Wednesday, June 18, 2014

O'Neill Park

Back to O'Neill! And this time we were prepared! Bring on the dry camping! This trip, like so many of our other trips, was just an excuse to have a quick weekend away. We were there February 21st - 23rd, with our camping buddies. And this time around our main goal was to get out and HIKE! So, hike we did.

We spent the Saturday bumming around the site, the boys chopping wood, or playing Frisbee, while the girls read and just relaxed.

Now Sunday was our hiking day! We packed as much stuff up before heading to bed Saturday, so by the time we got back from the hike we wouldn't have too much to do. Our original plan was to take a "easy" route up the hill, and a "moderate" back down. Best laid plans and all that... We ended up taking a pretty steep trail, Live Oak Trail, up to the top of the hill. I was not prepared for this. It kicked my ass. It was not fun.
However, once we got on the flat hilltop, with a view overlooking RSM, it wasn't so bad. The whole rest of the hike was downhill, thank goodness, and it was pretty enjoyable.We did have a slight "emergency" on the way down. The Husby hurt his foot/ankle, so we stopped to have our handy-dandy emergency ready buddies take a look. They were prepared to wrap his foot, but he decided to just work through it, and take it easy heading down. The last leg of the hike, on Coyote Trail & Homestead Trail, was wonderful. It was tree covered and all green. And downhill. :-) Round trip the hike was around 4 miles. 

We made it!!

Things we learned on our 8th, quick, Camping Adventure:

  1. Damn it! I guess we didn't pay attention to our last trip because here we go again: Hiking is tiring!! Good Golly!!
  2. Sunscreen. Must apply sunscreen. On my face. MUST!!!
  3. Packing up the night before is really helpful for a quicker departure the next day.
  4. You can never have too much dip. You just need to remember to bring a comparable amount of Frito's.
Stay Tuned! Coming up Next: Back to Casper's for a Frederick Birthday Celebration!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Caspers Wilderness Park!

As we make our way to all of the local campground near us, our next stop is at Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano. We really didn't know anything about the park, and the Husby did a little re-con before hand, and it turned out to be a great find. Sadly, they do not allow dogs into the park, which is a little disappointing. But, we really needed a get away, so we booked a site within their small section of full hook up sites. We stayed there January 17th - 19th. We weren't able to get out of work early on that Friday, nor were we allowed to have fires that night, so once we set up, we made dinner inside and went to bed.
All ready to go!
Saturday we had  hiking plans! As previously mentioned we bought me real proper hiking boots, and this was their first real adventure! would turn out that my boots were really the only thing that was prepared for hiking when it came to me. Oh well, live and learn! And we did! The hike was a good 3 miles, our longest yet! And the rest of the night was spent lounging in the shade and relaxing. 
Let there be fire!
Haha, the trailer at night
Our last night there they droped the Red Flag warning, and we were able to have a nice fire. Since it was just the two of us, and we were pretty tired from the hike, it was probably the most uneventful fire ever. Haha. We called it a night early, and went to bed.

Before we left we had spread the word around the family that, if they wanted to, they were more than welcome to stop by, see the trailer for those of hadn't, roast some hot dogs, get some nature in, or just hang out while we were there. So, our Camping Buddies stopped by before and after our hike on Saturday. And then Sunday morning they came back, this time with their Mom, the other Brother and his Girlfriend. It was a nice quite morning of hanging out and having homemade cinnamon rolls.

Things we learned on our 7th Camping Adventure:

  1. Hiking is tiring!! Good Golly!!
  2. We don't need a fire to enjoy camping at night. Good thing we had those DVD's in the trailer! ;-)
  3. Electricity is nice after a trip without it. 
  4. We missed the puppies! It adds a level of stress, but they are so worth it!
Stay Tuned! Coming up Next: Back to O'Neill!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Sur

Big Sur is amazing. It's one of the most gorgeous places in California. The photos really don't do it justice, you need to go out into it. Be part of the awe-inspiring Red Woods. I am so glad we bit the bullet and went through with this trip. We spent our 4th Anniversary at Pfeiffer State Park. We were here from Nov 13th - 17th. 

We almost cancelled. Almost. With the Husby working every weekend this fall, it felt as though we weren't going to have enough time to be properly prepared for such a long, far- away trip (Its about 335 miles/8hours from home). But we both knew that we would regret it if we didn't go.We weren't able to take the pups with us this time, as dogs weren't allowed on the hiking trail, and we definitely wanted to explore, we left them at home. Thankfully our camping buddies were kind enough to watch them.

