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  Folsom Lake - Negro Bar Campground: Trip Journal

Friday 5/14/04

If you were to ask most anyone from the Roseville area where Negro Bar is you might get this really funny look.  But if you were to ask them where is Folsom Lake they could probably tell you.  The funny thing about it is that Negro Bar is considered to be a part of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (SRA).  They even it have the address as Folsom Lake, which can confuse a lot of people.  I've actually been to Negro Bar many times, even as a child.  During the month of May is usually the time that most LDS Wards have their Father and Son campout.  This year was no exception.  We always encourage all of the Scouts to go and treat this as our overnighter in hopes that more of the older boys will attend.  This would be the first year that I was to take my youngest Adam and his mother was definitely looking to having all of the boys gone for the night.

After a 30 minute drive down Sunrise Blvd. we were able to make our way to the campground.  Negro Bar has a total of 3 campgrounds, all of them for group camping.  We weren't sure how many would attend this year so we only got 1 of the group spots.  It was nice to arrive with plenty of time to setup the tent, start a fire, cook dinner, and still have plenty of light out.

Soon there were lots of little ones running around with a few big ones wandering the premises.  Around 8:30 pm we had our gathering around the campfire to listen to jokes, stories, and then have some much needed ice cream and marshmallows.  I'm not sure how many marshmallows were actually devoured because there was quite the trail of them in the morning on the ground.  Soon the little ones were so sugared up no one wanted to go to sleep.  Finally around 10:30 pm I decided that Adam needed to get some rest so I could enjoy the evening.  We had two fires going on either side of the camp.  One had all of the little kids, the other had a few of the adults sitting around it listening to the evening sounds and a number of melodies played by Mike K. and his trusty guitar.  A very soothing night except for when a sugar banshee would run by with a mouth full of marshmallows.

With things starting to calm down it was around 11 pm that I finally turned.  I had the fore thought to bring the air mattresses this time.  I've learned my lesson not to leave them at home anymore.  But for some reason I had left my pillow at home, this should never happen.  During the night it was actually on the cool side, but not too cool.  I was afraid it was going to be too warm.  Around 3 am one of the little ones in camp decided that he wanted his mother, I felt bad knowing this was his first time away from home and under such strange circumstances.

Morning finally came and found us all wandering around with funny looking hairstyles.  Time to break out the hats, that's what they're for.  We headed over to the make shift kitchen and sat there enjoying the smells of breakfast cooking in the morning air.  Soon we had eggs, bacon, and pancakes fit for a king before us.  Then it was back for more.  Usually there is always too much food, but this time we actually had just enough, good planning Greg.  Soon breakfast was over and it was time to break out the activities for the day.  A number of canoes had been hauled down for the day.  Negro Bar is on the American River and is just below the Rainbow Bridge allowing for a great area to canoe, swim, and cycle.  My plan was to spend time on the trail with both my sons and any others that wanted to tag along.

So around 8:30 am we headed out on the bike trails to get in a quick 10 miles.  I was in the lead with Adam in the seat behind me, then Devin L. Jose, and Michael.  We were able to make it up to the Nimbus Damn in about 45 minutes, not bad.  As usual there was a lot of traffic out this Saturday.  There were team practicing for their upcoming triathlons, the was actually a bike tour going on, and then you mix in all of the other traffic and you really had to be careful where you were going on the trail.  Devin's tire had started to loose air when we arrived at the damn.  I quickly filled it up and then he turned around to head back hoping to get some time in the canoes.  With only another mile to go I notice that Devin was no longer behind me.  I stopped to see if he would catch up.  After 20 minutes I turned around to go back for him.  After another mile on the trail I finally found him riding the bike on a complete flat.  Whatever chance there was of fixing the flat was now done due to a shredded inner tube.  We both got off the bikes and then walked bake to the campground.  

An hour later we arrived only to watch the last of the canoes being loaded back onto the truck.  Maybe we can canoe next year.  It was now getting very warm and most everyone had left.  You could tell that Adam was ready for his morning nap and so was I.  We finished packing up the car and were the last to head out of camp.  Once again another successful trip.



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