Big Sur Camping with the Playgroup

When we learned we were having twins, we joined the Gemini Crickets parents of multiples club to commiserate learn about handling multiple screaming infants at the same time. Playgroups form with like-aged kids, and it turns out, our playgroup does an annual camping trip to Big Sur. All total, 7 families descended upon the small Riverside Campground, bringing with us 14 kids worth of chaos; that’s 6 sets of 4-year-old twins!

Home for the weekend.

Nikon D600, ISO 200, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 29mm focal L., map

We decided to take the Leaf, partly because we could, and partly just to see we could actually fit 3 nights worth of stuff into it — turns out we can, but only just barely. It was 100 miles each way. Both ways, we stopped in Salinas to charge in the middle whilst having a meal and charging the car. Since we had an RV camp site, there was no problem charging at the campground.

Maia shows us her wiggling tooth

Nikon D600, ISO 320, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

We have SPORKS!

Nikon D600, ISO 140, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 52mm focal L., map

Marshmallow roasting time

Nikon D600, ISO 5000, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

Elise was so happy to have done it herself — Stella isn’t so sure about it

Nikon D600, ISO 12800, ƒ/2.8, 1/8sec, 70mm focal L., map

Saturday morning, plans were formed to catch the 10:00 tour of the Point Sur Light Station. After sleeping in till 8:30, that made for a rather hasty breakfast and departure, but, I’m glad we did.

The twins shall overwhelm Point Sur Light Station

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/11.0, 1/100sec, 34mm focal L., ~5.9mi from prev photo, map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/320sec, 45mm focal L., map

There was a strong, cold wind blowing that morning. The docents did their best to explain the history of the light house by stopping every 50 yards to tell a new bit of trivia. It was fascinating, but, made for a considerably longer exposure than I anticipated climbing up the road.

Steep, windy climb

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/320sec, 36mm focal L., map

Maia finds a roly poly

Nikon D600, ISO 140, ƒ/18.0, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Pill bugs were everywhere along the road. The kids were all to happy to be distracted by something more exciting.

Roly poly fence

Nikon D600, ISO 200, ƒ/18.0, 1/50sec, 40mm focal L., map

Webs of lichen

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/3.2, 1/1600sec, 35mm focal L., map

At the beginning of our walk, our docent talked about an aircraft carrier that sank off the point. Little did anyone know that this teaser line wasn’t referring to just any aircraft carrier, but it was the airship USS Macon. Macon is the reason for the iconic Hangar 1 at Moffett. Inside the gift shop, they had a room dedicated to Macon and the trapeze that was used to launch and recover the Sparrowhawk biplanes.

USS Macon memorial

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.0, 1/400sec, 70mm focal L., ~435ft from prev photo, map

First glimpse of the light.

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1250sec, 70mm focal L., map

Docent John had no end of stories to relate

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1250sec, 24mm focal L., map

Point Sur Light House

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1250sec, 32mm focal L., ~0.2mi from prev photo, map

Clever

Nikon D600, ISO 450, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 31mm focal L., map


Nikon D600, ISO 720, ƒ/7.1, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Stella says, “It’s LOUD!”

Nikon D600, ISO 720, ƒ/6.3, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Up to see the light

Nikon D600, ISO 450, ƒ/8.0, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Light diffusers under the walk way

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/8.0, 1/60sec, 24mm focal L., map

Just a teensy bit windy

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/13.0, 1/60sec, 24mm focal L., map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/8.0, 1/200sec, 24mm focal L., map

Who’s that guy?

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/9.0, 1/100sec, 24mm focal L., map

Down we go

Nikon D600, ISO 1100, ƒ/9.0, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Lichen on the backside

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/4.5, 1/400sec, 24mm focal L., map

Gorgeous view

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/4.0, 1/1000sec, 36mm focal L., map

I’ve got my eye on you!

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/4.0, 1/1250sec, 24mm focal L., map

Maia wants to make a horseshoe

Nikon D600, ISO 200, ƒ/4.0, 1/50sec, 55mm focal L., ~524ft from prev photo, map


Nikon D600, ISO 160, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 62mm focal L., map

The docent was all too happy to let a couple of kids “play” in the blacksmith shop. It’s the fact that all the associated buildings are preserved that make Point Sur a unique experience.

Elise really liked the furnace blower

Nikon D600, ISO 140, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 38mm focal L., map

Juvenile blue whale jaw

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/9.0, 1/200sec, 38mm focal L., ~386ft from prev photo, map

The time before Costco

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 60mm focal L., map

Wall mounted rotary — gotta be somewhat rare.

