The Professor Goes West//Day 15//Camping Bedtime Routine

Day 15—Sunday, June 3, 2018

We went to St. Joseph Basilica; it was the feast of Corpus Christi and a first Mass of Fr. Mario. We then packed a lunch and headed across a bridge into Murin County to Muir Woods. The professor says that Muir Woods was one of his favorite places that we saw—it felt like a holy place. The Cathedral Grove was full of tall, dark, noble Redwoods and people walked around with quiet reverence. It was also a wood reminiscent of dinosaurs—dinosaur land—because of the ferns.

When we departed the woods we took a detour to the Muir Headlands—which was the furthest west we are going on our trip and our last view of the expanse of the ocean. Once we looked at a map we went back towards San Francisco and crossed the iconic Golden Gate bridge. We then went to Baker Beach for a last touch and smell and feel of the ocean and its air. We hiked up a sandy slope back to our car and met Samantha and her children at Mod Pizza where T had his birthday dinner early of a whole mini pepperoni pizza. The rest of us had modifications of the family favorite while sauce pizza with bacon adding lots of toppings and pesto drizzle. Back at the house we made ice cream sundaes and chatted a bit before we all went to bed tired.

On our long trip we often did not have access to showers at our campsites, but I did not want to put the kids to bed dusty. Most sites were super dusty since they were in a drought. So, our bedtime routine involved bringing soap and washcloths to the bathrooms and wiping down arms, legs, and faces of dirt. We would all use the toilet and brush our teeth. I took care of the girls and the professor took care of the boy. When everyone was clean we would go straight to the tent, take off their shoes, and the children would change into their pajamas on their side of the tent.

Once everyone was ready for bed, the professor would run the dirty laundry to the car to keep any food smells out of our tent. In campsites with bear boxes (metal containers with an anti-bear handle) we would load all food containers, any scented soaps, bug sprays, sunscreens (basically all our toiletries), and dirty laundry into the bear box. This was to prevent bears from trying to break into our car since they recognize food containers, especially the plastic tubs and coolers.

After family bedtime prayer in the tent, we tucked the kids in for the night. This was usually about an hour after their normal bedtime. The professor and I would lie down in our sleeping bags with dim flashlights and books and ready for a while until we were sleepy. It was a nice cozy way to end the day.