I took a trip to Northern California with some fellow father friends. It was a retreat of sorts for LA Dads Group leaders & San Francisco Dads Group leaders. Mike Heenan, Trevor Mulligan, Juan Pablo Delgado and I packed up and headed to the Stanislaus National Forest. It was time to cabin, camp, retreat, roadtrip and relax. This is what happens when you leave the kids alone with dad.
An opportunity to take another travel trip was all my children could talk about. Summer break was upon us. Yes many other plans had transpired already. This one was a first for all of us. None of us had ever been there. Mike had offered up his cabin to us to stay in. So I packed up the Kia Soul, which fit all of what my family and I needed. Away we went.
It was an early m
orning caravan with Trevor and Juan Pablo. We left Los Angeles early morning. 6:45am to be exact. Being that I had the car packed to the gills we all sat comfortably with plenty of room. I even took on Juan Pablo’s daughter for most of the drive up north. Mike didn’t have as long of a drive as we did. Nonetheless what a gret roadtrip. Seeing California this way was memory making.
At the cabin we hiked along a river, witnessed rushing water from the previous wet winter that California needed and more. Day 2 we ventured to a lake to lounge, swim, get in an inflatable row boat (which I did not do so well in) and had more fun. Yes it was triple digit heat up there which was shielded by the canopy of large trees surrounding trees. I think we all felt disconnected from the world. Well we kind of had no choice in that as cellphone reception was very spotty. Wi-Fi worked at night in the cabin or at local businesses in town.
Being so far removed from everyday city life proved to be the kind of rejuvenation and relaxation that I needed. I am sure that sentiment is mirrored by my fellow travel companions. Laughter, fun and more was had by all. I took it upon myself to cook the majority of the meals. It is what I enjoy. Plus Milk & Eggs had donated groceries for this trip. That was an added welcome bonus. Thank you.
My favorite part of the trip was when we all ventured to Lake Alpine. We were at 7000 ft. Elevation and what sights we saw. Mountain ranges and forest as far as the eye could see. A hail storm came through with lightning and thunder. It was so bright when it flashed across the sky. Oh we also saw some snow/ice still speckled across the land. We had to stop and gander at it. It’s not often that it can be seen up close in California.
Now what I also learned on this trip is my love for nature. This is where I often ventured to as a child and young adult. Growing up I had camped with my father, hiked with my aunt and friends. Basically one of the usual outdoorsy things I do. Plus having the Kia Soul Turbo to take me everywhere I wanted to go made me rethink this compact car. It is one tough compact car without the compact car storage space. It handled the drive and weather well. An all season trooper if you will.
Mike, Trevor and Juan Pablo helped make this trip something my children and I will remember always. Many new adventures were had. I can’t wait for our next adventure. It is great to also have had City Dads Group be the catalyst that led to me meeting theses fathers and then to want to have a trip as such. Mike had mentioned he always wanted to host families there and make memories. That my friend happened threefold. Tears of joy were all I could experience when driving home. Until next time.