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Family Friendly BPL Outing on Labor Day Weekend -- Skyline-to-the-Sea
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Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Family Friendly BPL Outing on Labor Day Weekend -- Skyline-to-the-Sea on 09/03/2013 10:58:03 MDT Print View

Labor Day Weekend provided a perfect opportunity for a BPL outing with children. We planned to backpack the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail in 3.5 days and reserved 12 camping spots for three nights along the trail.

The focus for this weekend was on “family-friendly”, which meant
- The kids would play cards and other games in camp and we would rarely start hiking before 9:30 am.
- The kids would search for geocaches along the way, which resulted in lots of stops. Other activities involved exploring caves, climbing trees, going into Redwood trees, etc.
- The slowest kid would set the overall pace. Our group would hike the 9 - 10 miles between camps every day in 7 - 8 hours. So it was a very relaxed pace.

This was a fun experience that helped the kids to gain more self-confidence and stretch their limits. Now they have the complete Skyline-to-the-Sea trail under their belt.

Castle Rock
Picture 1: Castle Rock was the starting point of our Skyline-to-the–Sea trail. The kids explored all the caves

We cowboy camped
Picture 2: Daddy’s girls

Tree climbing
Picture 3: Climbing trees was fun

Picture 4: The girls found 26 geocaches and enjoyed all the treasures in there

Car wrecks along the trail
Picture 5: Several cars along the way were parked in “No-Parking” spots

Learning card tricks from Katharina
Picture 6: Katharina was great with the girls. She taught them several magic card tricks that she herself learned as a girl from her dad

Elisabeth is fantastomatic
Picture 7: This was the first long weekend outing for Elisabeth. Backpacking over 30 miles was hard on her – as she has dyspraxia. She did wonderful and we are all very proud of her.

Having BPL members - Katharina, Jeremy and Angela - along for the weekend made this great fun. They were adorable with our children. The kids enjoyed it tremendously to have the attention of additional adults which enhanced the trip for them a lot. So a special "Thank You!" goes to Katharina, Angela and Jeremy. You guys rock! I think you took way more photos than me. So feel free to upload some special ones.

I think we will plan a similar outing again for spring – most likely during Spring Break along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. Let's see whether other families or family minded adults are interested in that ...

Edited by Orienteering on 09/03/2013 21:57:50 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Family Friendly BPL Outing on 09/03/2013 12:26:32 MDT Print View


I always look for your Trip Reports - Sounds like a great way to spend a long weekend. Thanks for posting and reminding us that it's not so tough to take the family along on a trip.

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
Wonderful Trip on 09/03/2013 21:28:46 MDT Print View


It looks like everyone had a terrific time! We wish we could have joined you all. Next time. Thanks for sharing your trip reports, and your outdoorsy family is an inspiration to us as we start our own family and figure out how to continue having adventures.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "Family Friendly BPL Outing on Labor Day Weekend -- Skyline-to-the-Sea" on 09/03/2013 21:49:15 MDT Print View

Nice family hike. I really like that Skyline to Sea hike and in particular Big Basin.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
More Photos on 09/03/2013 22:19:09 MDT Print View

Burls on a redwood
Redwood tree burls

Tiny little trees
Photographer's redwood

Bear-resistant cabins
Bear-resistant cabins

"Can my dad and Jeremy find the geocache?"
Refusing to reveal geocache location

"...apparently not!"
Evil grins

Mt. McAbee Overlook
The outlook


The group at Mt. McAbee Overlook
The group at the overlook


Jeremy and Angela
Jeremy & Angela

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Family Friendly BPL Outing on Labor Day Weekend -- Skyline-to-the-Sea on 09/03/2013 22:28:47 MDT Print View

Glad you guys had a good time! Next time I camp next to a bear box I will have to remember to check it for children...

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Family Friendly BPL Outing on Labor Day Weekend -- Skyline-to-the-Sea on 09/03/2013 22:55:06 MDT Print View

It's been very dry, how were the water sources?

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Water Sources on 09/03/2013 23:12:51 MDT Print View


The water sources were fine. First of all we had running, piped water from the faucet at each camp - Castle Rock, Waterman Gap and Jay. The distances between camps were around 10 miles, but we always got water around the midpoint for lunch. On Saturday, between Castle Rock Trail Camp and Waterman Gap Trail Camp we had lunch at Travertine Springs, where we got water.
On Sunday, between Waterman Gap Trail Camp and Jay Trail Camp we made lunch at Boulder Creek (right before China Grade), where we got water. On Monday on the way from Jay Trail Camp to the beach we decided to use the alternative route over Mt. McAbee Overlook, where we had lunch. That meant we had to carry the water for cooking lunch up there. On the standard route we would most likely have gotten water at Kelly Creek (or the latest at the intersection with Waddell Creek which had water). So I would say water is even now no problem. There was never more than 4-5 miles without water (with the exception of our planned deviation of the route via Mt. McAbee Outlook).

Best Regards,


K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
A few more photos and thanks Manfred. on 09/04/2013 05:31:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Manfred, Michelle and family for sharing this hike with us.
The dedication that Manfred has toward his kids is really inspiring.
I enjoyed spending time with everyone, including Angela and Jeremy ( I hope to hike some more with you guys). Hannah, Elizabeth and Natalie were a lot of fun both on the trail and at camp. It was nice for me to play with them using just cards or a piece of string....
Here are some heavily compressed photos



Kids in a tree

Family in a tree

Big Basin

Hannah was our resident troll, at every bridge. :)

Troll at every bridge


Mc Crary ridge



Thanks again. Till next time!