About a month before this year’s Laguna camping trip I found out that I had a (can’t miss) family event the first day of the trip. Our campsite was booked and I had several signups. I couldn’t postpone the trip, so kindly,Tom Waltersagreed to drive my truck with all of the camping equipment, and set up camp, with the help ofTom Sullivan. Then the two of them cooked a delicious meal — grilled teriyaki chicken, burgers, rice, plus a green salad prepared by the “always helpful” Barb Perkins, for the lucky campers.
Thanks to Anna Marie Sorriso for booking the campsite a year in advance, we were able to move from Burnt Rancheria Campground, where we've stayed for years, down Sunrise Highway, to the highly desirable El Prado Big Sage group campsite. Located in a beautiful shady forest with our own parking lot, bathroom, and several picnic tables, our secluded campsite turned out to be perfect for our group.
In addition to repeat campers Anna Marie, Barb, the two Tom’s,Pat Klaasen,Chris Polta,Urszula Orlinska,Martha Way, andTom Sekreta,we had some newbies, includingMike & Eileen Sanford,Ed Offstein&Ellen Locke,Raheleh Dilmaghani ,Linda Locke, andRichard Kuntz.
Saturday morning, I drove up early and managed to arrive in time for a tasty breakfast of bacon, sausage, and Eggs Florentine (prepared as always by the two Tom’s) along with toast and coffee. Anna Marie led part of the group on a hike on the infamous Pacific Crest Trail east of Sunrise Highway on the rim overlooking the Anza Borrego Desert to Oasis Spring.
Meanwhile Tom Sekreta, Barb, Urszula, and I decided to hike the Big Laguna Trail west of the camp on a pleasant three hour walk that meandered between the beautiful Laguna Meadow and an oak and pine forest which provided us “much needed” shade. In the meadow, considering all of the hot weather this Summer, I was surprised to see a good sized pond (Laguna Lake on the map) that provided water for a few cows we encountered grazing along the trail.
Saturday afternoon the two Tom’s, Mike, and I decided to drive into Julian to explore. We stopped at theNickel Beer Companyfor a beer and then drove through town and continued out Farmer Road and drove by theVolcan Mountain WineryandMenghini Winerywhich both look like they are worth a future visit. On the way back we stopped by theJulian Beer Companyin town and sampled their beers too. This is a nice place to visit with a good beer selection and what looks like a pretty good food menu also. Another place to keep in mind for the next time in town; maybe the October Apple Harvest?
We got back to camp just in time for Happy Hour (yeah it was that kind of weekend!) where Tom Sekreta served as bar tender and made some tasty margaritas for everyone. After a dinner of grilled steak, crab-stuffed salmon, plus green bean creole, and salad followed by apple pie, we spent a second pleasant night under clear skies, around the campfire listening to Tom Sekreta’s playlist. It was another enjoyable Action camping trip and thanks to all who helped make it a success!