Back from Vacation – What a Trip!

As mentioned a few weeks back, the end of the school year is a busy time and I was going to be taking a break from posting much to the site. We are back now, and I just finished a huge update to the site. You’ll have to scroll back several pages to get to the start of the updates. This is all stuff that has piled up over the past few weeks to be posted to the site.

This past week we took a family vacation (my boys are out of school for Summer break). We had grand plans to go camping down the eastern slopes of the Sierra’s, but weather made that not possible last week (high winds and an unexpected wildfire). We had to quickly change plans and find somewhere else to go on our trip. We ended up on the coast near Santa Cruz, California.

I grew up in the Los Gatos and Santa Cruz area, so I always love going back for a visit. My boys love the coast, and there are plenty of places to camp and hike that are far from civilization. We spent the first part of the week at Big Basin State Park. This was the first California State Park to be established. We went on a great hike up to Buzzard’s Roost. We did not entirely escape the wind, as Tuesday late in the day some strong gusts were blowing through the area. A 200 year old Douglas Fir Tree blew down about 600 ft from our campsite, blocking the main road into Big Basin for about four hours. I can now personally attest to the fact that if a tree falls in the woods, and you are laying down resting in your camper, you will definitely hear that sound and be jolted out of your restful state.

We moved down closer to the beach to a private campground after this unexpected event and spent the rest of the week on or near the beach. Downtown Santa Cruz is a great place to spend some time people watching and shopping.

The highlight of our trip was to visit Bruce Damer and his wife Galen at their home in Boulder Creek. Bruce first met my boys “virtually” when we did the Modesto Junior College presentation on virtual worlds (here are blog posts about that event, here. here, and here). The boys got a tour of the farm and a guided tour through the DigiBarn museum. They were fascinated by all the old computers in Bruce’s collection. In the picture above they are experimenting with an early adding machine that he had on display.

It was nice to get away from the real world for a bit, wind down, recharge the old batteries, and unplug from the Internet, TV and phones (my handheld GPS didn’t even work in the thick forest of Big Basin). But now we are back, and you will see regular updates to the page again.

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