Repping and Skating: A trip to CA with my 7 year old

I decided to pull my middle child Paxton from his 1st grade on Thursday/Friday and head down to CA with him. I think this boy missed his pops and he had a really good student conference so I wanted to reward him a bit. I promised him lots of skateparks and he promised to be a good boy at the demo day for Headwaters Kayak. We loaded up the camper with a few extra goodies: RC Car, Books, Clipboards for drawing, Math books, iPad (more on that later) and munchies. I knew that the road would be a bit slower and that the road phone time with dealers would be limited. But the adventure with my boy had me really excited. I felt that I wouldn't have to be totally "on him" at the demo day. He was old enough now. He may even help me a bit?!

SkatePark: Weed CA
This park is right off US97 and always on my route to and from Oregon. I have never stopped here so this was great to do with Paxton. I guess I'm always in a rush. Nice big lot with big views. The park is full of fun features and super flowy for old guys like me! Paxton loved the bowls and also had a little route to launch out of a little quarter pipe hit.

SkatePark: Red Bluff CA

This is my kind of park. Bigger and more open with a few features that are good for a guy who doesn't like huge transitions and big consequences. It is yards off of I5 with big trailer parking. Another stop to add to my waysides.

We drove a few miles down the road and camped along the Sacramento River. Our Camp Spot at Sycamore Grove Campground near Red Bluff.

Life in the camper! The two of us hard at work on our electronic devices.

SkatePark: McClatchy Park Sacramento CA
Just south of Sacramento. This park was the smallest one we visited but we had a good time for about an hour. Paxton liked the ultra smooth pavement and I liked the berms for their size and coping. A good place for me to break away from my fear of Rock to Fakies!

SkatePark: Elk Grove CA
This park was beautiful. Huge lot, baseball and soccer field and some of the best features we skated. Paxton had an insane fall on the big bowl while his Mom was watching on Facetime. Could have been really bad and I'm glad he got away with only a scrape.

SkatePark: Lodi CA
This park was Paxton's favorite. I would not have guessed that but he did really like the mini-mega-ramp roll-in (can that be such a thing). He likes getting air and hasn't progressed to all the technical tricks that some of the other parks might invite. This park was flowy and had hits. A lot of the Lodi kids thought Pax's skills were exceptional. So it just isn't only me!

Headwaters Kayak Paddle Festival

I was up at 5am to get moving to the demo site. Didn't even have time to make coffee! I grabbed Paxton from the bed and slumped him into his car seat wrapped in a blanket. Drove the few miles Lodi Lake Park and then returned him to the warm camper bed. It looked great but I had kayaks to unload in the dark. Four hours of hucking later, we were set up. Paxton awoke around 8:30am and came out of the camper in his PJs. Within 30 seconds, he had a chocolate doughnut from the sign-in table in his mouth. Good job Dad! Paxton ended up playing with a new 10 year old friend he made. They were digging in the freshly tilled sand while I finished set up. So much for the help!

Paxton was able to get out in the Northstar ADK Solo, a 12' ultralight canoe that is perfect for him. He really did well in it. Learning his strokes through experimentation in the no-wind conditions. He had spent some time with me in a solo canoe last season and a SUP and Kayak by himself but this was the first time he paddled his own canoe. The best boat is the one you can lift. This ADK was perfect for him at 20 lbs! Later in the day, folks that saw Paxton moving this boat all around started asking about it and paddling it. I think people started to see the joy of an easy to the water canoe! I was able to let Paxton paddle by himself even during the event. It was a bit of a free-range parenting moment but I knew he would be safe in his newest 2018 Stohlquist Child PFD!

IN-N-OUT Burger
My boy has a pretty basic pallet. He eats plainly and pushed away a lot of the foods we try to feed him. My daughter has the sweet tooth but Paxton has the Salt tooth. So, this stop was a no brainer. We went two nights in a row. My heart said no but my mouth and belly said Yes! I like this pic because it shows the passion for the burger. The best part was that we were able to sit outside on a table and watch the Friday and Saturday night car and motorcycle parade come through. Paxton is a big Hot Wheels fan so this was a blast to see real sized versions!

Barn Fever! 
The return back to Bend happened a bit faster than the route into CA. Paxton was saying "I hate Oregon"! He had so much fun in CA he wanted to stay.


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