Agate Beach Blog Great Outdoors Lead Story Patrick's Point State Park travel

Camping the Doni Way –

Once I informed one good friend about my current awesome camping trip in Trinidad at Patrick’s Point State Park, she joked that I shouldn’t write about it, or if I did, I shouldn’t point out the cabins, as a result of the cabins would grow to be so common I’d by no means be capable of reserve one once more.

Yes, I stated cabins.

I really like camping at Patrick’s Point, a bit greater than a Three-hour drive from Redding, for therefore many reasons. I really like the cool temperatures, being surrounded by redwoods, being so close to the ocean, strolling on the beaches, cooking outdoors, and most of all, sharing the trip with individuals I am keen on.

But the fact is, there are some issues I’m not wild about on the subject of camping at Patrick’s Point: skunks, banana slugs, having to stroll to a toilet at night time, having to make use of public quarter-fed showers, and most of all, I don’t like crawling on my arms and knees into and out of a tent, which all the time makes me think of Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. I also am not a fan of retaining one eye and each ears open all night time listening for bears.

A number of years again for my twin and my especially vital birthday we determined to host our own get together during a Patrick’s Point household tenting journey.

July, 2016, The gang was principally there.

Along with we matriarch sisters, we hoped to have all the youngsters and grandkids there, and their vital others. We virtually made it, with the exception of Shelly’s daughter and her husband and youngsters, and my son Joe, who lives in the Czech Republic.

As a result of Shelly and I have been born in Hawaii, we brought alongside just a little signal that we’d taken tenting in earlier years and posted it outdoors our campsite.

That was the yr that I tried fishing from a chartered fishing boat for the first time. That was additionally the yr that I discovered that I’m a type of individuals greatest left on shore. I obtained seasick about 10 minutes into the four-hour fishing journey and principally simply waited for the world to cease shifting and the entire thing to be over. I get queasy even now, just serious about it. But what a haul we caught! We feasted on recent crab and beer-battered ling cod and made do-it-yourself pasta and ate certainly one of the greatest meals of my life.

That was three years ago, and despite my and Shelly’s most strong-armed, nagging convincing makes an attempt to lure our households again to Patrick’s Level, it just wasn’t occurring. Everyone stated they couldn’t make it. Final yr, sadly, we skipped it solely. This yr, we gave up, too, because our households have been unavailable.

I let go the concept of tenting, and even thought-about eliminating all my tenting supplies, together with that silly Aloha sign. Perhaps our household tenting days have been over. They have been fun whereas they lasted.

No segue, but since November, son Joe has spent plenty of time at my place, coming right here from his residence in Europe to work on major tasks around my home. We’ve a deal: I’ll pay for his aircraft ticket, meals and lodging if he works on my house, which has countless tasks, excess of I might afford to hire somebody to do. The primary time we tried this arrangement was two years ago, once I bought this 1938 fixer-upper and principally gutted it.

Joe finished the cabinets, and went right to the wire by installing the laundry room on the day he left Redding. Summer time of 2017.

Joe outdid himself this yr. He dug trenches by hand and installed French drains. He constructed a 60-foot long rock wall, partially from the boulders he collected while digging trenches.

All that’s left for Doni is to wash the rocks and apply a seal.

He put in a white picket fence in my entrance yard (fencing that was in the again yard once I bought the house).

He worked so exhausting, and did so much that I started to feel guilty that he’d not had a lot down time on this go to. So the week earlier than July 4th I decided that my sister and I might have our birthday journey on the coast in any case, and invite Joe, and plan a fishing journey, since Joe wasn’t capable of make it to our earlier household birthday camping trip.

My sister informed me I used to be loopy to aim reserving a camp website at Patrick’s Point throughout a holiday week. Often, we make our reservations months prematurely.

I referred to as the reservation line anyway, and discovered that Shelly was proper. Each single tent website was booked.

“Oh gosh, you have nothing left at all?” I whined to the reservations clerk.

“Sorry, nothing,” she stated. “Unless you want a cabin.”

My head nearly exploded.

“CABIN?” I stated. “But Patrick’s Point doesn’t have cabins!”

The lady stated that really Patrick’s Point does have four cabins – on the Agate Seashore aspect – and that it’s had cabins for a couple of years now. She explained the cabins sleep six, haven’t any operating water, or loos, but they do have bunk beds and electrical energy. She stated the cabin sites have room for tent-campers in the similar get together outdoors.

Two twin prime bunks with railings and ladders; two full measurement – maybe even queen? – beds under. However there’s room for blow-up beds and cots, each of which Doni introduced.

How might I have not recognized this?

She stated there was only one cabin out there at $100 per night time, beginning July 2, and we’d depart July 5. I stated I’d take it.

So we packed up a couple of issues, and headed for the coast.

Once we arrived at the campsite, I almost wept with joy. This area was good. Shoot, I might reside in this cabin! (Nicely, if it had a toilet, and kitchen.)

It even had an electrical hearth. Ours was cabin No. 2, which we thought was the greatest due to its superior view of the ocean. (Cabin No. 1 had no ocean view, by the approach.) For future bookings, I’ll attempt for cabins 2, Three or four.

OK, yes, the cabin does feel a tad uncovered, but if there was the cowl of timber and shrubs, there’d be no ocean view. And yes, there was a parking zone between our cabin and the Agate Seashore path head, but in the early mornings and late evenings the lot was practically empty. In addition to, that space outdoors our cabin was the good place for teenagers to play. Different campers’ youngsters went around and around the grassy area on bikes and scooters.

