Monday, October 27, 2014

Circle X

Question: "What's your favorite part about camping?

Answer: "The lack of cell coverage"

P. McGraw

Circle X was once again an opportunity to remember how much I love to go camping with a bunch of 3-5 year olds. At first I was totally wishy washey. Oh, it is going to be a low turnout. oh, I am too tired, oh. There is too much going on in my life right now to go on a camping trip, yada, yada, yada.

But then you get there and then you once again experience how awesome it is to see stars, how awesome it is to hear silence and how awesome it is to watch a bunch of yungins go kooky crazy, not eat anything for days on end, find anything they can do to keep going and just go nutty fun crazy. Sorry, but as a parent, I think there is nothing better.

Circle X is a really pretty site, with a fully shaded all day long table area and quite a beautiful surrounding vista of what Luke called "chocolate covered mountains".

Sleep, nah, eat much, nah, but I think a great time was had by all and I feel down right anzy about Leo Carillo in April, 2015. It is going to be an awesome trip, I can feel it in my bones and I am already designating it the Chris L. memorial Birthday trip, bebecauset is indeed Chris L. birthday that weekend.

Thanks everyone for showing up and a special thanks to the grey fox and the newt who made Circle X a really memorable trip.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wow, might be a first!

I booked our next outing this morning with the help of Zoe, for April 24th and 25th at Leo Carillo State Park, perhaps our official favorite camping spot, though we shall see if Circle X brings on the magic in just a few short weeks. (October 24th and 25th)

So, for this small window we have TWO reservations for group sites for our lovely tribe and all I can say is.

Bring it!

(as always, if there is something you want posted here, please let me know. Like lists, directions, camping info, etc, etc.)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

All is well

The more I go to that site, the more I appreciate it. Yet another wonderful trip filled with warm caring people and somehow the crazy winds decided not to creep into the Leo Carillo valley.

Highlights included:

Watching Ty eat four breakfasts including two helpings of Special K with red berries. A trip back to Malibu circa 1968 with naked children running everywhere at the beach. The COOKIES. Joe's marshmallow tree.

A special thank you goes out to Gino for invisibly starting and maintaining the most difficult Sunday morning fire I have ever witnssed. Way to go Gino, you are the offical Hedgerow firestarter!

And all without a single rattlesnake bite!

I did not take a single picture and if anyone wants to send me some via dropbox or another manner I will gladly post a slideshow here.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Circle X Malibu is new territory

OCTOBER 24th and 25th (Friday and Saturday nights)

I spoke to Beth and decided to book a trip for October, 2014 (the booking window at Reserve America is six months in advance and bookings go about as fast as Bruce Springsteen tickets, so...) But when I logged in to make a reservation for Leo Carillo I noticed this foreboding message in big red digital ink:

Leo Carrillo Group Camp Closed to Construction: Construction project at Leo Carrillo will take place in and around the campground from June 1st thru December 31st, 2014. Expect noise and delays Monday thru Friday, 7am to 7:30 pm. No vehicle access to North Beach parking lot.
CONSTRUCTION: Large portions of Leo Carrillo campground will be closed for construction between the months of September 2014 through March 2015. Expect delays and noise Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

So, I decided it was time to try something new, and the closest campsite to our fair city is the Circle X in Malibu. I have never been and in truth have always wanted to, so now is our chance.

I hope I don't jump the shark by posting this before the upcoming Leo Carillo trip, but I get excited about these things if you have not noticed already.

Circle X Malibu Creek looks like a great spot and perfect for those who want to just come up for the day.

The website lists these activities:

Enjoy a visit to the Grotto or a creekside picnic at the trailhead next to the campground.

Grotto Trail 3.5 miles round trip, moderate to strenuous; no bikes, no horses. This trail traverses hillsides and leads down to the West Fork of the Arroyo Sequit. The trail is downhill from the Ranger Station, which means an uphill return. The Grotto area is rugged terrain; be careful and wear appropriate hiking attire. The last 1/8 mile is through an unimproved streambed and dogs are not allowed.

The Ranger Contact Station can provide you with free hiking maps of Circle X Ranch. A publication of park-led activities for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is also available. Visits to nearby Malibu and the Pacific Ocean are just a short drive way.

The group site looks very nicely situated away form the other individual sites as well.

And get this, it is really inexpensive? At first I thought I was doing something wrong, but the total cost for the two nights is less than half of Leo Carillo. This must have to do with the fact that it is not a part of the California Parks and Recreation, but the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation. When I searched for it at (where I book all the previous trips), I was re-directed to I will have to do more research on the whys and hows of this.

About the only downside I can see is that I believe they do not allow firewood fires, only charcoal. It is a bit confusing to me as they have fire pits listed, but maybe they only allow charcoal in those as well. A small price to pay for a camping trip 30 minutes away from Hedgerow!

We are well prepared for the remainder of 2014!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Next Trip! Leo Carillo Redux May 10 and 11, 2014

Hedgerow folks, our game is on!
Last trips overwhelming success makes our upcoming reservation a very exciting event indeed. Look for more info from our fearless leaders soon.

Leo Carillo Group site (yes, the exact same one as last time)
Saturday and Sunday nights May 10th and 11th

Things we discussed after our last adventure:

  • All staying at the one group site
  •  Firewood coordinator
  •  Music
  • More lanterns
  • More carts to shuttle gear from parking lot

Friday, January 31, 2014

All the local hotspots!

View SoCal Group Camping in a larger map

Take a look at my SoCal campsite Google Map and perhaps we can think about where future trips ought to be held?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New lease on life

I started this blog many years ago when I first encountered group camping with kids at the Growing Place.

Our trip this last weekend to Leo Carillo was so great and so rewrding that I decided to change the name of this blog and contiue to post my experiences and give the Hedgerow community a place in the history of Southern California Group Camping fun!

Leo Carillo is truly a great spot, and as Beth will let everyone know I have an exisiting reservation for Friday and Saturday nights, May 10 and 11th, 2014.

But we should not stop there, there are a number of great group sites in the LA area, the one I have my eye on, but have never been to is:

Malibu Creek Cirlce X Ranch

Looks pretty sweet, I like the way it seems to be at the end of the line.

But I also know that looks can be deceiving. Patrick suggested we take a scout up there sometime and see for ourselves and see if meets the Leo Carillo mark or perhaps even excels past it! Malibu Creek is the closest State Park Group Site that I know of.

I am too tired to do much else, but lets say:

  • Cuts and Bruises: 4
  • Broken limbs: 0
  • Nighttime departures: 1

A very respectible first outing.

Feel free to make any comments about how I can make this blog more useful and interesting for our future adventures.