My first night in Big Sur was not a good one.
I was tired and my sleeping bag was warm, but I could not sleep. To stay warm you burrow into your bag and zip it all the way up. It’s conducive to warmth, but not to movement. It is like sleeping in a straightjacket. I like to fling my arms out and stretch my legs. I sleep like I’m climbing a rockface, face buried in my pillow, arms outstretched and feet searching for a toehold.
The first night in a new environment is always hard. Every sound catches your attention. I heard a small animal walking across the tarp in front of the tent and nosing near the zippered door. Seeds from the trees above fell like intermittent raindrops on the tent. An owl was throwing questions into the night. The river sounded in the distance like a sound machine set to gentle rain. In the deepest part of the night, I heard a sharp, loud crack and then a reverberating boom. I waited, holding my breath in the stillness, to see if someone would scream for help. A tree had fallen over.
I fell asleep right around the time my alarm went off. I had set it for 4:00am for the meteor shower. It had been overcast when we left the campfire at midnight and made our way to our tent. I was hoping that the clouds would clear. Lulu got up with me and we went out into the meadow, but it was still foggy.
We had cereal for breakfast.
Then it was off to explore the river.
We brought two pairs of shoes. One to wear in the river and another pair to wear while those dried.
Time for lunch.
Learning how to ride a two-wheeler. By the next day, she succeeded.
Our first hike.
Someone decided she was tired and not going any farther.
Our campsite. There was always something drying on the line.
Every afternoon Gwen and I would walk to the camp store to pick up ice for the coolers and the kids would get ice cream.
Watching the Bag-O tournament. More on this later.