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Camping trip - Henry Cowell Redwoods, June 11-13
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*shrug* I haven't really been in on the planning for the photoshoot time. If this is really set then I can go ahead and send an email to the yahoo group.

I don't think the time was discussed here on the forum, though, and I assume we have a couple of people planning on photos. For those who would like to do the photoshoot, is the proposed time good? If anyone wants something else, please speak up.
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weapon Prop Policy

Matt spoke with a ranger at the park to find out whether we would be able to bring blasters/prop weapons to the photoshoot. Unfortunately, the ranger's answer was that it probably wasn't a good idea.

I know that weapon props are an important part of many costumes. However, I think that in this case it would be better to respect the park policy and wishes, and to not bring blasters or other obvious weapon-looking props.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are directions to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, for those who are coming this weekend but aren't familiar with the location. Please let me know if you have any questions.

For those who are coming during the day, but not camping, please note that there is a $10 day use fee for park entry.

There are two driving destinations at the park: the main entrance/day-use area, and the campground. Please note that you can't drive through the park to get to the campground; you must exit the park and drive around the perimeter.

I believe that everyone is coming from somewhere in the Bay Area, so my directions below begin in Los Gatos. I think that is the one point where all routes will converge. Please start by finding your way to southbound Hwy 17 in Los Gatos. (This is the same as I-880 a bit north of there.) The following directions begin at Hwy 17 @ Hwy 9 in Los Gatos.

Cowell Redwood State Park – Main Park Day Use Entrance
101 North Big Trees Park Road
Felton, CA 95018

1. Head southwest on CA-17 S - 16.2 mi
2. Take exit 3 for Mt Hermon Rd - 0.1 mi
3. Turn right at Mt Hermon Rd - 3.5 mi
4. Slight right at Graham Hill Rd - 0.2 mi
5. Turn left at CA-9 S - 0.6 mi
6. Turn left at N Big Trees Park Rd . Destination will be on the right - 489 ft


Cowell Redwood State Park – Campground Entrance
2591 Graham Hill Road
Scotts Valley, CA 95060


Please note:
- Google maps points to the wrong location for the entrance when you put in the campground address! It shows it a bit farther south than it really is. In the directions below, I have pointed the map to the real entrance as best I can estimate.
- There are two reasonable routes from Hwy 17. One is to get off at Mt Hermon Road just like for the main entrance. The alternative is to get off at La Madrona Rd//El Rancho Dr. I include below the directions for the latter since google ranks it first.

1. Head south on CA-17 S - 17.6 mi
2. Turn right toward La Madrona Dr (signs for La Madrona Dr/ El Rancho Dr) - 108 ft
3. Turn left at La Madrona Dr - 0.2 mi
4. Take the 1st right onto Sims Rd - 285 ft
5. Take the 1st right onto Brook Knoll Dr - 0.2 mi
6. Continue onto Treetop Dr - 0.2 mi
7. Turn right at Graham Hill Rd - 1.0 mi


Directions for once you are at the park are below.

Going from Main Entrance to the Campground

Start at Main Entrance: 101 N Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, CA 95018

1. Head west on N Big Trees Park Rd toward CA-9 N - 489 f t
2. Turn right at CA-9 N - 0.6 mi
3. Take the 1st right onto Graham Hill Rd - 2.7 mi

There is a Safeway located in the Felton Fair Shopping Center at the corner of Mt. Hermon Rd and Graham Hill Rd. I believe there is a CVC pharmacy there as well.
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Payment method: I would greatly appreciate it if people could bring cash for payment, due to the nature of how the money will need to be distributed. Some of the money will be reimbursed to me, some of it to Eva, and we do not get the same amount. It will make things far easier on us if we don't have to subsequently sort out and redistribute payments from checks or paypal. Exact change would be cool, since we are not planning to have a supply of money for change on hand.

Here is the breakdown of campground fees for Friday and Sat night. Please note all of this is for the common sites only and does not include people who made their own reservations.

The costs have been calculated separately for each night based on the total number of people at each site that evening. The costs have been averaged between the two sites - Eva has a discount for her site and generously offered to spread the savings to the other common site. Everyone pays the same price for a given night regardless of which common site they use.

Friday night campsite cost per person: $3.78
Saturday night campsite cost per person: $5.04


These costs do not include parking / day use fees. I do not yet know how many cars will be coming, so I can't yet calculate those numbers. Parking costs will be calculated to average out the free pass that comes with each site and I am contributing the use of my annual pass as well. The cost for the rest of the cars will be averaged over all cars for each day. Each car will pay the same amount. Cost per person can then be split by the number of people in that particular car. As just an estimate, I anticipate the cost might be somewhere in the range of $4-6 per car per day.

