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chathamsolutions

Bullards

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chathamsolutions

While many of you were at the NorCal WoW in Oroville, I and my crew were in Bullards Bar.

Yes, I know, Bullards is very close to Oroville - why didn't we just go there? Well, about 15 families were scheduled to go to Trinity this week, but all the fires, threat of fires and smoke caused a bunch of people to pull out about 3 weeks ahead of the trip - lame. So, with the week scheduled off we were limited in the choices available to us and the 8 families that were still going. Trinity has been a 4 year deal for us, so not doing it this year was a bummer. Keeping as many families together for the trip was a priority as well.

I've heard about Bullards for years, but never made the trip since it was 4+ hours from home. The trip started on Friday with me getting 5 new Carlisles for the trailer. I have to say I am very lucky that I even made it home from my last trip. After pulling off the tires and really inspecting them, I was amazed at how lucky I was to have only lost one tire on my last trip home. Two tires had extreme bulges and one had a gash through the tread that went all the way to the inner liner. Scary.

We pulled out from home Saturday, midday, and ended up arriving at the dam at about 6pm. My kids are still not great travelers and have to pee WAAAY too often (3x). Because we hadn't been there before, and knowing Emerald Cove is where we check in, we ended up driving all the way down to the marina only to find that it had just closed. We did get directions to Schoolhouse campground though, and made our way. My in-laws were already there, so we hooked up with them and unloaded.

Schoolhouse campsite was pretty big. Looked to have over 50 sites. It was full too with the weekend crowd. That night I was awakened by the CFO and a sharp elbow to my rib cage, 'Someone's out there' she said. I grogily listened and then stood up to see who was making noise. I have a really bright LED headlamp so I scanned our campsite. There were 4 tents. I went back and forth, but didn't see anything. Decided to open the tent and decided to water a nearby tree - went back to bed and all was well.

The next morning we had a little Sunday School lesson from my FIL and after saying a family prayer asking for safety for our family, safety of those traveling to meet us the next day, help with our vehicles and boats during the week - we decided to make the 1/2 mile walk from Schoolhouse to the lake. There's a marked lake trail that looked like it would be enjoyable for everyone. We ranged in age from 4 years old to 68.

My two boys, ages 4 and 8, were running on ahead with their grandfather. The area was pretty heavily wooded. There were your typical tall evergreens, but there was also another variety of tree that I wasn't familiar with. The leaves looked similar to eucalyptus, though they were curved, the trees looked nothing like them though. The ground was covered with these leaves, the trail especially. As you probably know, eucalyptus has an oily/slick leaf. These were similar and were quite slippery, especially on a downhill path.

The rest of our group caught up to the first group (4 & 8 year old and grandpa). The 4 year old was crying. It took us a while to catch up to them and he kept crying. As a 4 year old crying isn't odd. But for him to continue crying and not let up, was odd. He complained about his shoulder and jumped when we tried to pick him up. My sister-in-law works as a physical therapy assistant and has years of sports medicine experience - on and off the field. My brother-in-law is currently training as an EMT and is going to school to get his firefighter credentials. Both looked him over and pointed out an odd point in his clavicle. CFO and I felt it, knew the walk to the lake was over and decided a trip to the ER was probably in order. I carried him the 200 yards back up the trail and his constant crying convinced us something was definitely wrong. The CFO, with 4 kids under her belt, has a PHd in dealing with kids ailments and pains. She produced an instant cold compress to apply to the collar and gave him some Motrin. I on the other hand headed straight to the cooler and grabbed a soda. Grandma was on the phone getting directions to Grass Valley and the Sierra Nevada memorial hospital. By the time we got 10 miles down the road the shock, Motrin and sugar high from the soda pushed him over the edge. He fell asleep.

We have a pretty good feel for ER's and hospitals and have to say the staff and facility at Sierra Nevada Memorial was first rate. We only spent about 2 1/2 hours there - pretty good for a Sunday afternoon and the limited staff on assignment. The ER had a handful of people waiting, so they moved us through pretty quickly.

When we were first pulling into the hospital parking lot I was cut off by a big white Tahoe who came in through the other ER entrance. They were obviously in a hurry (I instantly thought of the Brian Regan bit, 'Everybody merge...'). They were then first in the parking queue. The lot was packed and our boy was asleep, so I dropped off the CFO to have her run in and get in line. he, he, he... Turned out it was a man and his wife who'd sprained her ankle. I guess crashing into another car on the way to get her ankle wrapped in an Ace bandage was on the agenda...

Here's the film of what actually happened to my boy:

post-9-1217183313_thumb.jpg

Thought of going and visiting Michael while we were in Grass Valley, and saying hi :)

We stopped at an Asian buffet that had a sign listing it as the best buffet in town. We weren't impressed, the Mongolian BBQ was OK though.

We discovered two river spots on the way back from the hospital. We were excited to take the kids to a different location and have them try out something different than the lake. The kids like to shake it up a bit.

We actually moved campsites that day, to one where we would be staying the remainder of the trip. Also some friends showed up a few campsites away. That night about 10:00 another friend came over and said they just saw a bear walking through camp.

We fit two of our igloos in bear lockers, but we had two large igloos that wouldn't fit. So, we stuck them underneath the large, heavy, wooden picnic benches. They just fit underneath the picnic bench. Being wedged in there we hoped they wouldn't mess with them.

Late that night I heard the typical igloo opening sound and then a very loud slam, of what sounded like the same igloo. The CFO and I were just falling asleep, so we lifted our heads and listened. Heard a little noise, but it wasn't very close so I put my head back down. Next thing I know I heard something right outside our tent, mulling around. I jump out of bed and listen. It was right outside our tent, within 10 feet. I told the CFO to get dressed and I was sure it was a bear. I threw on my clothes and grabbed my headlight. I then started to yell and clap my hands. I heard something tear into the forest immediately off to the right of our tent. Went outside and saw nothing. It had been there, but didn't get into anything, not even the igloos under the table.

