Hendy Woods

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© Mikayla Butchart
We forgot bug repellent. Also, tuck in loose clothing to avoid ticks!

Have I mentioned that I am leaving for more than two months at the end of the week and that I am supposed to be getting my house ready for the subletter and putting all my art supplies in boxes and shipping them to myself in New York and finishing all my work for the season? Well. That sounds like a tomorrow problem. Let's go camping. 

Cookie is beating Acorn at gin rummy, rubbing it in with an unflattering sketch; GOT book IV nerdiness; somebody left these nasturtiums behind because they knew I was coming; some sketches of whatever's directly in front of me because I'm not very imaginative.

We went to our favorite campground, Hendy Woods in Anderson Valley, which has access to the Navarro River for swimming and two ancient redwood groves for tromping. It is so magical there, and we were dismayed to hear that it would be closing July 1 as part of the state parks cutbacks. Is anything better than wrapping food in metal and throwing it into a bonfire? than drinking cocoa with the nicest person in the world under California laurels and madrones to the sounds of pooping kingfishers and squeaky-sex-bed birds and ravens the size of spaniels? than waking up in the woods with everything smelling like one million dollars and rain pattering on the tent? Is anything more depressing than the budget cuts that are resulting in closures of parks like this one? Ugh. It just makes me want to have a lie-down/cry-down in a hollow log covered with ferns.

© Mikayla Butchart

It started sprinkling pretty heavily our last night while we were cooking dinner, and, worried that it would start raining in earnest and make for a very wet camp breakdown in the morning, we decided to pack up after we finished our tin soldiers and make the three-hour drive back to San Francisco. Because it was a Monday night, we were the only people in the campground, and it was a very dark, damp, and lonely way to say good-bye to one of my favorite places. Gigantic violins. 

© Mikayla Butchart

Update 5.23.2012:
It was announced today that Hendy Woods is off the closure list and will be open for the summer camping season and probably the whole year, thanks to the impressive activist efforts, volunteerism, and donations of the Hendy Woods Community Group (though I like to think that our $70 was what pushed them over the top). Yay! But I am never satisfied; I want them to be open forever, not just the next six months or so. Visit www.hendywoods.org to make a donation, or better yet, camp there for a couple of nights this summer (we prefer the Azalea loop)! That way everyone wins. Or go see Kris Kristofferson in a benefit concert. Whatever appeals. 

© Mikayla Butchart
Better make some felt trees to remember Hendy Woods by, then I can get back to work.