Monday, December 7, 2015

Just your run of the mill weekend @ Bothe Napa State Park.

A few weekends ago, I had to get out.  We had just spent the last 3 weekends in town... sort of.  We went to Dylan and Kat's wedding and stayed in the city, but we never made it out of the bay.  That's a long time for me not to get out.

So it was great timing that we were headed to Napa Bothe Yurts which we booked months in advance with the Hoefts and Chases.  The Anairs got in on a camping site next to the yurts, which probably ended up being warmer anyway as the yurts don't really insulate much.  But it is nice not to have to set up and take down our tents.  Especially if you are planning to arrive late, you can transfer your sleeping kids from the car to the yurt with ease.

We went on a group excursion out to the Bale Grist Mill, which was quite interesting.  Tons of history, the guide was great, and the kids loved it!  Highly recommended.  I was feeling a bit tired and didn't manage to squeeze in any trail runs, which was a shame as I'd love to explore more of the trails around here.

The boys putting the beds at the yurts "through the mill"...
We decided to go back to the the Fox and the Hound for dinner again as we had such a lovely time last year.  They had changed chefs, and this time the food was "run of the mill.".  Not mind exploding like last time.  
back at camp Nikko learned all about making smores... keeping his, "nose to the grindstone" if you will.  
Kai and I were looking for shooting stars.
next morning... the kids just "milling aoround" in their superhero outfits.  Kai didn't have to get out of his PJs to join the Superman club.
Every morning before Kim gets here coffee... she's "fair to middling"

on our way to the trailhead, we saw these guys cutting a tree down...
These guys were quite the crew.  "Showed off their metal"  Took less than a minute to get the log cleared out of the way so we could drive through.  

Fun guy!
Fast fun guy!

Train ride!

on our hike to the Bale Grist Mill.  Kai found some extreme Stridering trails.  We actually thought the trail was going to be flat, but it wasn't...
Nikko... "three sheets to the wind"... not really.. but had to add that phrase in there somewhere...

the waterwheel... it used to be fed to the flume from a pond a few 100 yards up the hill.  Now it's just recirculated water.  

The next morning.  It decided to rain, so we had brekky in our yurt!
but soon the rain let up so we could go exploring in the redwoods.  
and look for giant leaves by the creek.  
After packing up, we cruised into town to pick up some sandwiches and check out some playgrounds. 
then off to Vincent Arroyo to pick up our standing order/picnic.

After a power nap in the car ride down, these kids were ready to play again.  We decided to stop by the Adventure Playground.  One of my favorite places to take the kiddos.  
These kiddos don't get tired of throwing rocks in water.  

The winds were howling, but we stayed for the sunset.  Something we used to do all the time.  Now it's just a rare treat.  
And with an image of Kai jumping over the setting sun, I leave you so we can get "back to the grind."  Amazing egh all the mill related phrases...
Here's last year's pics -

And some links:

Next time:
  • Canoe/Bike on the Napa River at Kennedy Park on the way up?
  • Check out the Oat Hill Rd. Trail... 
  • Try to plan it so it coincides with one of the events at Bale Grist.  Pancake Breakfast, Old Mill Days, Harvest Dinner.  
  • Go in the summer time to check out their spring fed pool?  (I hear it's super cold).  But it does get super hot up there... 
  • Hike more.  The trails there are amazing.  
  • Check out Mt. St. Helena?  

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