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Camping trip - Henry Cowell Redwoods, June 11-13
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The camping trip is in just under two weeks, so it's time to really start planning the details on this. I would greatly, greatly appreciate it if people could please start chiming in regarding planning for the trip. Things that need to be planned include:

1. Sleeping space and equipment - make sure we have sufficient sleeping spot options for everyone. This includes tents or cars (for those sleeping in cars). Note that I am basing the following only for common sites - people at their own private sites are responsible for their own stuff.

For tents, so far we have:
-Eva: definitely bringing one large tent. It will hold the people in her group and I believe maybe 2 others. (Correct me if wrong.) She can bring 2 smaller tents as backup if needed.
-Alison: small/medium tent (8x8'), can hold 2-3 people
-Don: 4 person tent (3 spots taken, space for 1 more) - ONLY FRI NIGHT
-Rachel: can bring tent as backup if needed

We currently have room for 3 more tents altogether between both sites, assuming that spots for Eva's large tent, Alison's tent, and Don's tent are taken. This is not counting the backup tents listed above.

Making basic assumptions regarding where people might stay based on previous communications, I do not know where the following people are planning to stay. Please post to let us know your plans:
-Anne
-Lloyd
-Lloyd's wife
-Anthony (please clarify if you are sleeping in your own car)

Car camping:
- Matt's car (Matt and Dale)
- Anthony (??)

2. Transportation and cars - please note that we are allowed only 2 cars per site! With two sites, this means we can have only 4 cars at the campsites. And that is assuming both cars/vans will fit in the driveway space available. I have spoken with the campground to inquire about extra cars, given that we have several people coming from different geographic locations. There is a small overflow parking area near the front of the campground, but it is very limited and is for the entire (>100 site) campground. If it is full, there are no other places to park overnight, anywhere in the park. Therefore, it is very important that we carpool as much as possible to reduce the number of cars onsite. Here's a list of what I know so far regarding car plans:

-Eva's van: Eva, Angelica, Joey, Eva's brother - full
-Matt's car: Matt and Dale
-Don's car: has space for 1 more person, but note they are leaving Sat night
-Mings's car: Rachel, Ming, Anne
Lloyd's car? - Lloyd and his wife, driving up from LA - ??
-Anthony's car?
-Alison's car? - I am happy to get a ride from someone else to cut down on cars onsite, but I need to be sure to be there early on Fri (early afternoon) to check in. Alternatively, I am happy to give people a ride. You can meet me at my house in Los Gatos and leave you car there over the weekend. I can carry 3 more people, but it's a Prius so has a medium limit on cargo space for equipment.

That's 7 cars, which is 3 cars over our limit. We need to discuss how we can cut this down. If you have room left in your car for more people, please speak up and note the times you plan to arrive and depart, how many more people you can take, and what space you have for their equipment.

Also, please note that each site comes with only 1 free day pass. Each and every car after that must pay a $10 fee per day.

3. Payment - There are two main fees which will need to be paid for this trip: a) campsite cost and b) extra car costs. (This does not include gas, food, supplies, ect. You are on your own for those.)

Please note that these fee discussions apply only to common sites. People staying at their private sites are separate and on their own.

Campsite fees: Eva and I paid in advance for our campsites, and will need to be reimbursed by everyone for their fair share of the reservation cost, upon arrival. We will be calculating the costs/person such that they are the same for either of the common sites - everyone, regardless of which common site they stay at, will pay the same campsite fee. Once we lock down the number of attendees, we will calculate costs and let you know how much you owe. Please be sure to come with funds to pay us back! Exact or close to exact change would be appreciated, as there won't be a place nearby to make change if needed. I will have a spreadsheet for calculating the cost per person and as a checklist to check off when people have paid.

Car fees: each site comes with only 1 free day pass. I also have a season park pass which can cover an additional car. Each and every car after that must pay a $10 fee per day. We have two sites, so two free cars there plus my pass = 3 free cars. After that, it's $10/day per car. So for example, if we have 7 cars that will be an extra $40/day (7 cars-2 site passes-my season pass=4 cars paying fees). Note this is per day!

I've been considering how to handle the car fees. I was originally thinking that car fees should be up to the individuals in each car, but on the other hand, it doesn't seem fair that one car would get a free pass while others pay $30 for the three days. So I think we should somehow figure out a way to pool the costs together and even it out. OTOH, it also doesn't seem fair for one person to bring a car on their own (adding to the overall price for everyone) and pay the same discounted cost as a person who brings 4 people in their car. There is also the question of how to logistically handle the money, as every car will have to pay when they arrive at the park.

edit: corrected replacing Ming's car for Rachel's car
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Last edited by Taeriel () on Sun May 30, 2010 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parking

I just wanted to clarify some things regarding parking. The parking location of the car (and whether or not someone is sleeping in it) has absolutely nothing to do with which car utilizes the "free pass". The two are in no way connected at all. The campground will give us a pass (probably a receipt to be taped to the windshield). That car can be parked in the overflow area just as much as it could be at the site.

