Written By: Bobbie
My family loves camping and we try very hard to go twice a year. Our favorite spot to go camping is Lake Camanche North Shore. We have been going there for several years now, and love how the campsites are set up with a fire pit, picnic table, easy access to a water spigot, garbage bins, as well as flushing toilets and showers. In years past our preferred site has been within a short walking distance of a fantastic lagoon that was perfect for wading and swimming, but with the drought here in California, the lagoon as pretty much dried up, but we still had a blast with our weekend camping trip.
My husband and older daughter headed up early Friday morning, and set up out camping site, I followed later with my younger daughter, plus an extra friend for each of them. Most camping sites I've seen have two parking spots, so space is not a problem. The weekend we went camping the weather report said there would be some light drizzle early Saturday morning. What really happened was a good six hours of steady rain. We had some drizzle start around 8 pm, and by 10 pm we were hunkered down in our tents. Not expecting such a heavy rain fall, the tent fly was not fully staked down, and by 2 am I was hit in the head with a drop of water and switched on the flashlight
to huge rainwater bulge on two sides of the tent. Hubby only got a little bit of a shower between clearing the puddles off the roof of the tent and pulling the rain fly stakes out further. I was a wreck and did not sleep until the rain stopped around 5 am. I then pushed the water off the roof from the inside, then passed out for a few hours.
Other than the unexpected amount of rain overnight, our camping weekend was a blast. We were there off season, and took advantage of the camp space around us being empty for a little baseball with a foam bat and ball. The back of one of the tents made the perfect catcher. Afterwards I sent the girls off to look for fallen twigs and branches to drag back to the campsite so they have something to throw in the campfire later.
It has become a tradition to run over to the Marina store Saturday after lunch for ice cream, or ice pops. The store has a small cafe attached to it, and recently started offering soft serve ice cream. I usually pick up a bag of ice to top off the ice chests, and ice cream for all the little ones in our camping group. The store is well stocked with drinks, camping food, and any essentials that may have been forgotten, as well as some Lake Camanche branded goodies.
After ice cream I drag the girls out for a walk down along the lagoon and around the back of the peninsula where our camp area is. Along the way we look for any animals running around, flowers, and just hang out and bond. We always see a variety of birds, and turkeys and geese are always hanging around somewhere. Squirrels, hares, and ground squirrel's are common. We even saw a deer running down to the lagoon area during the day not to far from us.
We usually have a few smaller kids with us, and a few years ago Lake Camanche North Shore installed a play area. There are two play structures, a basketball court, a couple benches to relax on, and some grass to throw down a blanket for a picnic. The play area is not too far away from the camp site so it is easy to walk to, or ride bikes to. Park Rangers, Sheriff's Department, and camp employees patrol through out the day to keep an eye out on things.
The night time views can be pretty spectacular. Lake Camanche North Shore is out in the middle of no where, so the only lights around are from the bathroom areas, or occupied camp sites. We love using different sky apps to find stars and constellations, and using a telescope out at night is fun as well. The great thing about Lake Camanche is there are quiet hours, which I believe start at 10 pm. They are also night time patrols, and a shout out to night time patrol employee Toby. He stopped by the camp site and explained his patrol routine, and gave us the brochure with the night time patrol cell number and told us to call if there was a problem.