachel: can bring tent as backup if needed

    We currently have room for 3 more tents altogether between both sites, assuming that spots for Eva's large tent, Alison's tent, and Don's tent are taken. This is not counting the backup tents listed above.

    Making basic assumptions regarding where people might stay based on previous communications, I do not know where the following people are planning to stay. Please post to let us know your plans:
    -Anne
    -Lloyd
    -Lloyd's wife
    -Anthony (please clarify if you are sleeping in your own car)

    Car camping:
    - Matt's car (Matt and Dale)
    - Anthony (??)

    2. Transportation and cars - please note that we are allowed only 2 cars per site! With two sites, this means we can have only 4 cars at the campsites. And that is assuming both cars/vans will fit in the driveway space available. I have spoken with the campground to inquire about extra cars, given that we have several people coming from different geographic locations. There is a small overflow parking area near the front of the campground, but it is very limited and is for the entire (>100 site) campground. If it is full, there are no other places to park overnight, anywhere in the park. Therefore, it is very important that we carpool as much as possible to reduce the number of cars onsite. Here's a list of what I know so far regarding car plans:

    -Eva's van: Eva, Angelica, Joey, Eva's brother - full
    -Matt's car: Matt and Dale
    -Don's car: has space for 1 more person, but note they are leaving Sat night
    -Ming's's car: Rachel, Ming, Anne
    Lloyd's car? - Lloyd and his wife, driving up from LA - ??
    -Anthony's car?
    -Alison's car? - I am happy to get a ride from someone else to cut down on cars onsite, but I need to be sure to be there early on Fri (early afternoon) to check in. Alternatively, I am happy to give people a ride. You can meet me at my house in Los Gatos and leave you car there over the weekend. I can carry 3 more people, but it's a Prius so has a medium limit on cargo space for equipment.

    That's 7 cars, which is 3 cars over our limit. We need to discuss how we can cut this down. If you have room left in your car for more people, please speak up and note the times you plan to arrive and depart, how many more people you can take, and what space you have for their equipment.

    Also, please note that each site comes with only 1 free day pass. Each and every car after that must pay a $10 fee per day.

    3. Payment - There are two main fees which will need to be paid for this trip: a) campsite cost and b) extra car costs. (This does not include gas, food, supplies, ect. You are on your own for those.)

    Please note that these fee discussions apply only to common sites. People staying at their private sites are separate and on their own.

    Campsite fees: Eva and I paid in advance for our campsites, and will need to be reimbursed by everyone for their fair share of the reservation cost, upon arrival. We will be calculating the costs/person such that they are the same for either of the common sites - everyone, regardless of which common site they stay at, will pay t
  4. skye_solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 3
    I did the email thing, but I'll say something here too.

    I will be staying at Eva's camp site, and she said I may use one of her small tents, that she has as extra.

    To share I will be bringing a small propane stove, and firewood.

    Anne
  5. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
  6. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Parking

    I just wanted to clarify some things regarding parking. The parking location of the car (and whether or not someone is sleeping in it) has absolutely nothing to do with which car utilizes the "free pass". The two are in no way connected at all. The campground will give us a pass (probably a receipt to be taped to the windshield). That car can be parked in the overflow area just as much as it could be at the site.

    At the moment I am considering two scenarios for how to divide the car fee costs:

    A) Add up total car fees for the day --> divide by number of cars. Each car pays that amount. That individual car cost is sub-divided between the people in the car. In this way everyone contributes to the car fees but those who carpool with more people have a slightly lower cost.

    Example A: say we have 6 cars on one day. Car fees will total $30 for that day: 6 cars-2 site passes-1 season pass=3 purchased passes at $10 each. This would mean each car would pay $5 that day ($30/6 cars). If car #1 has 2 people in it, they would pay $2.50 each. If car #2 has 4 people in it, those people would pay $1.25 each. And so on and so forth for the rest of the cars.

    OR

    B) Add up total car fees for the day --> divide by the total number of people. Everyone contributes to the car fees and each person pays the same amount, regardless of how many people were in their car.

    Example B: same scenario as above with 6 cars on one day, with total car fees $30 for that day. If we have, for example, 16 people that day then each person would pay $1.87 for that day ($30/16).

    Unfortunately this will add a layer of complication to the calculations for payments, but I'm not sure there's a way around that. I will of course calculate how much each person owes ahead of time, so that you all know how much money to bring. The added complication will come in that cars will need to pay $10 when entering the park. So we'll have to account for that expenditure together with how much is owed for campsite fees and car fees.
  7. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Showers

    Showers are located a short walk from our campsites, through a shortcut trail in the woods. They are pay-as-you-go, and costs $0.25 for every 2 minutes. Don't forget to bring your quarters! Normal restroom facilities are also located with the shower stalls. I think there were 2 or 3 stalls in the women's bathroom; I can't remember the exact number. Keep in mind the campground is over 100 sites, and only two shower buildings, so the showers might be busy and have a wait time.

