July 7 - 10

Camping at Richardson's Grove State Park

Toby and I go camping for three nights at Richardson's Grove State Park up in Humboldt County along the south fork of the Eel River. This grove is renown for their old growth redwood trees densely growing along the river. This park was also a frequent Murphy camping destination while they were growing up and traveling to and from Arcata.

Above is a map of the Huckleberry Campground. This year we stayed in site #30, last year we stayed in site #32. The blue dot is where we set our beach site. The yellow line on the river was our raft floating path from the Summer Bridge north toward the Swimming Hole and beyond, then we had to walk back to our beach site. (Note: map is apparently NOT to scale the 'Summer Bridge' is actually considerably further south.

Click on thumbnails to view larger images:

Sunday: July 7

On Sunday we head out before 9am. With a car full of supplies we head north for the long 4+ hour drive. We drive through San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge north through Marin and Sonoma County. We stop briefly for lunch in Ukiah. At the grove the weather was perfectly clear with highs in the 90's. We checked into our site #30 and set up camp. Our old camp site from last year #32 (right next to us). Once settled in we cooled off in the river with our new inner tubes. For dinner Toby prepared a delicious stew before we left home, we reheated it with our stove. That evening we played Bananagrams. We were in our sleeping bags by 10am.

  • Driving north over the Golden Gate Bridge

  • View of San Francisco from Marin County just on the other side of the bridge

  • Vineyards surround the freeways in Sonoma County

  • Toby driving through Mendocino County

  • 101 as it winds through the narrow passage in Richardson's Grove

  • We reach our site #30 in Huckleberry Campground

  • Looking into our site from the far back edge. We pitch our tent between these two near trees

  • Our tent seen from the other direction

  • After our site was set we walk toward the beach through the redwood grove

  • The swimming area we hung out during our stay

  • The water felt refreshing in the 90 degree heat

  • Heading back to our site to get our swimming suits on and our tubes ready

  • Walking through the grove on our walk back to our site

  • Ready to hit the river

  • Testing our new tubes in the river... works just fine

  • These tubes were fun for floating down the river

  • Heating up stew for dinner

  • Our fun solar powered mini lights

  • Playing Bananagrams

  • Playing Bananagrams

Our campsite before setup and Toby floating down the Eel River


Monday: July 8

We were up by 7:30am, we promptly made coffee and then breakfast burritos with bacon with a side of cantalope. I was determined to have a raging fire that evening so I split the wood we had into smaller burnable strips. We relaxed at our site with Toby reading his book and me playing sudoku. We then made sandwiches for lunch as spent most of the day by the river. We wanted to float further down the river so we walked to the Summer Bridge as our starting point and floated down river past the main swimming area... it was a blast. That evening my fire was raging! We had minute steak and corn for dinner. That evening we were visited by three skunks!

  • Letting it 'out' of the tent!

  • Is it time to wake up? It must be

  • Looking back to our site from our tent

  • Bacon cooking for breakfast

  • I'm making myself a breakfast burrito

  • I will get this wood to burn if its the last thing I do on this trip

  • Morning at campsite #30

  • At the swimming area next to the parking area. We use our new umbrella

  • At the swimming area next to the parking area

  • The fresh water was very clear

  • Toby at the empty beach, it didn't stay that way for long

  • This umbrella was the best Costco purchase for this trip

  • The water was cool and refreshing but not cold

  • Floating in our tubes

  • This wood will burn into a nice fire this evening!

  • Toby reading his book

  • YES I got this fire going, the smoke kept most of the mosquitos away

  • Ah such a nice warm fire, although we didn't need the heat

  • Toby and the fire

  • Toby preparing our meal that evening. We had minute steak

  • We had corn to go with our minute steak

  • I had solar powered lights strung over our tent door

  • Evening at our campsite


Tuesday: July 9

Tuesday morning we again had breakfast burritos with eggs and bacon. After relaxing at our site we again made lunch sandwiches for the beach. We went to get ice at the gas station near the park before settling down at the swim area. This time we set our chairs right next to the waters edge to cool off our toes. Again we rode our tubes from the Summer Bridge past the main swimming area... fun! We stayed at the beach for a good portion of the day. That evening we relaxed at the site. I bought more wood for a large fire for our last night. For dinner we had an easy meal of hot dogs with frank and beans.

  • Eating cantelope with my breakfast

  • Toby with his breakfast burrito and coffee

  • The windy Hwy 101 through the grove on our way to get ice

  • Our beach site looking south on the Eel River

  • Toby along the river

  • Alan along the river

  • Alan along the river

  • Alan along the river looking north

  • Toby cooling off

  • Time to use our tubes. I use a stick to move around the river easier

  • Soaking in some summer rays

  • Here comes Toby floating down the river

  • Slowing floating down river in our tubes

  • Toby and Alan along the Eel River

  • Toby and Alan at our campsite

  • Back at our campsite after a long day along the river and in the sun

  • Toby at our site

  • Alan at our site

  • Relaxing at our site on our last evening of camping


Wednesday: July 10

Our last morning we wake up around 7:30am, after breakfast we back up our site and load up the car. We were ready to head out of our site by 11am. However we didn't leave the park, we drove to the visitor's center which was closed (open Fri-Sat-Sun only). We then claimed our same spot by the beach for more fun in the sun. We swam in the water and floated around in our tubes on a deserted beach! There was only one family who came down to the beach while we were there. At just before 2pm we decide to call it a day, pack up our beach chairs and umbrella and hit the road back home. Traffic was relatively easy heading south, we were back home around 7pm.

  • Our site all packed up

  • The visitor center is unfortunately closed on Wednesday

  • This was the old telephone tree

  • Shamrocks blanketed the forest floor

  • Tall coastal redwoods surrounding the entire visitor center area

  • Looking up at the 9th tallest tree in the world

  • More floating around the river

  • An empty and very quiet river that Wednesday

  • Floating down the river

  • Our site at the tip of a little peninsula at the swimming site

  • Little fingerling fish which would school around anyone swimming

  • The deserted beach as seen from the river

  • Looking up the river from in the river

  • Me in the river

  • FWEE

  • Toby with the view down the river

  • Seacliff area of San Francisco, reminds me of coastal Italy