At the moment I am considering two scenarios for how to divide the car fee costs:

A) Add up total car fees for the day --> divide by number of cars. Each car pays that amount. That individual car cost is sub-divided between the people in the car. In this way everyone contributes to the car fees but those who carpool with more people have a slightly lower cost.

Example A: say we have 6 cars on one day. Car fees will total $30 for that day: 6 cars-2 site passes-1 season pass=3 purchased passes at $10 each. This would mean each car would pay $5 that day ($30/6 cars). If car #1 has 2 people in it, they would pay $2.50 each. If car #2 has 4 people in it, those people would pay $1.25 each. And so on and so forth for the rest of the cars.

OR

B) Add up total car fees for the day --> divide by the total number of people. Everyone contributes to the car fees and each person pays the same amount, regardless of how many people were in their car.

Example B: same scenario as above with 6 cars on one day, with total car fees $30 for that day. If we have, for example, 16 people that day then each person would pay $1.87 for that day ($30/16).

Unfortunately this will add a layer of complication to the calculations for payments, but I'm not sure there's a way around that. I will of course calculate how much each person owes ahead of time, so that you all know how much money to bring. The added complication will come in that cars will need to pay $10 when entering the park. So we'll have to account for that expenditure together with how much is owed for campsite fees and car fees.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Showers

Showers are located a short walk from our campsites, through a shortcut trail in the woods. They are pay-as-you-go, and costs $0.25 for every 2 minutes. Don't forget to bring your quarters! Normal restroom facilities are also located with the shower stalls. I think there were 2 or 3 stalls in the women's bathroom; I can't remember the exact number. Keep in mind the campground is over 100 sites, and only two shower buildings, so the showers might be busy and have a wait time.

Matt stopped by the campground last weekend, and reminded me that there is no soap in the bathroom - so remember to bring some of your own. I can't recall if they had paper towels or not, but it's a good idea to bring your own hand towel in case.

Addresses and Maps

Here is a map of the campground. Note that the overflow parking is notated by the "P" on the road coming in (from Graham Hill Road). It is by the amphitheater/campfire center.

There are no park trail maps available online. You may purchase a map at the visitors' center, day use entrance, or campground entrance for a few dollars. (I think it was $3? Somewhere around there.)

Here is a map of the general area. Marked is the main entrance to the park, where you can purchase your day pass, park for the day, and visit the visitors' center, picnic area, and old growth redwoods. The address is:

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
101 North Big Trees Park Road
Felton, CA 95018

The campground is located at a separate entrance on the other side of the park. You cannot drive across the park to get to the campground; you must leave the park and drive around. The address is:

2591 Graham Hill Road
Scotts Valley, CA 95060

Please note that google maps is not providing the correct location when this address is entered. It is pinpointing a spot too far south. The campground entrance is a bit north of there. It is on the west side of Graham Hill Road - left if you are driving up from Santa Cruz; right if you are driving down from Felton.
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deadline to confirm attendance - Sat, June 5

I plan to tell people ahead of time how much they will owe for the campsite reservations and for the parking costs. As such, I need to have a firm list of confirmed campers. Ideally I would also like to know carpooling plans, if possible.

The following people have communicated with me regarding trip plans recently, so I consider them already confirmed. If any of this is not correct, please let me know by Sat.

edit: updated 6/2/2010

Confirmed
Alison
Eva
Matt
Dale
Don +2 (Fri night only)
Rachel
Anthony
Ming
Anne
Lloyd
Kathy (Fri night only)

This list is only for people staying at the common sites.

Tentative people (who expressed interest a long time ago)

Fri night is full. We have 4 spots open for Sat night. If you would like to join us, please let me know by Sat June 5.

Of course, everyone is welcome to join us for activities during the day. We are not limited in numbers for day activities, only for camping overnight. There will be plenty of daytime activities, including hiking, picnics and the photoshoot.
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sign-ups are now closed for camping overnight. I will be calculating costs per person and posting the information in the next day or two.

I will also put together a set of directions to the park, for those who aren't familiar with it. I believe everyone will be coming from or driving through the Bay Area. I'll leave it to everyone to reach the South Bay on their own, and give directions beginning in Los Gatos, as I believe that is the point where all routes will converge. I'll post directions in the next day or two.
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Alison
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Kay_Dee (Kathy)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alison,

Is there an itinerary of activities? I saw some mention of a group photo or photo shoot, and was not sure if this was a costume thing and when (day and time) it was happening. I'm trying to figure out if I should bother bringing my x-wing costume, it's the only one I have that was seen for a moment on Endor at the end of ROTJ, but I don't really need photos taken in a forest in costume.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathy,

Some people are planning to bring costumes and do a photoshoot, and I believe some members (501st and maybe RL) are coming just for the day to participate in it as well. Not everyone is doing the costume photo thing though. Matt and I were talking about this the other day, and the photoshoot will probably be Sat afternoon sometime. I haven't been as involved with planning that aspect beyond trying to get in touch with the ranger last week to find out whether weapon props (blasters or lightsabers) would be allowed in the park. Matt's been following up on that and will let us know as soon as he can.