Please note that each car needing a pass will have to pay the $10 per-day day use fee UP FRONT when arriving at the park. We will handle reimbursement for the shared part of the cost after the fact, once we've collected money from those who use the free passes. Again, because of the way this works, cash will be the way to handle payment.
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*double post*
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flora and fauna cautionary notes

* Poison oak: it's everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean *everywhere*. It is extremely variable in appearance and location, ranging from ground cover to mid-sized shubs to vines creeping up trees to big hedges. The leaves vary in color. Sometimes it doesn't have leaves (usually in winter), but the twigs still have the oil. If you're not familiar with and used to avoiding poison oak, please be careful and be mindful of what you come in contact with. You want to bring home happy memories of the camping trip, not a bad case of poison oak.

* Rattlesnakes are present in the Santa Cruz mountains. Please be cautious.

* Mountain lions are present throughout in the mountains. Please read warning signs at the park about how to handle possible encounters.

* Raccoons - aren't dangerous, obviously, but they are out to get your food. And they're clever little thieves. Everything needs to be put away and locked up at night. (And by put away, I mean put away. Don't leave coolers out, as the raccoons will get into them.)
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One word of caution regarding congregating at the campsites... I found out the other day that the "limit of 8 people" is not just for people sleeping overnight. It is a limit on how many people congregate at the campsite at any given time, including day trippers. The campground ranger specifically brought this point to my attention when I called last week. She was concerned that our group would have too many people for what is a family campsite.

So please keep this in mind. We need to make sure we keep the numbers at each site reasonable, trying to stick to the limit, and above all else, we need to make sure we keep the noise level down. Nothing will draw the rangers to our site faster than being noisy.
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Kay_Dee (Kathy)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know we've had some back and forth discussion through e-mail about laws, use of blaster props in the park in the past, etc.

After consulting with Alison I just want to re-iterate that even though it's not against the law, and blasters haven't been a problem in the past, we need to error on the safe side and heed the advise of the rangers. We need to consider this to be a "Weapons/Blasters - Not Authorized" event at this point.

Lightsabers should be fine since they can't be confused for being a gun.

Taeriel wrote:
Weapon Prop Policy

Matt spoke with a ranger at the park to find out whether we would be able to bring blasters/prop weapons to the photoshoot. Unfortunately, the ranger's answer was that it probably wasn't a good idea.

I know that weapon props are an important part of many costumes. However, I think that in this case it would be better to respect the park policy and wishes, and to not bring blasters or other obvious weapon-looking props.

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Hollis DZC ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay_Dee wrote:
I know we've had some back and forth discussion through e-mail about laws, use of blaster props in the park in the past, etc.

After consulting with Alison I just want to re-iterate that even though it's not against the law, and blasters haven't been a problem in the past, we need to error on the safe side and heed the advise of the rangers. We need to consider this to be a "Weapons/Blasters - Not Authorized" event at this point.

Lightsabers should be fine since they can't be confused for being a gun.

Taeriel wrote:
Weapon Prop Policy

Matt spoke with a ranger at the park to find out whether we would be able to bring blasters/prop weapons to the photoshoot. Unfortunately, the ranger's answer was that it probably wasn't a good idea.

I know that weapon props are an important part of many costumes. However, I think that in this case it would be better to respect the park policy and wishes, and to not bring blasters or other obvious weapon-looking props.



Awwwwwwwwww!!! Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad And Poison Oak toooooo???

I hate the stuff...

I do know what to look for. As a long time backpacker, I got nailed once, really bad. Never again. Once found a 40 YARD by 40 Yard wide section of bright red poison oak. Yeah, we went another direction... Wink

Okay, all the negative stuff above, I'm still trying to make it, but my gf (Yes! I have a new girl! Who thinks all this costume stuff is awesome! Very Happy ) is going into surgery tomorrow to have her thyroid glands removed...she's really concerned, as one would be in her position. As such, I may have to play the good boyfriend card Neutral sigh. And hang out with her in the hospital instead of playing around in the woods...in Endor Costume...with others playing too.

Ohhhhh yeah, such a choice! Wink
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Hollis DZC ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poison Oak Tips-

I've been a backpacker for years and years. Done almost all of the Ventana Wilderness (Big Sur) and much of the Desolation Wilderness (Sierras) I've gone on multi-day trips, solo trips. Had many an animal encounter. Sometime ask me about the time with the mountain lion... Surprised and no, I've never carried a firearm. There's my credentials... Laughing

Here's what you need to watch out for- the rule "Leaves of Three, Let it Be" couldn't describe it better. This time of year, you should be able to spot it fairly easily.

