Santee Lakes
Memorial Day Camp Out, 2004

2004 Home

Campground (Cottonwood Loop, #52)

That's Kristi riding her new bike at the entrance and in front of the first of the 7 reservoirs that make up Santee Lakes.  For being in the middle of the city (well, Santee), this camp ground has remarkable variety: lots of flat bike paths, fishing, boat rentals, a swimming pool and a general store.

Kristi just back from her bike ride with Keith.

Campsite 52 was home. It was advertised as partially shaded, but I'm not seeing many shadows. Most of those trees are yards away, down the hill or in the next campsite. These primative campsites without RV hookups are actually removed a bit from the lakes, but they are close to the pool and bathrooms and the all important big grass field for the kids.

Notice that without an SUV or mini-van, the Sherwoods are forced to take two cars.  And we still have to rely on others for stoves and other car camping accouterments.

The camping trip was another Gail Bigelow production, which means a large group made up of families of which the Sherwoods were the only ones to restrain themselves to two children. And oh yes, Brad is the oldest, which allows him to "organize" and "suggest to" the other kids.  And apparently steer the boat while others pedal.  I can think of no more apt visual of Brad's leadership style.

You'll note Doug is not in this boat; he was quite upset to discover that Brad had ingratiated himself with a group of other boys who conned a parent to spring for a boat rental.

That's our campsite on the hill behind.  You can see how they might have been able to claim it was partially shaded back when the trees were actually alive.

It was probably more important that the grass field was closer to our campsite than the lakes, as it always gave the kids a quick place to go and play, and still be in eyesite of the adults at camp.  Here Doug is in the foreground with Brad over his right shoulder preparing to pitch in the annual camping whiffle ball game.

The evening of the first day, Chuck and Julie Fabijanic enjoy the campfire with Kristi and Keith.  No open fires were allowed, and no fire rings were provided.  But portable fire pits were allowed.  I don't think the authorities had this in mind.  Looks like someone made a run to Home Depot for our campfire pit and firewood.  The wash tub in fact did not survive the ordeal, although there was certainly entertainment value in watching the melting zinc rolling down the outside of the tub.

Sunday morning before breakfast was another opportunity for the kids to fish or ride their bikes/scooters, or both.  Our group ran the gamut in children's ages, as you can see from the bike seat and stroller.

One thing Santee Lakes didn't offer (being located in the middle of Santee) was hiking.  So after Sunday morning breakfast, the Sherwoods drove over to Mission Trails Regional Park with Afoot and Afield in San Diego in hand to climb Cowles Moutain.  That's it in the background.  This is the top of Pyles Peak, a subsidiary peak on Cowles' ridge. This was as far as we got, and we were lucky to get this far.  We missed the trailhead (as the book said we might) and bushwacked straight uphill the first half mile.

Note to self: trails rated three out of four hiking boots in the book are too strenuous for family. Stick to two boot trails.

Sunday afternoon brought us off the mountain and back down to the lakes for another round of boat rides.

Rather than the paddle boat, Doug and Keith opted for the kayak in which they had some experience from Camp Fox.

Here Kristi and Julie paddle and steer with a boatload of girls.

Monday morning Keith and Brad make a second attempt at Cowles Mountain. They use a different approach to the summit (probably rated only two boots) and this time are successful.

That's Santee through the morning fog, and isn't that triangular peak on the horizon center left Cuyamaca Peak?

Even though we had the 6 a.m. early start, we did get back "late," which is defined by having a cold pancake breakfast (the stoves long since having been put away) shoved at you by a perturbed wife/mother, angry that everyone else has begun breaking down camp and where have you been?

The traditional third day group shot to record just how many really did attend.  It's always a family short, too, as someone always has to leave early before the shot is taken.

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Pictures and text copyright 2004 by Keith Sherwood
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