    Matt stopped by the campground last weekend, and reminded me that there is no soap in the bathroom - so remember to bring some of your own. I can't recall if they had paper towels or not, but it's a good idea to bring your own hand towel in case.

    Addresses and Maps

    Here is a map of the campground. Note that the overflow parking is notated by the "P" on the road coming in (from Graham Hill Road). It is by the amphitheater/campfire center.

    There are no park trail maps available online. You may purchase a map at the visitors' center, day use entrance, or campground entrance for a few dollars. (I think it was $3? Somewhere around there.)

    Here is a map of the general area. Marked is the main entrance to the park, where you can purchase your day pass, park for the day, and visit the visitors' center, picnic area, and old growth redwoods. The address is:

    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
    101 North Big Trees Park Road
    Felton, CA 95018

    The campground is located at a separate entrance on the other side of the park. You cannot drive across the park to get to the campground; you must leave the park and drive around. The address is:

    2591 Graham Hill Road
    Scotts Valley, CA 95060

    Please note that google maps is not providing the correct location when this address is entered. It is pinpointing a spot too far south. The campground entrance is a bit north of there. It is on the west side of Graham Hill Road - left if you are driving up from Santa Cruz; right if you are driving down from Felton.
  8. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Deadline to confirm attendance - Sat, June 5

    I plan to tell people ahead of time how much they will owe for the campsite reservations and for the parking costs. As such, I need to have a firm list of confirmed campers. Ideally I would also like to know carpooling plans, if possible.

    The following people have communicated with me regarding trip plans recently, so I consider them already confirmed. If any of this is not correct, please let me know by Sat.

    edit: updated 6/2/2010

    Confirmed
    Alison
    Eva
    Matt
    Dale
    Don +2 (Fri night only)
    Rachel
    Anthony
    Ming
    Anne
    Lloyd
    Kathy (Fri night only)

    This list is only for people staying at the common sites.

    Tentative people (who expressed interest a long time ago)
    Friday night is full. We have 4 spots open for Sat night only. If you would like to join us, please let me know by Sat June 5.

    Of course, everyone is welcome to join us for activities during the day. We are not limited in numbers for day activities, only for camping overnight. There will be plenty of daytime activities, including hiking, picnics and the photoshoot.
  9. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Sign-ups are now closed for camping overnight. I will be calculating costs per person and posting the information in the next day or two.

    I will also put together a set of directions to the park, for those who aren't familiar with it. I believe everyone will be coming from or driving through the Bay Area. I'll leave it to everyone to reach the South Bay on their own, and give directions beginning in Los Gatos, as I believe that is the point where all routes will converge. I'll post directions in the next day or two.
  10. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Weapon Prop Policy

    Matt spoke with a ranger at the park to find out whether we would be able to bring blasters/prop weapons to the photoshoot. Unfortunately, the ranger's answer was that it probably wasn't a good idea.

    I know that weapon props are an important part of many costumes. However, I think that in this case it would be better to respect the park policy and wishes, and to not bring blasters or other obvious weapon-looking props.
  11. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Here are directions to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, for those who are coming this weekend but aren't familiar with the location. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    For those who are coming during the day, but not camping, please note that there is a $10 day use fee for park entry.

    There are two driving destinations at the park: the main entrance/day-use area, and the campground. Please note that you can't drive through the park to get to the campground; you must exit the park and drive around the perimeter.

    I believe that everyone is coming from somewhere in the Bay Area, so my directions below begin in Los Gatos. I think that is the one point where all routes will converge. Please start by finding your way to southbound Hwy 17 in Los Gatos. (This is the same as I-880 a bit north of there.) The following directions begin at Hwy 17 @ Hwy 9 in Los Gatos.

    Cowell Redwood State Park ? Main Park Day Use Entrance
    101 North Big Trees Park Road
    Felton, CA 95018

    1. Head southwest on CA-17 S - 16.2 mi
    2. Take exit 3 for Mt Hermon Rd - 0.1 mi
    3. Turn right at Mt Hermon Rd - 3.5 mi
    4. Slight right at Graham Hill Rd - 0.2 mi
    5. Turn left at CA-9 S - 0.6 mi
    6. Turn left at N Big Trees Park Rd . Destination will be on the right - 489 ft


    Cowell Redwood State Park ? Campground Entrance
    2591 Graham Hill Road
    Scotts Valley, CA 95060


    Please note:
    - Google maps points to the wrong location for the entrance when you put in the campground address! It shows it a bit farther south than it really is. In the directions below, I have pointed the map to the real entrance as best I can estimate.
    - There are two reasonable routes from Hwy 17. One is to get off at Mt Hermon Road just like for the main entrance. The alternative is to get off at La Madrona Rd//El Rancho Dr. I include below the directions for the latter since google ranks it first.