If you get it on you-
You've roughly 17 minutes to wash it off with soap and water. I've successfully escaped it, by rubbing it in dirt right away, then back to camp, but...

If you get it on your clothes. It Will Stay There For YEARS Unless You Wash Them!! The oil is very potent.

If you do get it and need to be treated - Teknu is absolutely the best stuff. Used by Rangers, etc. Better than anything else. Search for it, it will give you the best relief. WAY better than that pink stuff that you gently tap on...

Shower, no baths! with Aveeno Oatmeal Soap until the oak is all gone.

Be aware, petting a dog who just might have wandered into it can give it to you. A buddy of mine did this, then went to the bathroom. Yes, he got it there...

I'm not trying to scare anyone, I just want everyone to have a good time and avoid the Oak! I've avoided it for years and years since the one time it had fun with me. Right now, you should be able to avoid it fairly easily. You can see it. Try it in the wintertime, when it's just a stick with no leaves... nasty stuff!!

I'm handy to have out in the wilderness, can pitch a tent, just sleep outdoors, can make a campfire as well as a cooking fire (yes, there's a difference) and can cook REALLY good meals outdoors, whether you hiked somewhere or just car camped. So Avoid the Oak!

But just remember the above and avoid the Oak, especially if you see a really cool spot...for pics...nice and shady and green... check that green stuff throughly first!!
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the poison oak tips - that's super helpful! Very good points about the oil transferring to other items/pets/people, and then transferring to you later.
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Alison
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ over in the SFFF provided us with some clarification regarding Calif state law as it pertains to firearms in state parks. I just wanted to share the information so that everyone is on the same page. I'm copying an excerpt of his post below:

California is an Open Carry state, which generally means you can carry a registered, unloaded firearm on your person into most places, provided you are allowed to carry a firearm in the first place. However, there are exceptions, and CCR Title 14, Div 3, Chap 1, s 4313 (a) of the California Penal Code states that State Parks are one of them, along with school zones, government buildings, airports... you get the gist of it. This means you CANNOT CARRY firearms into a California state park, or any national park in California, loaded or otherwise. I only bring this up so as to discourage anyone from doing so, and to point out that, yes, while the legality of prohibiting prop guns is suspect, the Rangers will probably not stop to ask questions, and will very likely kick you out or arrest you. I've trained with a lot of these folks, and I've trained some of them. They are mostly "act first, ask questions later" types. I don't see anyone actually getting kicked out for lightsabers, as they can't be seriously mistaken for firearms. "

He goes on to explain under what conditions a person could legally bring a firearm into a state park:

...keeping it in a box, within a "temporary lodging or a vehicle when unloaded and 'packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use'".

I'd also like to clarify my reasoning behind preferring that we play it safe and keep the blasters out of sight. Even when we thought unloaded guns were permissible, I still felt that it would be better to follow the preference and advice of the ranger. Firstly, I didn't want to risk the potential of an incident, as low probability as that might have been. Secondly, I felt that it would be rather disrespectful to go against what the ranger said. He indicated they would prefer us not to have the prop guns. While rangers may not be regular policemen, they still deserve our respect and cooperation. I weighed a lot of pros and cons before coming to a conclusion, and I did strongly consider the impact on photo opportunities as well as the disappointment many people would have as a result. I want everyone to have a good time on this trip. But at the end of it, I concluded that the proper and wiser course of action would be to respect the ranger's request.

I'd also like to say that the rangers I've met have all been very friendly and helpful. They want everyone to enjoy their experience in the park. But at the same time, they do have to consider the larger picture and how to maintain the smooth operation of the park for everyone.
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Kay_Dee (Kathy)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taeriel wrote:


He goes on to explain under what conditions a person could legally bring a firearm into a state park:

...keeping it in a box, within a "temporary lodging or a vehicle when unloaded and 'packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use'".


Thanks Alison, I think this is in keeping with my suggestion that people might bring their prop blaster in their car, leave it in the car out of sight, and if they get personal OK from a ranger before the photo shoot then they'd be OK to use it.
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Hollis DZC ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to have to miss this event. With my girlfriend recovering from thyroid surgery today, I'm going to be at her side tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great time and looking forward to seeing pics and hearing all the stories!!
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Taeriel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry you weren't able to make it. I'm sure we'll do similar events again sometime, and hopefully you can join us then.

I hope that your girlfriend's recovery goes smoothly!
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