So, on a very early morning, 5am to be exact, we left for Northern CA. We hit zero traffic through LA, which even leaving that early is a shocker, and had breakfast in Santa Barbara. I think it was around 8ish? I say 8ish since the Starbucks was still pretty busy. ;-) It was ending up to be a gorgeous fall day.
Hey! That's us!
Husby putting the extension mirrors on.
We started heading towards the ocean Near San Luis Obisbo. And our views just kept getting better and better the farther north we traveled.
Proof that I am in the car too ;-)
We past gorgeous ocean views, rolling hills, shady trees, and zebras. Yes, zebras. On the Hearst Castle ground they have a zoo, and they keep zebras. It was really a crazy thing to look over and see. We had to stop and take a closer look.
More Zebra's!!
This picture just radiates happiness to me. :-)

 We slowly made our way up PCH, stopping for lunch at a great little pullout that juuuuuuust fit us. Sadly, I don't have any photos of our stop. I think they are on the Husby's phone. But it was lovely. We made our sandwich's, had chips & dip, and just took in the scenery. But, we still had another hour or so of Mountain driving ahead us, so we continued on.
We came to this amazing bridge. It looks to have just been in the final stages of being completed. It was seriously massive.

And finally, after 8 hours in the car, we turned a corner and BAM! Red Woods! And it was good.
 And then another corner and we made it to the Campground. I believe we checked in right around 2pm.
Husby waiting to check us in & buy firewood
Our campsite was nestled in the back of the grounds with the Big Sur creek running right behind it, site # 130.  It was one of the most stunning drives, with huge towering trees everywhere you looked.
Our Site. Behind the leftmost tree was a trail to the creek.

We were pretty exhausted after our long drive, but we couldn't resist the urge to venture out some. We brought our bikes with us, so on we went. We leisurely rode around the campground for about 20 minutes or so, just enough to get our bearings. Since we had had such a long day, we made a small fire and tucked in early.

The next day was our anniversary, and we decided to spend it exploring the nearby cities. North of Big Sur is Carmel-by-the-Sea, and a little was further is Monterey. The drive that day was cold, windy, foggy, and wonderful.

We took our time taking in all the wonderful sites, and eventually made our way to Monterey Bay and Cannery Row where we had a late lunch. We sat outside right at the water at some Fancy-Shamncy Fish Place and had turkey sandwiches. It was great. Hahaha It was already getting towards dusk when we decided that, since we where there, we really should take the 17-mile Drive at Pebble Beach. And let me tell you, seeing it at sunset was the best decision. It took everything in us to keep driving and not to just stop and stare. I was a little...annoyed that the drive cost $10 per vehicle, but by the end, I was ok with it. Prepare for photo overload...

See?! Amazing at sunset!
Oh, and it was FREEZING!!!!
Gratuitous truck porn
More truck porn

By the time we left it was dark, and about 40° with a strong wind. 

The next day was Adventure Day!! We had planned on hiking more this trip, and our Camping Buddies even bought us a Trail Guide Book for the region. It was pretty sweet. Now if only I was more capable. Ugh. Oh well. We still hiking/walked around for the better part of the morning and afternoon, even stopping to have lunch away from site. We saw marvelous examples of nature at it's best. Next time we will do the longer hikes. This will happen.
Hey Look! Its a tiny Husby at the base of that Tree!
That's a big tree
Our Adventure Day was on Friday, and by the time we were done the campground had filled up. Like booked solid filled up. There were douches to the left of us, and douches to the right. Ugh. And they were loud. And annoying.  And to top it off, this was the 36hr cut off for our fridge. Remember, we were dry camping this trip,so no hook ups. We ended up having to hook the trailer up to the truck and let it charge the battery for about 30mins at a time. Husby was not pleased. All of our other non-electrical issues were not a problem though. Woot to that! Before we left we bought a camp stove, and propane, a kettle, and borrowed a coffee press. We learned how to minimize our power outage at night by hanging a lantern from the ceiling. Other than the fridge giving out on us, we did pretty darn good!

Sadly Saturday was our last day. There was a cute little town off PCH near the Park we wanted to check out, so we had lunch there and spent the rest of the day relaxing, and just enjoying the site. 

Oh! This is the creek behind our site! Oh cool is that?!

We packed up early that night since we were planning on heading out at 5am. I won't go into the drama that ensued around 11pm with our douche neighbors. But I will just say it involved a half naked Husby yelling at them from our camper door. I love that man.
Can you read the temp on the mirror? It says 43° when we left our site.

Things we learned on our 6th (!!) Camping Adventure:

  1. Book these kind of locations during the week, try to avoid the weekend dates to limit the amount of doucheness. 
  2. Buy a generator if we plan on long dry camping trips in the future
  3. You will hit your head on a lantern hanging from the ceiling. YOU WILL.
  4. was kinda nice not to worry about the puppies. :-/ We missed them, but it certainly gave the trip a more spontaneous feel.
  5. We will consume more dip than needed with the threat of a dead fridge.
Stay Tuned! Coming up Next: Caspers Wilderness Park! (Don't worry, its much less wilderness-y than the name implies ;-) )