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Overland Trip: The Perfect 4th of July

Overland Trip: The Perfect 4th of July


Ok – I have to recommend this trip to anyone looking for a great weekend get away in the Pacific Northwest. It represents everything great about overlanding.

On the 4th of July this year, the gal and I headed to Lake Alpine, traveling down the infamous Slick Rock trail for a bit of solitude – oh, except we brought along 4 kids under the age of ten! 🙂  It WAS the perfect family get-away.

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We turned this into a 4-day weekend and headed out Thursday, July 4th at o-dark-thirty. That put us at Lake Alpine from the Bay Area (San Carlos to be exact) in about 5 hours with stops and kid-breaks. Easily doable in 3.5 hours without the biological requirements of 5 year-olds.

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We needed a lunch break, and last minute provisions, including: cold goods, beer, and of course, little american flags for the rig and kids.

We headed into Lake Alpine  and arrived at about 12:00PM. The road goes from two lanes to 1 just 3/4 of a mile before you hit Lake Alpine.

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We started our campsite crawl. Campsite you say? Yes, well – the Girlfriend unit has a hankering for toilets and running water. Its a sensitive point between the two of us, one which I occasionally succumb to. We started our crawl. My internal mantra was, “oh let them be full, let them be full”.

As we cruised around, we passed one full campsite after another. There were three possible campsites and we went from one to the next. We did the slow crawl to the third campsite – there it was – An empty campsite. SHIT!!! I saw it before the GF and slowed even further. Just as we approached, a huge Dodge Duelly going against the camp circle traffic darted in 15′ before me. The driver grinned. What is it about people who drive Dodges?  The last available camping space was taken. He had “Won”. I smiled wider as we rolled out of the campsite, and down the narrow road to the trail where lockers are required.

That’s right, we aired down and hit the  trail.

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I’d traveled Slick Rock Trail a couple times before and knew what glory we were in for, and that the result would be epic. After about 45 minutes of crawling along the rocks we hit our campsite. At that Point, Corrie (AKA GF Unit), exclaimed, “Oh my god. I am so glad the campsites were full. You knew”. Indeed I did!

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We set up the perfect campsite, and the GF unit was happy.

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The next few days we camped and crawled, heading back to Lake Alpine for daytime swimming. Along the trail – we met a few friends.

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I think deep down they were jealous of my FZJ80.

Lake Alpine is a beautiful place to hang out – especially with rugrats! Go nuts kids.

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On the trail – in the cool creeks that the kids just had to swim in, I found possibly the best use of the winch cable – Creek access! The cable is still pretty fresh, and I checked for burs.

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We had a great time the entire weekend.

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Eventually it was time to air up and head back to civilization.

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4th of July trip success! It was hard to let it go!