Monthly Archives: August 2011

Edmonds family camping trip!

The Edmonds gang spent months in anticipation for our camping trip to Taylor Creek and the time had finally arrived!  Kevin’s family has been camping at this spot for nearly 30 years (!) and this was my third trip to TC.  The last time the whole gang went camping together was at Granite Creek in 2009 (just a couple of months after moving to SF and a few weeks after adopting Lola, see the post here) and the last time we as a family were at TC was in 2007 so it was definitely time for another camping trip!

This campsite is about as rustic as you can get: no running water (except for the spring up the road), no cell phone service, and no toilets (not even an outhouse).  But it’s got everything else that other campsites are missing: it’s quiet (rarely do we spot other campers when we’re there), there are unobstructed starry nights, we’ve got a private creek and private hiking trails.  And that’s why the family keeps coming back after all these years.

Wednesday 7/27

Kevin, Lola and I woke up earlyearlyearly and got on the road at 7:30am.

Lots of fog over the Oakland Hills to greet us

Beautiful views of countryside and clear skies (somewhere off of Hot Springs Road)

Kevin and Lola in the car

We passed a ton of cows on the drive up the mountain…

Mama cows and their babies


Lots of meadows–I think this one was aptly named “Big Meadow” (so creative, I know)

Pancake rock!

We arrived (9 hours later!) and were sad to find out that the family’s favorite spot was already taken.  🙁

We drove up the road a bit and found another spot that wasn’t as good but we were pleasantly surprised that it worked out as well as it did.  Kevin, Lola and I held down the fort for a couple of hours before the next group arrived.

We read a couple of short stories to each other with Lola listening in

Beautiful day!

The swimming hole right next to our campsite…perfection!

The next group to arrive was George, Dorothy, Judith, Joshua and Katelyn and it was just us until the third group arrived on Friday.  Our first evening was mostly just setting up camp, eating hamburgers and hot dogs (and veggie burgers/veggie skewers for the vegetarian in the group!) and hanging out around the campfire.

Kevin and George with the bonfire

Thursday 7/28

The group woke up bright and early for another fun day of camping.  Except for this little girl who did not want to get up…

Lola, snuggled up

We were finally able to encourage the tired pup to get up and get the day started!

First thing on the to-do list?  Gather fire wood.  George, Kevin, Joshua and Lola were in charge of that item (thank you guys!)

Alley oop Lola!

While the muchachos and Lola went to get fire wood, the rest of us muchachas got dressed for some creek time…

Katelyn and her genius innertube

Dorothy and Judith hanging out by the creek

After the guys got back with the firewood it was creek time for them too!

Lola’s favorite thing to do was hop/jump/leap across the creek to fetch her ball (oh yeah, and shake and get all of us sitting on the bank wet too)

Kevin, George and Katelyn (the brave ones) in for a dip

After some time by the creek it was time for lunch and time to put up the hammocks!  Kevin and I purchased these hammocks in Nicaragua in 2004 and had yet to use them so it was about time!

Can’t get much more relaxing than this


Kevin squished into the seat hammock (and his butt was about 1.5 inches above the ground, haha)

Dorothy and Kevin relaxing in the shade

Lola couldn’t wait to test out the hammock either, haha

Lola guarding our campsite (her favorite place to be: the kitchen)

Katelyn keeping cool in the shade

Friday 7/29

Another bright and early morning!  After breakfast (breakfast burritos, mmm!) we went for a short hike to another swimming hole down the creek.

Pine cones covering the ground

George, Kevin and Lola trying to find us a nice spot to sit and relax

Lola again loved jumping over the creek to catch her ball.  We got her in the creek for a bit too, here she is jumping to catch a ball.

Beautiful skies!

Can’t get enough of these rock formations, trees and sky views

Lola looking back at Joshua and Kevin

My favorite photo of the camping trip!  Lola in the foreground, Joshua and Kevin in the background.

Can you spot Lola?

Back to the campsite to wait for our third group to arrive (Sarah and Rob!)  We spent the time eating lunch and putting reading glasses on Lola (just what any normal family would do, right? You can blame Katelyn for this one, haha)

Lola, the librarian

We were expecting them mid-day so when they hadn’t arrived by mid-afternoon we started getting worried and sent out a search party.  Ten minutes later the search party spotted their car and back to the campsite they went.

