Posted by: theurban6 | July 8, 2011

Mendocino National Forest, or BUST!!

Well in the spirit of this blog’s title, the two youngest boys and I took an Expeditious Adventure to the Mendocino National Forest. This trip we would take the Jeep, and the Teardrop camper. It would be the camper’s first trip ever, and the longest trip for the Jeep in over a year. Shows how much I drive the Jeep, as the trip was only 220 miles there and back. 😉

Problems….always something (but isn’t that the point). Three days before the trip the Jeep radiator started leaking, at least it was an easy 2 hour fix. I love a Jeep’s simplicity. The morning of the trip the camper lights suddenly quit working right. After spending 2 hours trying to figure it out I realize it is an electrical issue with the Jeep, and it only is a problem with the headlights on. OK, so no driving at night.

Preparation….Only had to get food together, as the camper has been ready to go for 2 months. Simply a matter of hooking the trailer up, heading to the store, and then on too the Forest. (I actually failed a little here, I forgot to pack another set of clothes for me, and the kids.) Oh yes and as we were leaving the wife tossed 2 Hershey’s bars in the back of the camper.

1st odd thought. Driving 120 miles at 55 MPH takes for ever. California law limits anything pulling a trailer to 55MPH. Not sure why, as it tends to create more of a traffic hazard, but hey it is California. No matter how silly the traffic law, I will obey, so forever it took.

We hit the road around 11:00 am (way later than planned, thanks Jeep electrical Demon” for wasting my morning. I really needed a visit from you since the coffee fairy failed to visit me that morning) and as stated before, it took forever to make the drive. We stopped by a Walmart when we made our turn off of the freeway to head to the park. This Walmart was 92 miles from our house. First thing I did when we got out of the Jeep was feel the hubs to see if they were hot. Nope, they were just right. So into Walmart we went.

Many interesting people to be seen at a Walmart in the country. Even if said Walmart is in California. Unlike what California would have you believe, not all the women wearing skin tight shirts, no bra, and short skirts in the state of California…..should. That being said, we made our way through the labyrinth of rolled back prices, and managed to get only what we needed.

Did you know that Walmarts in northern California do not ask if you want paper or plastic anymore? They ask if you want to buy a bag. They literally have no other bags except for the ones for sale. Quite an amazing thing to a Alabamian, that hasn’t been in a Walmart in 4 years. Did I mention said bag costs $.25. Yes a bag that they had mass produced in china for $.01 is making them a $.24 profit. Good deal for them for sure. Luckily between me and the boys we had six empty hands, so no bag for us. Besides I had plenty of plastic bags in the camper.

Back out in the lot I loaded the boys up, and strapped them in. Man that Jeep was an oven, so I turned the A/C to high (yes, my Jeep has A/C…Yes I am a “poser” I like my A/C). Suddenly the thought occurred to me how hot the inside of the Jeep had been, meaning the inside of the camper would be hot, said camper containing forgotten Hershey’s bars…… well you get the picture. As I opened the camper I fully expected a rush of hot air to come out of the hatch, but instead I was greeted by a pleasantly cool breeze. That’s right I said cool breeze. Reaching down I grabbed one of the Hershey’s bars only to find it still in solid for and cool to the touch, amazing. Heat transference theory really works.

At Mendocino National Forrest (MNF) we took road M1 to Penny pines camp ground. Penny pines is not the first camp ground on the M1 that you will come across, but it is the shadiest. It is also situated at a much higher elevation than Middle Creek Campground (the first campground on the M1), therefore it seems to run an average of 5 degrees cooler than Middle Creek. It also costs half as much being as the nightly cost is $6, instead of $12 for Middle Creek. It is also an important consideration to note the amenities. There are none at Penny pines, other than vault toilets. That’s right no power, no water, no showers. But hey that is how we roll in the Urban6 clan, besides we carry our own water. Worth mentioning here that Middle creek does have water available, and vault toilets.

The campground was empty save fore three other campers in the area.

To be continued………….

Camp Penny pines



  1. I quite agree with you. By doing nothing we learn to do ill

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