Nikon D600, ISO 1400, ƒ/4.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

Still windy

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1250sec, 44mm focal L., ~485ft from prev photo, map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.0, 1/640sec, 44mm focal L., map

Can’t complain about the price — can’t really see it, she wrote “free” on the left of 0ยข

Nikon D600, ISO 110, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 44mm focal L., ~5.9mi from prev photo, map

Bug hunter Elise finds a bee

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/250sec, 31mm focal L., map

Eloise makes a clay mustache

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 70mm focal L., map

No pictures, please

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 66mm focal L., map

Is the camera gone yet?

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/80sec, 62mm focal L., map

Nope, still there!

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/80sec, 62mm focal L., map

Stella makes a clay person

Nikon D600, ISO 140, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 60mm focal L., map

Eloise also says, “no pictures!”

Nikon D600, ISO 320, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

I will not smile!

Nikon D600, ISO 360, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

But, I WILL be silly

Nikon D600, ISO 400, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

OK, maybe a little smile

Nikon D600, ISO 320, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

Thanks to whoever brought the GIANT marshmallows!

Nikon D600, ISO 1250, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 52mm focal L., map

Stella’s marshmallow face

Nikon D600, ISO 1400, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 60mm focal L., map

And, Elise’s too

Nikon D600, ISO 1100, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 48mm focal L., map

Sticky!

Nikon D600, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 44mm focal L., map

Ben goes cross eyed over smores

Nikon D600, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

So problematic

Nikon D600, ISO 900, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

Nahh, no problem at all!

Nikon D600, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 70mm focal L., map

Rocks and water — what more do kids need?

Nikon D600, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 45mm focal L., map

The girls would select a rock to throw into the water, and then make a along, overhanded run at the water and finally transition to an underhanded throw at the water’s edge. I should have captured a video, it was quite hysterical

The end of the over/underhanded throw

Nikon D600, ISO 720, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 52mm focal L., map

Maia strikes a pose

Nikon D600, ISO 900, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 58mm focal L., map

On Sunday, we picked a short, 1-mile hike to down to a cove that was used long ago as a timber loading dock.

Roof rack central

Nikon D600, ISO 200, ƒ/18.0, 1/50sec, 27mm focal L., ~8.8mi from prev photo, map

Off we go

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/200sec, 28mm focal L., map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/200sec, 40mm focal L., ~485ft from prev photo, map

Heading toward the cove

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/100sec, 29mm focal L., map

I thought this bridge would make a nice photo spot. I was on a rather precarious perch over the water amidst much other vegetation. These are the best of the bunch.

Take 1

Nikon D600, ISO 180, ƒ/5.6, 1/50sec, 40mm focal L., ~508ft from prev photo, map

Take 2

Nikon D600, ISO 180, ƒ/5.6, 1/50sec, 56mm focal L., map


Nikon D600, ISO 160, ƒ/5.6, 1/50sec, 48mm focal L., map

Say, “Hi!”

Nikon D600, ISO 640, ƒ/5.6, 1/50sec, 66mm focal L., map

Other side of the tunnel

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/250sec, 24mm focal L., ~197ft from prev photo, map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/9.0, 1/80sec, 26mm focal L., map

Relentless

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/9.0, 1/200sec, 29mm focal L., map

Former loading dock

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/6.3, 1/200sec, 27mm focal L., map

Scramblers

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/1000sec, 45mm focal L., map

OK, time to come down now

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.0, 1/400sec, 48mm focal L., map

Everyone helps out

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/800sec, 48mm focal L., ~503ft from prev photo, map

One of the best things about being with other families — we all looked after everyone. Thank you, Ron, for helping Elise

I did it! — Dunno what the worry was as she seems to levitate just fine

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/1000sec, 62mm focal L., ~252ft from prev photo, map

Bonding

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/1250sec, 70mm focal L., ~274ft from prev photo, map

Tranquil

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/10.0, 0.5sec, 24mm focal L., ~500ft from prev photo, map

Ever watchful eyes

Nikon D600, ISO 450, ƒ/2.8, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Ben and Maia share a moment of stillness

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/4sec, 26mm focal L., map

Stella makes an “A”

Nikon D600, ISO 11404, ƒ/11.0, 1/50sec, 24mm focal L., map

Say, “Hi!”

Nikon D600, ISO 2200, ƒ/5.0, 1/50sec, 44mm focal L., map

4 elephants come out to play …

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/400sec, 40mm focal L., map

7 elephants …

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/400sec, 36mm focal L., map


Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/320sec, 36mm focal L., map

9 elephants come out to play …

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/320sec, 38mm focal L., map

Final breakfast

Nikon D600, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/200sec, 44mm focal L., ~2.7mi from prev photo, map

I have to say thank you to everyone that helped organize this adventure, for helping with the kids, and for all around making this one of the best camping adventures we’ve had. Can’t wait for next year!

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