Ben is back at it with another blog post!:
After another chilly night, we were all awoken early by loud birds neighboring us. Once everyone was up and ready, our cook crew, consisting of Ailie, Raphaelle,and Aanika, began to assemble our breakfast of yogurt and granola with fruit. While cook crew was hard at work, the rest of us stuffed our duffels, broke down camp, and took the walk to load everything back into the trailer. After dropping the duffels off, Kai and Theo cleaned out the van, putting all lost belongings in the “bag of doom”. We continued by eating our wonderful breakfast made by the 3 Chattes, followed by Raffy’s usual offering of all the leftover food. While peacefully eating our breakfast at 7:30, Kai reminded us that we needed to be leaving at eight. Everyone rushed to pack up the rest of the trailer and van, and then headed to load up for our drive. With Kai’s incredible packing, along with the team work from Will to help Kai pack the trailer, we were all loaded up and ready to leave right on our goal, 8 AM.
Ready for an hour and a half drive to surfing, we were entertained by Kai’s music playlist, as usual. About five minutes in, we stopped quickly for some gas, and a few people used the restroom. After another 30 minutes of driving, Raffy realized we would actually be early to our reservation. Because of this, Kai and Raffy both decided it would be a good idea to stop at Walgreens to pick up a few necessities. We continue driving for a bit, but as usual, we made yet another stop. The stop was actually really cool though, because we had the opportunity to fill our water bottles with water from a natural aquifer. Everyone enjoyed this stop besides Xander who decided to have a peaceful moment by himself in the car.
After a few more minutes of driving, we arrived at Stinson Beach all ready to surf. While waiting for our outfitters, everyone made sure to use the bathroom. After games of soccer and ninja, the guides were ready to fit us into our wet suits. We all got our sizes and went to put them on. With Will being the first done, he grabbed his surfboard, followed by everyone else, and we all walked to our surfing destination. After a quick demonstration and practice of how to surf, everyone ran into the ocean with their boards. Many people caught waves, and after Will nose diving four times in a row, Dilan being accused of cheating for catching so many waves, and Ben and Ailie deciding to body surf, it was time to end our surfing activity. While returning back to shore, everyone was so grateful, realizing that Raffy and Kai had brought all our stuff back to the van. With a short closing meeting with our guides, we were ready for the biggest challenge yet, removing the wetsuits.
Once all wetsuits were off and surfboards packed away, it was finally time to eat lunch. Everyone enjoyed the pita sandwiches, made by our amazing cook crew this morning. After lunch, we headed out for another 4 Hour drive to a river campsite. Along the way, we were entertained by our usual music, along with some great comedy. Even with all the “amazing luck“ we’ve been having on road trips, we somehow got stuck in traffic on the highway! Luckily, we had our amazing navigator Raffy to get us through it. During the last hour, Raffy, Kai, Owen and Ben played the road trip letter game, we finally made it to our river campsite.
We carried all the camp gear to the campground with little carts, provided by the campsite, and cook crew immediately started cooking her dinner. The cook crew, Ben, Owen, Dilan, and Theo made grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup for everyone to enjoy. With the crew hard at work, the rest of us set up camp. Aanika was even nice enough to set up a tent for the cook crew while they made dinner.
During this time, our white water rafting guides for the next few days, came to our site to do a quick demo speech for rafting.
Around 7:30, our dinner was ready and everyone was able to enjoy plenty of food. Once dinner was all cleaned up, Raph, Raffy, Daniel, Will, Aanika and Noel went to play bananagrams to pass the time until evening meeting. A few minutes before evening meeting, Raffy had the amazing idea to conduct evening meeting right next to the American River. During evening meeting, everyone enjoyed brownies for dessert brought by our cook crew. We were even visited by a deer and their baby. Once evening meeting was completed, everyone headed back to camp to shower, get ready for bed, and enjoy a good sleep before a long and tiring day of rafting tomorrow.
(Note: we won’t have any service on the river, so our day 15 blog will be a bit delayed!)