Last weekend I took the family to the first ever LA River Campout organized by the California State Parks, Clockshop and Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority. The camping site, newly owned by the California State Parks, is the 18 acre Bowtie Parcel near the 2 Freeway in the Atwater Village/Elysian Park area. We had no idea this little pocket even existed, nor did we know how to access it. Apparently it used to be a dump site for construction materials. Now as a state park, it's also frequented by skateboarders for the asphalt and the concrete structures.
When we arrived rangers took us on a nature walk along the river, talking about the native plants and the future of the river. The organizers provided tents and sleeping bags, hot dogs and marshmallows. We sat on hay bails around the campfire and roasted up desert while they told ghost stories for the kids.
At 10 pm, it was lights out and we awoke to coffee in the morning. It was very interesting hearing the sounds of the river flowing by along with some freeway noise and the train. I personally embrace it all, everything except for sleeping on asphalt!