Camping! One of my favorite past times that we haven’t had the opportunity to do in years. The last time we went camping was in 2009 on Edisto Island off the coast of South Carolina (2009, seriously?). We had planned to do some backpacking this weekend (would have been my first time) but I’ve managed to pull a muscle in my leg so we decided it was best to rest it. We dusted off Jacob’s camp box, loaded up the car, and headed out on a 4-hour drive from LA to Sequoia National Forest.
This was a spur-of-the-moment trip and our first time camping in California so I thought it was best to reserve a campsite before we showed up. I now wish I hadn’t because not only did it cost me $10 extra for the booking fee, but there were also plenty of empty campsites there when we arrived. On the other hand, it’s only April and not peak season for camping. I would probably use the reserve system for June and July, as I noticed that a lot of campgrounds around California are ALREADY FULLY BOOKED through 2015. Californians love the outdoors and their National Parks. Can’t blame ’em. It’s beautiful out here.
Anyway, off to Camp Wishon just outside of Springville, California. The camp itself is off the main road that winds up the mountains. It’s actually very difficult to spot and we ended up driving about 5 miles past it up the mountain before I stopped at a very remote cafe (straight out of the 60s) to ask for directions and was told to turn around. Once you turn off onto the dirt road, it’s about 4 miles to the camp. You’ll see this sign after those 4 miles.
There’s no ranger station or place to check in, you just drive around the loop until you see the spot that you reserved. If you just go on a whim without reserving, there’s a sign that says “Open”.
The campsites are all very shady, lots of pines, and fairly even ground to set up a tent. There are fire pits with grills and picnic tables at each site. There are non-flush bathrooms (no showers) and water spigots to share with other campsites.
There are a couple of sites that could fit a small RV, but this campground seems to be mostly for tent camping. Actually – when I called to make the reservation, the woman told me my total was $54 (for one night!). I told her that I saw it was only $22 online and she said she gave me a campground with a pull through drive-way (usually for RVs). I told her I just wanted the cheap one and she changed it without a problem, but beware that some sites will cost more if you have several vehicles or a large camper/RV.
Brought the trusty cast-iron (thanks, Papaw!) and made pork chops as well as sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, and onions in foil packets over the coals.
The Tule River and Hossack Creek surround the entire campground. We saw some swimmers and some people fishing. The water was a bit too cold for me this time of year, but made for some good sounds to fall asleep to at night.
Some of the campsites sit right on the creek. These are the ones you want! They are beautiful and more secluded from the main entrance.
I’ll leave you with this cute little thang. He waltzed in to our campsite as we were about to leave. His owner came over and informed us that he was blind in one eye. “No kiddin’?”