    1. Head south on CA-17 S - 17.6 mi
    2. Turn right toward La Madrona Dr (signs for La Madrona Dr/ El Rancho Dr) - 108 ft
    3. Turn left at La Madrona Dr - 0.2 mi
    4. Take the 1st right onto Sims Rd - 285 ft
    5. Take the 1st right onto Brook Knoll Dr - 0.2 mi
    6. Continue onto Treetop Dr - 0.2 mi
    7. Turn right at Graham Hill Rd - 1.0 mi


    Directions for once you are at the park are below.

    Going from Main Entrance to the Campground

    Start at Main Entrance: 101 N Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, CA 95018

    1. Head west on N Big Trees Park Rd toward CA-9 N - 489 f t
    2. Turn right at CA-9 N - 0.6 mi
    3. Take the 1st right onto Graham Hill Rd - 2.7 mi

    There is a Safeway located in the Felton Fair Shopping Center at the corner of Mt. Hermon Rd and Graham Hill Rd. I believe there is a CVC pharmacy there as well.
  12. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Payment method: I would greatly appreciate it if people could bring cash for payment, due to the nature of how the money will need to be distributed. Some of the money will be reimbursed to me, some of it to Eva, and we do not get the same amount. It will make things far easier on us if we don't have to subsequently sort out and redistribute payments from checks or paypal. Exact change would be cool, since we are not planning to have a supply of money for change on hand.

    Here is the breakdown of campground fees for Friday and Sat night. Please note all of this is for the common sites only and does not include people who made their own reservations.

    The costs have been calculated separately for each night based on the total number of people at each site that evening. The costs have been averaged between the two sites - Eva has a discount for her site and generously offered to spread the savings to the other common site. Everyone pays the same price for a given night regardless of which common site they use.

    Friday night campsite cost per person: $3.78
    Saturday night campsite cost per person: $5.04


    These costs do not include parking / day use fees. I do not yet know how many cars will be coming, so I can't yet calculate those numbers. Parking costs will be calculated to average out the free pass that comes with each site and I am contributing the use of my annual pass as well. The cost for the rest of the cars will be averaged over all cars for each day. Each car will pay the same amount. Cost per person can then be split by the number of people in that particular car. As just an estimate, I anticipate the cost might be somewhere in the range of $4-6 per car per day.

    Please note that each car needing a pass will have to pay the $10 per-day day use fee UP FRONT when arriving at the park. We will handle reimbursement for the shared part of the cost after the fact, once we've collected money from those who use the free passes. Again, because of the way this works, cash will be the way to handle payment.
  13. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Flora and fauna cautionary notes

    * Poison oak: it's everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean *everywhere*. It is extremely variable in appearance and location, ranging from ground cover to mid-sized shubs to vines creeping up trees to big hedges. The leaves vary in color. Sometimes it doesn't have leaves (usually in winter), but the twigs still have the oil. If you're not familiar with and used to avoiding poison oak, please be careful and be mindful of what you come in contact with. You want to bring home happy memories of the camping trip, not a bad case of poison oak.

    * Rattlesnakes are present in the Santa Cruz mountains. Please be cautious.

    * Mountain lions are present throughout in the mountains. Please read warning signs at the park about how to handle possible encounters.

    * Raccoons - aren't dangerous, obviously, but they are out to get your food. And they're clever little thieves. Everything needs to be put away and locked up at night. (And by put away, I mean put away. Don't leave coolers out, as the raccoons will get into them.)
  14. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3

    Remember, Leaves of three, let it be...
    Leaves of four, have some more :)

    Things are looking good for me this weekend. I wont be working saturday, but will most likely be getting off work on friday at about 6pm. I'll try to arrive at the campsite at around 9am saturday morning and will probly leave late that night.
  15. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    One word of caution regarding congregating at the campsites... I found out the other day that the "limit of 8 people" is not just for people sleeping overnight. It is a limit on how many people congregate at the campsite at any given time, including day trippers. The campground ranger specifically brought this point to my attention when I called last week. She was concerned that our group would have too many people for what is a family campsite.

