Dinky Creek Vacation 2020: Part 1


I’m going to write this camping trip post in sections because I’m trying not to spend A WHOLE day laboring at blogging. (Yes, I am guilty of that.) I do love blogging but if I want to write daily, I have to keep it short and sweetish. So let’s get started on this trip!

It was GREAT! Really great. Just what we needed. It was not without its challenges though. Traveling during a pandemic is nerve-wracking and every step of the way I worried we had made a mistake and should have stayed home. I kept hearing those social media voices from Italy, Just Stay Home. echoing in my head.  But we didn’t. We ventured forward to where we thought we were safe and I hope and pray that we were. It turns out we were in more danger at home (A family friend who we are in relative indirect contact with has been diagnosed. Eeeek!) but we didn’t know that.

First mistake: I over-packed. I thought making a list and checking it twice was the way to go but it turns out being extra prepared allowed me extra time to over-think everything. I packed enough food for a week. We were only gone for three days and one of those was driving and we lived off snacks from the gas station. What’s a road trip without junk food?!!


It was a really long drive. Five hours. I don’t mind long road trips but for some reason in my geographically-challenged brain, I thought it was only three hours. After hitting a bit of construction traffic and sweltering at a few rest stops while the dogs peed, the trip there seemed extra long and laborious. You could say we were pretty tired by the time we finally got to our destination.


That was mistake number two. When I booked our campsite last year it seemed like the sweetest little creekside spot. It wasn’t close to the restrooms or the other campsites, which is what I like. What I didn’t realize AT ALL was that campsite itself was 100 feet away from the car parking spot down a STEEP dusty trail. It was no joke. On the map for some reason I didn’t see the incline. The hundred feet was vertical and only appeared like 50. Or something like that. I’m not really good at topography, obviously.

You saw the three big plastic totes and an ice chest we had strapped to the back of our truck? And the black plastic bladder thing full of sleeping bags and suitcases on top of the truck? I packed for a zombie apocalypse. We could seriously survive forever in the woods with all the gear and food I packed. The problem is, I thought we’d be close to the truck and I’d keep most of our supplies in the truck, only taking out what I needed as I needed. I had no idea I’d have to trek up and down a hill every time I needed a pot, spoon or a bag of pancake mix.

All that gear had to be carried down that hill. Did I mention that Payam recently had neck surgery and isn’t allowed to carry anything over five pounds? Before you gasp in dismay, please know that I am one determined mother work horse and I was not going to let a little sweat and tears ruin this camping trip. I grit my teeth and got to work, skidding down the hill and carrying totes that were way too heavy for me. Hear me roar silently, I am Super Woman.

Meanwhile, Payam, who doesn’t like to let a woman outshine him when it comes to brute strength, was sputtering madly. “What?!!! What kind of stupid #@$%$ campsite is this?!!!” He was so upset and disappointed to find that we had hours more work before we could rest. Not being the connoisseur of camping that I am, he thought we majorly got ripped off. The next campsite down the road had their fire pit and campsite a mere steps from their car!!

I, however, realized the beauty of this spot. It was secluded. It was remote. It was surrounded by trees and we could hear the stream nearby. It was perfect. Not another camper in sight. Actually, I take that back, there was one other campsite in the low meadow we were in but they were a half a football field away.


It was the most beautiful spot I have ever camped on and I have camped a lot in my lifetime. My parents used to take us every summer and Toby and I used to camp a lot as well. Having the perfect remote but not too remote campsite is a unicorn in the wild. They are really hard to find. So if anyone is looking for that perfect spot, book spot number 50 at the Dinky Creek campsite.

That is of course if you don’t mind a little bit of a trek from your car to your campsite. When I made the reservation, I kept wondering why it said zero vehicles when there clearly was a parking spot plainly marked. Now I realize it was a “tent campsite” and the vehicle was not part of the campsite. Live and learn.

I think I could definitely do it again and pack three times lighter. We didn’t need half the food I packed and we took a lot of unnecessary gear. But we didn’t know. Now we do and YES, I have totally typed out a new and improved list with those unneeded items nixed. I’m extra like that. Feel free to email me for a pdf copy.


The kids definitely helped out. That was part of our deal, knowing Payam couldn’t do his usual share of the heavy lifting. The kids carried totes and bags and didn’t even complain. Bug actually assembled their tent with a bit of help from Joon. I am so proud of my her. She might end up being the nature girl she genetically meant to be after all.


When we first got there we didn’t know how the dogs would behave so we leashed them to a big tree. Whiskey took up permanent guard dog status and Cody whined the whole time. He’s gotten to be so attached to me, he suffers if he can’t follow me around everywhere. I do love his dear little co-dependent soul but his whining was obnoxious.


Here’s a better view of both of our tents. Our tent is huge. The girls have their own three-person tent that is much smaller. We keep the dogs in our tent with us which is really nice. It has a divider down the middle that can be opened so the dogs have their space and be close to us while we are little separate from their dirt. Dogs + Camping = A lot of dirt.

We quickly set up camp and settled in just in time to watch the sun set through our own private little forest of trees.


It was perfect. Tomorrow: watercolors, streams and camp-cooking, oh my!


July 15th 2020


Captains Log 07152020… wait, I’m not even sure how that goes. I watched Star Trek for a brief period during my college years when I lived with my Aunt and her family but I don’t remember much. I was a fan though. Just not a loyal fan, I guess.

Anyway, I don’t have a lot to write about today. A few topics have been swirling around in my head but none of them are grabbing me.

  1. Wide pants from eshacti. It’s time to kick Stitch Fix.
  2. Bug cooking dinner. Her old soul demeanor humbles me.
  3. Learning to like sparkling water.
  4. Puppuccinos for the dogs in the mornings at the nearby Starbucks. Did you know having a Starbucks within walking distance of your house can increase your house’s value? I had no idea. Fun tip from my morning talks with my Dad.
  5. My mom’s amazing weight loss journey and how we are writing a book about it. Not really, we’re just writing a notebook with tips and tricks. We just need a nutritionist and we could take this on the road. Kidding. Sort of.
  6. My love affair with Belle Robertson, author of Tired of Thinking About Drinking (especially the “okay, goodbyeeeeee!” one minute messages).
  7. CAMPING! We are leaving soon and of course I have typed up a massive list of things to pack.
  8. What if they don’t let us camp because of covid? So far so good.
  9. Garden News (we took a blow from the powdery mold monster), new nylon bags and how not to plant your plants too close together next year so your cucumbers don’t taste like squash and your squash doesn’t taste like cucumber.
  10. Sewing plans.
  11. My new characters Bandit and Su. I actually already wrote about them over here.
  12. Pulling from the Brenda’s Book of proverbs, life lessons, criticisms and hard knocks.
  13. Out in my shed looking at old journals. So many!
  14. Monday Morning Disease, 6 o’clock drink o’clock, Morning Mantras, Cold Showers and other tricks

What do you got? Anything you’d like me to wax on about now that I’m in the habit writing every morning? No promises though. You know me. This could just be a phase that could dry up tomorrow for all I know.

We leave tomorrow for our long-awaited camping trip and I’m NOT taking my computer with me. I know. Such self-control, right? Heh. I will be instagramming whenever I find wifi of course. I’ll be up at the general store standing in that one corner that has cell coverage with my mask on, six-feet away from all the other wifi-seeking city-slickers.

If any local thieves are reading this I just want you to know that my house is heavily alarmed, fully camera-ed up AND I am having someone check in on my cat who is a Krav Maga master.

Love you guys!