Last year we posted about Wind Wolves Preserve in Bakersfield, California. We made a trip out there this year with babies in tow. With the good weather and the recent rains, it was the perfect time to bring the babies out camping and hiking.
The recent rains in California have really helped the plants flourish at Wind Wolves, which made it the perfect time to go. The wildflowers were not out yet, but they are expected to bloom early this year.
We set up camp at San Emigdio Camp. Surprisingly we were the only ones camping. It seems that day use is more popular here. The facilities are amazingly clean (for a camp site). We called in advance to ask if we were able to set up our Sportsmobile. The plan was to have the moms and infants sleep in the Sportsmobile, and everyone else tent camp.
We started hiking on the San Emigdio Canyon Trail towards Willows Group Camp. We had a late start (around 3:00 PM). But with the weather being perfect, and the babies happy, fed, and well rested we decided to head out before sunset. We hiked towards the Reflection Pond Trail and turned back on the El Camino Viejo bike trail. The trails close around 5:00 PM and we rushed back to camp before dark.
The El Camino Viejo bike trail is a double track, wide enough for the Wind Wolves shuttle buses. It is a very popular route for joggers and bicyclist. It is also the historic inland route from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
We got back to camp just as the sun was setting and hung around till dinner time. The moms and babies settled into the Sportsmobile. Dakota and I headed into the tent to spend the night. We watched Netflix (4G LTE!) while Dakota listened to the sheep, sheep dogs, and coyote in the background. Quick tip: A baby diaper changing pad makes a great camp bed!
The next morning we woke up to a visitor at camp. One of the border collies came to visit us as we were packing up camp. She sat just cross from us staring towards the flock of sheep. Dakota came out to sniff and play, but we pulled her back giving the working dog space to do her job. We love seeing working dogs in their element. Once we packed up, we took a quick walk on the El Camino Viejo, getting close to the group camp area before the babies began to fuss. It was getting windy out. We covered them up and turned back around towards camp.
We have taken the kids on hikes, but this was the first real camping trip. Having the safety and warmth of the van really made us more comfortable with bringing them out. Here’s to the first of many adventures with infants.
Find more information about The Wildlands Conservancy and Wind Wolves here.