In the process of asking about the weapon props, apparently Matt was also told that the group needed some kind of permit from the Ca film association...? I'm rather surprised by this - I know you need one for filming like a fan film, but I really didn't think it was required just to take some photos. I wonder if maybe the person Matt talked to thought this was a bigger deal than it is - we're just a couple of fans taking pictures in costume. Maybe they thought it was some big production thing. This is one case where it would probably be better not to emphasize the whole "international association" thing. Smile

Other than taking pictures, I don't believe there are specifically planned activities. It's all basically whatever people decide they want to do. I'm planning on some hiking myself.
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Kay_Dee (Kathy)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alison,

I agree, a film permit should not be needed. I don't know how Matt explained our group to the rangers. He should have just said we have some costumes we are going to wear and take a few photographs, we are not filming anything. Now, if Matt is bringing some kind of video camera and they are making a fan film, then maybe they do need a permit to do that. But we are just taking a couple of photos.

Problem is, now the rangers may come check us out and hassle us for not having a filming permit...

I hope we can have time for a hike in the early morning/afternoon before we do this photo shoot. Then maybe take the photos in the late afternoon before we make dinner? I don't want to just dilly dally all day to take photos of other people. Selfish me - haha! But my one day there I was hoping to get a hike in. And I'd imagine other people who don't have costumes (all the fan force people) may feel the same way.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh - after speaking with Alison I have another suggestion for equipment list. Coleman/gas stove for cooking. There are no BBQs at this camp ground! Only the fire pit, and that is a pain to cook over Sad

I have one little 2 burner coleman stove I can bring but for the number of people we will have, we'd need more than just my tiny stove. So if someone else has a camping stove, please consider bringing it - and choosing items that cook easily outdoors on a stove that don't require extensive kitchen prep/washing (that will need to be done at home ahead of time).
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathy, a couple of us are planning to bring camping stoves. Off the top of my head, I recall Don, Anne, myself, and I think Eva. (sorry, my spreadsheet is at home so this is just memory. ) Of course this is for two sites, but I think we should have a stove or two for each site. You're absolutely right that we will almost certainly want to run more than one stove at a time in order to get food cooked in a reasonable time!

I am planning to bring a 6' folding table for xtra table space at our site (62). It's a nice idea to have another as well, in case we find we need more space.

I'm definitely planning on getting some hiking done! Even if I finish my Leia ponco in time, my first priority is to get out in the park, hike ans see things and enjoy the outdoors. It's really a beautiful park, with so much to see. The hard part will be deciding where to start since we won't have time for it all in a day or two! I was thinking it would be fun to hike in the morning, packing a lunch to eat while we are out there.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As of now, the plan is to carpool to the redwoods after breakfast, say around 10 or 11, change in the parking lot there (or the restrooms), take the photos, dress down, and have lunch in the picnic area near the parking lot (bring a bag lunch), then people can have the rest of the afternoon to hike, or whatever.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I forget-

The Park is very earnest in requesting and requiring that people do not leave the trail.

For us, this means no cutting off the trail for the photoshoot, regardless of wanting to find the perfect shot. I really appreciate everyones' cooperation in abiding by the Park policy.

Please pass this along to anyone who isn't following this thread, since I know we have some people planning to come for just the day.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photoshoot time - I may or may not participate in the photoshoot. However, I think it would generally be a good thought to do the best to keep it on time and not over-long, if it's in the morning. I agree with Kathy- I'd hate for it to end up taking a big chunk of the day.

Matt, are there plans for who will be taking pictures? Or is everyone just bringing their own cameras?

Oh, and if anyone is intersted in hiking over to the old growth grove rather than driving, i'd say it's about a 30-ish min walk... Depends on your hiking speed. It could be like hiking on endor to get to the imperial installation. Smile
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Kay_Dee (Kathy)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JedHead wrote:
As of now, the plan is to carpool to the redwoods after breakfast, say around 10 or 11, change in the parking lot there (or the restrooms), take the photos, dress down, and have lunch in the picnic area near the parking lot (bring a bag lunch), then people can have the rest of the afternoon to hike, or whatever.


Saturday, correct? So those of us who are already there will have breakfast and wait for others to arrive?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had an idea, since there are people like Tom who are only joining us for a day, not for over night, we should probably announce the photo itinerary/time clearly so that they do not miss it.

Maybe post it to the yahoo group or something?
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