    So please keep this in mind. We need to make sure we keep the numbers at each site reasonable, trying to stick to the limit, and above all else, we need to make sure we keep the noise level down. Nothing will draw the rangers to our site faster than being noisy.
  16. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    I dont want to sound like a gun whacko, but there is nothing against california law about bringing gun props to a state park. Technically you can still bring real guns and even have them caried open on your person as long as they're unloaded. Park policy has to conform to state law since it's a state park. But if it's the consensus of our leadership then I will respect that and not bring my gun prop, even though I feel many photo opportunities will be lost.
  17. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    I hear you Tom, I think we were just trying to respect and follow what the Park Rangers told Matt when he asked about prop weapons in the park.

    But, if you noticed in my post at the RL... I did say 'or leave it in your vehicle'. ;) I don't suggest going against what Alison is comfortable with, but play it by ear. If you get the OK from a friendly park ranger when you are there chatting with them - then I'd say coast is clear. The main thing is we just don't want to upset the rangers if they had advised against it, and have it impact the group. So at this point in time with nothing else to go on, we had to pass along the info we had from the rangers 'not a good idea'.
  18. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    True. Notice how they worded it as "not a good idea", meaning that they cant legally tell us not to bring them, but there are still ways they can mess with us. Legally they can give us an immediate patdown, and check our prop and verify that is not a loaded gun, and even that has the potential to ruin a camping trip. Last week the state assembly passed the ban on open carry of unloaded handguns. Depending on whether or not the governator vetos it or signs it, i think it could possibly effect our costuming groups when it comes to realistic looking guns.
  19. irishjedimaster Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2010
    star 1
    Its getting harder to live in this state. At least AB1934 still has to pass the senate (seen by most as unlikely), AND get Arnold's signature (very unlikely), and then stand up to the beyond certainty of a Supreme Court challenge. Anyway, I digress...

    Theres been some conflicting information regarding weapons and what can and cant be brought into places, so allow me to clarify by citing the law. California is an Open Carry state, which generally means you can carry a registered, unloaded firearm on your person into most places, provided you are allowed to carry a firearm in the first place. However, there are exceptions, and CCR Title 14, Div 3, Chap 1, s 4313 (a) of the California Penal Code states that State Parks are one of them, along with school zones, government buildings, airports... you get the gist of it. This means you CANNOT CARRY firearms into a California state park, or any national park in California, loaded or otherwise. I only bring this up so as to discourage anyone from doing so, and to point out that, yes, while the legality of prohibiting prop guns is suspect, the Rangers will probably not stop to ask questions, and will very likely kick you out or arrest you. I've trained with a lot of these folks, and I've trained some of them. They are mostly "act first, ask questions later" types. I don't see anyone actually getting kicked out for lightsabers, as they can't be seriously mistaken for firearms. That being said...

    I am a gun nut, and I will be taking my very real Glock 19 with me. I will also be complying with state law, and keeping it in a box, within a "temporary lodging or a vehicle when unloaded and 'packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use'". Not to be a killjoy, but I strongly suggest everyone do the same, prop or not.
  20. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Russ - thanks so much for providing further clarification on the laws as they pertain to the state park. Indeed, what you have said is more specific than the information we've had so far. The first step to following the law is making sure you know and understand what it is. This has been a big help for the group.

    I'd also like to clarify my reasoning behind preferring that we play it safe and keep the blasters out of sight. Even when we thought unloaded guns were permissible, I still felt that it would be better to follow the preference and advice of the ranger. Firstly, I didn't want to risk the potential of an incident, as low probability as that might have been. Secondly, I felt that it would be rather disrespectful to go against what the ranger said. He indicated they would prefer us not to have the prop guns. While rangers may not be regular policemen, they still deserve our respect and cooperation. I weighed a lot of pros and cons before coming to a conclusion, and I did strongly consider the impact on photo opportunities as well as the disappointment many people would have as a result. I want everyone to have a good time on this trip. But at the end of it, I concluded that the proper and wiser course of action would be to respect the ranger's request.

    I'd also like to say that the rangers I've met have all been very friendly and helpful. They want everyone to enjoy their experience in the park. But at the same time, they do have to consider the larger picture and how to maintain the smooth operation of the park for everyone.
  21. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    Thx for clearing things up bro
  22. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    I had a blast! Lets see some of them pics!
  23. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Mine loaded overnight. Now I need to go through and resize them so they don't take up huge amounts of space. In the meantime, here are the larger versions. mobile link

    Sorry, all I can get at the moment is the mobile site link.

  24. JedHead1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 1999
    star 5
    Thanks again for organizing this, Alison. You rock! I'm glad the surprise worked wish the cake and card! :D

    Here are my pics, along with some from Kathy:

    http://s43.photobucket.com/albums/e385/JedHead1/Camping%20Trip%20-%20June%2011-13%202010/?start=all
  25. Taeriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
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