I should mention that I made one main rookie packing mistake. I packed in Redding, the place it was so scorching that I couldn’t imagine ever feeling chilly once more. I did embrace a skinny windbreaker, however primarily I brought summer time clothes. Right here’s my tip for packing for the Northern California coast: pack in July as if it is going to feel like December. Otherwise, you’ll do as I did, and should spend money on a $36 touristy sweatshirt if you arrive in Trinidad.

My clever sister packed her wool knit hat and a thick puffy coat she’d bought some years again for our winter trip to the Czech Republic, and she or he was toasty heat.

With tent camping, things pretty much wrap up for the night time when the hearth burns down and the solar sets. Inside our cabin, we have been capable of stay up late and play games.

Shelly and Joe left early the first morning for their four-hour booking on a chartered fishing boat, while I remained back at camp the place I slept in, made coffee, cooked breakfast, learn, and listened to the ocean. Heaven.

The aunt-and-nephew fishing duo returned in the afternoon with their restrict of snapper and crab. The fishing captain had kindly cleaned and filleted all the fish, but the crabs have been entire and nonetheless alive when introduced back to camp.

Let me just say that cleansing crab almost made a vegetarian out of me. Fortunately, that sentiment passed by dinnertime.

Joe was an excellent sport and did the actually messy part of the crab-killing and crab-cleaning process, and Shelly and I picked the crab.

Considered one of the issues I’d introduced on the trip was my electrical Food Saver, so we have been capable of bag up all the fish that we didn’t eat whereas camping. You’ll be able to’t do this in a tent in the dust.

All the cabins have long ramps around the back of the buildings that lead to the front porch, which makes them wheelchair accessible. Some of the camp youngsters used these as bike ramps.

The one conceivable down aspect to the cabins is that there are not any loos, which isn’t an enormous deal except at night time, because if nature calls after darkish you’ll have to trek to the loos by flashlight. Luckily, there are loos just a brief stroll away, on the different aspect of the parking zone. (Subsequent time, I’ll deliver an empty espresso can.)

The weather was crisp and chilly in the mornings and evenings. We ran into a number of Redding individuals we knew, all escaping the valley warmth.

We did see some skunks one night, on our approach to the loos, however the skunks appeared accustomed to people, and didn’t hassle us. (But we gave them LOTS of area.)

I brought my double-burner propane cooking range son Josh received me a couple of years in the past, and we cooked all our meals outdoors. We by no means felt the need to go away camp and eat at a restaurant.

One observe about cooking at the campsite: Whereas there are standing heavy-metal barbecues at each website, they seemed rusty and gross. I recommend bringing your personal prepare dinner range. There are also hearth pits, which are great for having camp fires, however they’re troublesome to prepare dinner over. (Except Shelly and Joe did roast scorching canine over the campfire, and pronounced them delicious. I ready my scorching canine the method I like them: boiled after which pan grilled. We had a scorching canine cook-off, and all of us favored our scorching canine greatest.)

Doni’s scorching canine are on the prime left.

We stayed three nights, which is often nearly as much tenting as I want, but this time, I wish I might have stayed no less than yet one more night time.

The view of Agate Seashore from the trail head close to Doni’s cabin.

On the night time of July four, we joined others who stood by the Agate Seashore entrance the place we watched fireworks that originated in Orick and Massive Lagoon. They have been tiny, nothing like Redding’s, however they have been quaint and candy.

Throughout our days at camp, a number of individuals requested how we received that cabin, as a result of it’s not often out there. I didn’t know what to say, besides that once I referred to as to make a reservation on that exact day, it should have been my fortunate second when somebody cancelled seconds earlier.

Staying in a cabin was a serious tenting game-changer for me. It allowed me to expertise the greatest elements of tenting, corresponding to cooking outdoors, and enjoying a camp hearth, however having the safety of strong shelter and functioning electricity. It was a heat place to take a seat and skim when it was chilly and windy outdoors. It will be great for individuals with infants, or for individuals with disabilities who can’t tent camp, or for able-bodied people who are over tent camping and prefer to sleep indoors.

There are guidelines, similar to no canine inside, and all meals have to be saved inside, which suggests there are not any picket cupboards outdoors. That was high-quality with me. The world with counters became our indoor kitchen area, and at night time we brought in a card table for games.

Loads of room for ice chests and kitchen provides. In fact, there was a cocktail space, too.

Frankly, this cabin experience made me vow to by no means camp in a tent again.

Positive, I do know there are these on the market who are camping purists, minimalist campers who don’t pack a whole automotive to the roof racks; people who genuinely take pleasure in sleeping in tents on the onerous floor. Apparently, I am not a type of individuals. I am the type of camper who brings a blow-up mattress and a French press and a pasta machine and a Meals Saver. I’m the type of camper who ends up tricking out the cabin to make it feel like house. I’m the type of camper who sleeps extra soundly when safely behind a locked picket door.

I can’t apologize for being a cheerful glamper. To each her own camping fashion.

I’m already wanting ahead to subsequent yr, and plan to call that reservation line six months prematurely to e-book Cabin 2 (or Three or 4). I plan to continue camping at Patrick’s Level each summer time to have fun my birthday for as long as it’s still fun. I will deliver my books and wine and a folding chaise lounge. I will convey four seasons’ value of clothing.

And the Aloha sign. I will absolutely deliver the Aloha sign.


Patrick’s Point State Park is situated at 4150 Patrick’s Level Drive Trinidad, CA 95570. It’s 30 miles north of Eureka.

Call for reservations at 1-800-444-7275 or go browsing to