Day 3 started with sunrise. We were observing the fire ban (twig burning stove, yo) and without a mesmerizing campfire bedtime comes pretty early. Morning comes early then, too.
I allow no electronics in the woods. Phone for camera purposes excepted. Children are better off for it.
Sleeping out with no tent is my preference. Some folks are scared, but we ain't them. With regard to creepy crawlies: we saw 2 tarantulas on the asphalt leg from the p-lot, but it was a nearly bugless trip. 1 tick in total. A handful of flies gathering at cuts or scrapes.
"Vinegar Weed." We stirred up the witch hazelesque aroma of Trichostema lanceolatum as we walked around visiting the outhouse in the AM. I used it as a hand sanitizer. It is really strong smelling.
Camping with an outhouse nearby is a big plus in the boys' books. D is especially appreciative.
After strong black coffee (1st!) and oatmeal (with the dehydrated blueberries and/or strawberries and/or bananas accompanied by a small bag of nuts- you know you love them) the only thing for it was to pack up and get over that Northern ridge to reach Coit Lake.
After lounging and chillaxing at Kelly Lake the day before, the memory of the ridiculously sloped climbs lent this gentle ascent an easy rhythm. That's a delight.
20% chance of rain was forecast. I watched the clouds move around with no concern. It was a welcome break from the heat. At the split on top we (all of us) checked the map and headed down the Easternmost approach.
We were looking for that Good Stuff. There is a side-hill singletrack on the South shore of Coit Lake that is worth riding.
J schooling us about California Everlasting (Pseudognaphalium californicum). It smells so strongly of maple syrup you'd swear someone was hiding in the bushes with pancakes.
We dropped bikes at the good spot and went for a stroll.
We were looking for the good jumping rock, which I'd only ever approached by swimming across.
We found it and the wild Hollyleaf Cherry Tree (Prunus ilicifolia) next to it! Those cherries were _ucking delicious. Very little fruit around a giant pit, but free, ripe, available, and sweet. D got tired of me spitting my pits at him.
I leaped in with a stick and cleared all the duckweed that was clogging up the landing and approach. Then we just jumped off rocks and swam and ate cherries and sat in the sun and stuff.
This took up much of the afternoon. Later we were all busy with reading books lakeside and filtering water and napping.
2 thumbs way up. Coit is miles better than Kelly.
After a well received Indian Dinner (cooking out of spacetech pouches has certain benefits; it's super easy and cleans up easy too) we retired to our patch of ground. Later, I awoke to a Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) unzipping J's pack (not 10' from where we lay) and stealing the bag of peanut butter-filled pretzels therein contained. I did not realize there were snacks in that pack. I got up and hung up the boys' packs with the food bag so we wouldn't lose anymore snacks. After that excitement, I slept soundly, warmly, and comfortably.