At what point do these cease being experiments? I think I’ll lose that moniker on my next trip.
Steph and I headed to Del Valle Regional Park, near Livermore, this past Friday. Our plan is to hit up a bunch of inland parks now before they become the surface temperature of the sun.
The ride to Del Valle was pretty uninspiring, sadly, as I had to work on Friday and didn’t get out in time to beat the traffic. I sat on Niles Canyon Road for a while before finally breaking free of most of the commuters in Livermore.
The road into Del Valle (Del Valle Road, go figure) was empty, hilly, and green with spring. No complaints here!
I checked into the campsite area and headed for our site. There’s a little store by the check-in ranger station but I didn’t get a chance to visit it before it closed. I think it sells some groceries, firewood, and a small amount of camping sundries.
We were at site #41, which I can highly recommend. We were skeptical at first since it’s right across the path from the (well-lit) bathroom, but a slight hill between the building and the tent area completely obscured the bright lights. All the convenience of nearby toilets with none of the annoyances!
The bubbling creek that winds into Lake Del Valle snaked behind our campsite, complete with a comfortable gravel sandbar to sit on and contemplate life, the universe, and everything.
I wandered around for a bit, climbing trees and walking along the creekside.
My little tent:
When Steph arrived, I broke out my dinner of champions, courtesy of a 7-11 in Livermore. Nothing but class!
Our “real” dinner was salmon, prepared pre-trip by Steph and cooked in aluminum foil on the campfire coals. Yum!! And of course, S’Mores for dessert.
I was pretty comfortable once again at night (my digital thermometer claimed an overnight low of 39F inside of the tent). I was spoiled, however, by Jean’s 3″ thermarest last weekend; my 1″ Women’s ProLite 3 didn’t seem to cushion my shoulder and hips at all. Grumble.
We had a quality breakfast of cinnamon bagel bites and JetBoil coffee (Diet Coke for Steph) and then packed up. I had forgotten my contacts case (note to self: put extra contacts case in toiletry bag) and wasn’t in the mood to tackle Mt Hamilton with a 5-year-old glasses prescription, so I took the uninspired way home again.
All in all, a great night. Del Valle is highly recommended!
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