The next morning on closer inspection, the bear had torn holes in the igloos under the table. It had also opened and gone through our friend's igloo that was left out in the open. It took out 3-4 items, ate them and then slammed the igloo closed and mozzied on over to our campsite.

The lake was incredible. We were worried that there wasn't going to be anywhere we could beach and leave the kids, or other people who didn't want to be on the boat right then. We were fortunate to find a place just off of the Dark Day launch ramp. It was right next to a pretty good size cove, just big enough to do surfing circles in and not bother anyone else - except the houseboats in the cove :)

The typically got on the water around 10ish. The water was great until 1 and then the wind would pick up a bit. But even then, the lake meandered around enough to be able to find good water. I was impressed.

The beaches weren't great - but there were a couple spots where there was good access, nice sand and some shade. I think if we would have gone farther up the north end we could have found some other spots as well - we just didn't need to.

I heard that gas was $6.00 a gallon at the marina, but fortunately we found a gas station 6 miles away that sold gas at regular prices. Since we pulled out every day, no need to pay high prices.

We went to the river spot, Oregon Pass day area. It was fun, a couple rope swings and just enough current down some rocks for the kids to have a good time.

Good water, schoolhouse was a nice campsite. Everyone cleared out after the weekend, we literally had the campsite to ourselves during the week. And this was in July. The smoke was only bad one morning, but not any ash or anything - thank heaven. The bears kept coming back, every night. We started using our cars panic alarm to scare them away - that was a really good idea once someone put us onto it. We stoopidly left out a Rubbermaid container with a large jar of honey, brown sugar and syrup. The campsite was totally clear, except when we made oatmeal we discovered that the container was gone. Sent the kids down into the forest to look and within 20 yards they found the broken container with all the internals emptied out.

All in all Bullards was fun. We're looking into houseboating it next year. Staying on the water would make it much nicer.

Wonder if bears try to get onto houseboats? :)

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Pistol Pete

What was broken on your son's shoulder?

How low was the water?

I always stay in School house. Good to know, now, what to do next time a bear comes into our campsite. Last time I just let Chrissy deal with it while I went back to sleep.

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chathamsolutions
What was broken on your son's shoulder?

How low was the water?

I always stay in School house. Good to know, now, what to do next time a bear comes into our campsite. Last time I just let Chrissy deal with it while I went back to sleep.

his collar bone (clavicle) - the top bone, going across the image above.

They state 75% full on the web site. I'd say it was 20feet down from the tree line.

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NorCaliBu
Thought of going and visiting Michael while we were in Grass Valley, and saying hi :)

You should have...or at least let me know you were there, Bullard's is only 30 minutes from my house (40 towing).

Never a dull moment on your trips, eh? Glad you had a good time. Now PLEASE, stop telling people about Bullard's. Bash.gif

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kb3
Thought of going and visiting Michael while we were in Grass Valley, and saying hi :)

You should have...or at least let me know you were there, Bullard's is only 30 minutes from my house (40 towing).

Never a dull moment on your trips, eh? Glad you had a good time. Now PLEASE, stop telling people about Bullard's. Bash.gif

Maybe it is best that Andy does not join us at the Norcal Wow

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68Slalom

Andy, I'm glad everything turned out ok so you could finish your trip. Hope your boy recovers quickly, he seems like a tough little guy Thumbup.gif

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Malibudude
Thought of going and visiting Michael while we were in Grass Valley, and saying hi :)

You should have...or at least let me know you were there, Bullard's is only 30 minutes from my house (40 towing).

Never a dull moment on your trips, eh? Glad you had a good time. Now PLEASE, stop telling people about Bullard's. Bash.gif

Maybe it is best that Andy does not join us at the Norcal Wow

No doubt, though he said he was going to show up on Saturday...... Whistling.gif

Andy, I'm glad everything turned out ok so you could finish your trip. Hope your boy recovers quickly, he seems like a tough little guy Thumbup.gif

Man tough luck hope his recovery goes quickly.

All in all Bullards was fun. We're looking into houseboating it next year. Staying on the water would make it much nicer.

Wonder if bears try to get onto houseboats?

That's the problem w/ Bullards the campgrounds simply stink for watersports, either a HB or shoreline camping are the only way to go on that lake.

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chathamsolutions
Thought of going and visiting Michael while we were in Grass Valley, and saying hi :)

You should have...or at least let me know you were there, Bullard's is only 30 minutes from my house (40 towing).

Never a dull moment on your trips, eh? Glad you had a good time. Now PLEASE, stop telling people about Bullard's. Bash.gif

Maybe it is best that Andy does not join us at the Norcal Wow

No doubt, though he said he was going to show up on Saturday...... Whistling.gif

Andy, I'm glad everything turned out ok so you could finish your trip. Hope your boy recovers quickly, he seems like a tough little guy Thumbup.gif

Man tough luck hope his recovery goes quickly.

All in all Bullards was fun. We're looking into houseboating it next year. Staying on the water would make it much nicer.

Wonder if bears try to get onto houseboats?

That's the problem w/ Bullards the campgrounds simply stink for watersports, either a HB or shoreline camping are the only way to go on that lake.

Ya, the Saturday visit was when we were headed to Trinity. Family and everything else made it impossible for me to come over from Bullards. It was just bad timing this year.

It was very hard to pull the boat every day. It added at least an hour, if not more, to every days trip. Then worrying about covering the boat under all those trees, etc. It was just more hassle. HB would be the way, but it's a lot more money.

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