Subject: Re: Camping
David wrote:
>Hey John, Sounds like you got the great spot. How was the Heat?

Weather was mild while we were there. Mid-70's during the day. Not too cold at night. Nelder's Grove is in an old-growth and second-growth forest and offers plenty of shade. In Mt. Home Demonstration Forest we camped at almost 7000 ft. elevation in second-growth century old forest which also was nice and cool.

>I would love to find camping closer to us that is less crowded.<

I must say David that finding these campgrounds was an incredibly pleasant surprise. Their proximity to you make them a real find. What is even more amazing is that there are no fees! That's camping. Nelder Grove is just outside of Oakhurst on State 41 towards south entrance of Yosemite. Turn off on Sky Ranch Road and then follow the signs to Nelder Grove. There are actually several campgrounds up here, outside the national park but within the national forest.

Mountain Home Demonstration Forest is even closer to you. From Porterville you take State 190 up to Springville then either Balch Park Road or Bear Creek Road up to the state forest. We camped at Shake Camp which was the highest campground. Eleven sites and it didn't fill up on the weekend we were there. There's even more isolated camping at Moses Gulch out on the Tule River that we hope to explore the next time we go.

>We also used to camp at Mamoth Lakes but had
>problems with VERY LARGE (7 feet 900 lbs) Brown bears two years in a
>row. Very aggresive! I like Black bears in the 100 lb range that hide
>up trees.

We had no problems although there are plenty of signs warning of the potential.

>What kind of gear do you use and do you car camp as we do?

Yeah, we car camp. We have a 4WD Suburban we use as our rec. vehicle. Generally, we set up the tent. But if we're staying for just one night we'll sleep in the back of the Suburban. In fact, last winter we did a complete trip through Utah &Arizona (Arches, Canyonlands, Natural Bridges, &Canyon de Chelly) sleeping in the Suburban. A bit tight with the two of us and the two dogs but with temperatures in the teens you need to cuddle.

> All we look for is some form of toilet and fresh water.<

Same here, although Baja camping requires that you forego both of these amenities. Down there one must bring all one's own water and dig ones own toilet.

> Showers are great but we can do without for a few days if unavailable. Something nice about having to boil water to wash with or we have a solar shower bag
>if there is sun.

My wife thinks the solar shower is one of the greatest inventions. It works great in Baja. I forgot it on the last trip to the Sequoias. Boy was she pissed.

>We also go to Big Basin in the Santa Cruz Mtns.
>Have you been?

Haven't been. We'll have to give it a try.

We kind of think of our camping trips as the dog's trips. It's our way of making up for all the vacations they can't go on. In fact, we can't even utter the word Mexico anymore around this house or they get excited expecting to be romping on the wide open beaches of Baja shortly.

John Rule San Diego, CA