Just a little after they arrived the group got dressed and took a 20 minute hike to what the family calls “Flat Rock”–a really awesome spot where the creek has a waterfall and it flows down huge, flat rocks making great spots for sitting and relaxing.

Flat Rock

The girls: Katelyn, Sarah, Judith, Dorothy and me

Tall rocks and bright blue skies

Sarah and Rob

Lola biting the mini rapids

Katelyn and Josh building a damn, Lola biting the rapids

Kevin, George and Joshua decided to hike up the mountain a bit while the rest of our group made our way back to the campsite.  Here are some photos that Kevin took on the hike…

The view of Church Dome (where we’d be hiking to the following day, yikes!)

I love this miniaturized (is that a word?) photo that Kevin took

Lola with her hiking backpack

After the two hikes and three swimming holes that day Lola was pooped!

Proof of above statement

What makes a good evening while camping? Talking around the campfire of course…

George and Sarah

Dorothy and Kevin


Saturday 7/30

Another early morning camping (our last full day, waah!)

Kevin putting on his shoes, enjoying the view out our tent

After breakfast the group packed into two of the cars and made our way upupup the road to the trail head for our hike to Church Dome.

Joshua, Sarah, Kevin, Rob and Lola sizing up Church Dome

Lots and lots of water breaks…

My cute little hiking husband

Sarah and Rob

Family photo!  Me, Kevin and Lola

What a view!

Beautiful flowers in between rocks

Kevin and Lola looking out onto the meadows and forest

After hours of hiking upupup we finally made it!  Time for lunch.

Group shot at lunch (thanks Sarah!)

While half of the group was satisfied with the hike and ready to make our way back down, the other half didn’t get quite enough and wanted to push on a little farther.  Can you guess what group I was in?  😉

While Judith, Dorothy, Katelyn, Lola and I stayed back to take a short nap, the rest of the group made their way up to the top of Church Dome.

Lola digging a hole (first time I’d ever seen her do that!)

She was trying to get to the cooler soil for her nap, so adorable.

From our spot down below we could see a few ants walking at the top of Church Dome–they looked a lot like the rest of our family (click the photo to zoom in; Sarah, Rob and George on the left, Kevin and Josh on the right).

Once the other part of the group met up with us it was time to make our descent off the mountain.  But first…a group photo!


Although the hike down was much faster, it wasn’t necessarily any easier (let’s just say that a few butts slid down the rocks).

Lola was pretty exhausted too.  I had never seen her so tired before!  Every few hundred feet she’d make her way to a shady spot and lay down.  Poor girl!

Lola’s 198th break

So Kevin, being the great dog dad that he is, decided to help our little girl out by giving her a piggy back ride!

She only stayed on for about 10 minutes but I think it helped the tired pup out a lot

View of Church Dome…I can’t believe that just a couple of hours before we were on that peak!

Happy (and tired and sore) hiker Lisa

Not five minutes after backing George’s truck up on the road his back tires got stuck in the soft dirt.  D’oh!

The group trying to get the truck out by digging holes and putting in big rocks behind the tires.

When that didn’t work, George had the whole group (minus me and Lola) pile in the back of the truck to weigh it down and hopefully get the tires to grip the dirt to move on out.  That didn’t work either!  So the last resort was hooking Rob’s Ford Escape SUV up to the front of George’s truck and with luck we were able to pull the truck out of the dirt!  None of us could believe that the little Escape could pull out such a huge truck but hallelujah it worked!

No one can say that we didn’t deserve a nice dip in the creek by the time we got back to the campsite and that’s exactly what we did.  We can’t say that the creek wasn’t any cleaner after we got out, but at least we were.  🙂

Dinner was massive burritos and dessert was peach/blueberry cobbler (well-deserved after our long day of hiking!)

Judith serving up the cobbler…yum!!

Our last sunset

And we spent our last evening around the campfire enjoying each other’s company…

Joshua, Katelyn and Judith

Joshua, bright fire, and grey skies

Writing with light in the dark–that’s me writing out “Taylor Creek” using a flashlight (I was writing in cursive backwards while Kevin took the photo, see our “Earth Hour” post with other photos like this here)

Sunday 7/31

The rain finally decided to make its full appearance on Sunday morning as we were packing all our stuff up.  Although it didn’t make for a very pleasant last morning (especially since we were trying to keep all our junk dry while packing it up) I’m just happy it otherwise stayed dry the whole week!

On the drive home…until next time Taylor Creek!

Baby/dogsitting, music festival and scavenging

We’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy at our new home in Oakland…


We’re still looking for a couple of pieces of furniture (most urgent? A desk!) so decided to check out a place my co-worker told me about called Urban Ore in Berkeley which is a salvage yard full of any ol’ thing you can think of…

Urban Ore Ecopark

Like toilets

Or headless mannequins

Or pink polka-dot dogs

Or rooster dolls

Or highway 101 signs

Unfortunately we didn’t find anything that sparked our fancy but I think we gotta give it another few shots because the inventory changes so frequently.

Stern Grove Music Festival

On July 17th we met up with our friends Darinee and Danielle who we met at Redlands at Stern Grove for one of their summer music festivals!  I hadn’t been to a Stern Grove festival since my first weekend in San Francisco (see post with Jessie in ’09 here).  The headliners were The English Beat, an 80’s group that had a few hits and overall they were a great group to see live.

Some of you will remember that this was the day of the Women’s World Cup finals so Kevin and I met up with Carleigh and Scott that morning to watch the match and we were planning on getting to the park in time for the cover band but of course the match went on super long (but SUPER exciting, on-the-edge-of-our-seats excitement!) so we had to stay to see the end of the game.  Because of that we didn’t get to the park until pretty late when it was already jam packed full of people and The English Beat were setting up on stage.

I called Darinee to find out where they were sitting and once we were finally able to spot them we had to then make our way up an extremely steep hill with all of our food and Lola in tow which was not an easy feat!  At one point Kevin decided to pick Lola up and walk her up the hill because there were so many people she was stepping all over.  I have never seen anything like it!  Kevin carrying a 55 pound dog up a steep hill with all of these people surrounding us.  I’m just glad that he didn’t fall backwards from the weight of carrying her!  That man amazes me.

The hundreds and hundreds of people at the festival (this was our view, of the trees, haha. At least the acoustics were pretty good!)

View up above

Me and Kev

Lola not too happy about laying on a steep incline

Random little boy playing air guitar

Sun through the trees

Darinee and Lola, BFF

Lola trying to relax on the incline!

This was Kevin’s first time at the music festival and we had a blast, especially with the company we shared the day with!  We hope to make it out again this month while the festivals are still going on.

Babysitting Mia

On July 22 we had the amazing opportunity to babysit 13-month old Mia!  It was Matt’s birthday so Mika took him out for a night on the town and asked if we’d watch her for a few hours which we enthusiastically agreed to.  Mia is in love with dogs and so they said that we could bring Lola with us if we wanted to which was a bonus.  Seeing those two together just about melts my heart!

Mia’s favorite thing to do with Lola? Play catch.

Mia’s second favorite thing to do with Lola? Tease her (and just about give me a heart attack) by putting Lola’s ball up near her mouth.

Mia’s third favorite thing to do with Lola? The anticipation of getting a wet, slobbery kiss from her! Every time Lola would walk by her she’d lift her arm up to her face and laugh hysterically in anticipation of the kiss. So. Cute.

After a yummy dinner of pasta, peas, and berries (that girl can eat!) we took a short walk to the park down the street for some play time.

Mia and Kevin


Me and Mia just after coming up from a flip

My favorite picture from the day!

Kevin flying her around and Mia coming up for kisses from Lola

Diaper booty and palm trees

Walking home, trying to get a kiss from Lola

Happy girl!

Dogsitting Bailey

That same weekend Carleigh and Scott were moving from their apartment in San Francisco to an awesome little place in Berkeley (they followed us across the bay, yay!) and so asked us to return the favor (since they watched Lola the day we moved) and dogsit Bailey for the big night.

Bailey. Wiped out.

I decided that these two pups needed a photo shoot down by the lake

Sun setting over the lake. I don’t think I’ll ever get over our view!