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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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Camping

Gorge Camping – Live Life Outside

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I’ve been back from the PNW for a week now, and I’m still trying to figure out when to go back!

While the 24 hour drive up was a ride from hell..literally. 104 degrees and no air conditioning in tIMG_6860he truck? While towing a trailer? guess were we took this Dodge 2500 hundred when we got back? That’s right – it’s blowing cold now.  Other than sizzling like fajitas on a cast iron skillet, the ride up was great! We didn’t stop, just trucked all the way through until we got to Val’s uncles house, at 4am Friday morning.

That’s when the real adventure started. Rows and rows of green trees, a small town full of super friendly people and the Colombia Gorge ready to be paddled on.

The river was completely difference than anything I’ve every paddled on. The river obviously runs towards the ocean, so the current is going opposite way of us. However, the mountains and cliffs on both the Oregon and Washington side create a tunnel, and the wind blowing on shore and push up to 20 kts! The race was epic. and hard. Epically hard. We don’t have surf like that in California and the whole time us girls are hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a great time. Our crew worked hard together and most importantly supported and trusted each other. Keeping each other honest in the canoe and then supporting each other through all 12 miles of the down wind race. There were parts of the race that got a little hairy, specifically when we had to cross over from the south side to the north side and go across the white caps. But knowing each other as well as we did, and blending together as well as we did we were able to keep calm and move forward. The short paddles we did before the race seemed like nothing compared to race day! 13708389_10154190018751655_8545151291604792409_oThe rest of weekend was spent relaxing at our campsites underneath 100 ft trees and hiking to 100 ft water falls. We camped at the Wyeth Campground which had incredibly spacious lots and an amazing camp host named Polly. There were close to 18 of us that took up 4 campsites. We were literally eating blackberries off the road, and watching the sun go down at 9pm.

Our hikes were based right off the Colombia River Highway, where there cIMG_7105lose to a dozen different waterfalls to hike to. Den Mother Deidre knew all the trails secrets!! They ranged from a 2 mile round trip, to a 10 mile round trip. Elowah falls was my favorite. A two mile round trip with cut backs and climbing (with the pug of course) that ended at a
free flowing (cold) water fall. It was gorgeous, eye opening and definitely must see if you are ever in Oregon. Another challenging hike, was Oneonta falls which was complete with climbing over a complete log jam and then walking a half a mile in 5 feet of water! And ofcourse we finished our hikes by stopping by our new favorite little Brewery, Thunder Island Brewery.  Which had an amazing view, and pretty sweet area to hang out in while we waited for the guys to finish their afternoon activities on the water.

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It may have only been a 4 day weekend up north but I love the area, and I love the people I traveled with. I love living life outside!

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Check out this video made by braddah Bronson about the trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQi8aXqp138

 

Cabin Fever

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Lake Side Cruisin!

IMG_2860This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend a weekend from my normal and hectic life; and spend a weekend locked up in my families cabin in Twin Peaks! About ten minutes away from Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory!

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Scaling Creeks with My Boys

We had a great time hiking and exploring the mountain.

IMG_2893I love adventures and exploring new paths. I think getting out of your everyday life and emerging yourself in a completely different setting does the mind a piece of good! Being able to let go of your everyday chores and just be free of any burdens you have keeping you down everyday!

Yes ofcourse- we found time to do some light paddling on the lake. Even took the Biggz out! IMG_2934OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All in all it was a great weekend.

Cheers to hoping that this weekend is as fun as the last!

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xoxo

Instagram: KelThompson
Twitter: @KelThomp

Campin California!

It was so awesome to spend the weekend away from Newport, away from work, away from the teenagers I coach (no offense guys) and just escape to the mountains, and then the beach, with Bruce and Biggie. We packed up the truck on Friday afternoon and headed out for our weekend adventure!IMG_8883ROSE VALLEY, LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST: First night was a cold one! There were about 12 spots in this camping area, but you felt like you were all alone. We set up the tent (well Bruce did, the wouldn’t allow me to help) made some dinner on the grill and hung out around the fire! We woke up to SNOW. Not necessarily at our campsite, but when we drove to the top of the mountain it was COVERED in snow. We decided we wanted to just continue through the mountain range. We took that windy road all the way down, it landed us in Maricopa. A very small country town we probably won’t return to. We then decided to head on over to Carpinteria State beach for some “warmer” weather camping.

CARPINTERIA STATE BEACH: This place is PERFECT for a good time. 12 miles of open beach, and grass campgrounds. I had SO much fun just setting up our home base for the day. We pitched our tent underneath a huge shady tree and went for a walk along the railroad tracks. Dog’s aren’t allowed on the beach but we snuck Biggie up onto one the dunes for a few minutes. Just to see him play! IMG_8951IMG_8954When the clouds moved in, so did the rain. We realized we had about an hour before the rain came in! It’s 5 o’clock and rushing to make our dinner! Bruce made an amazing dinner of corn, steak, and chili on top of the fire pit!

We knew there was bad weather at home, our friends were warning us, but it didn’t make us want to come

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home early. We were in it for the long haul, well however long the rain lasted which was only 45 minutes. While Bruce made dinner, I stood around taking pictures of course, and watching the amazing sunset with Biggie. We woke up the next morning, took another long walk and packed up. I made Bruce stop at the local bookstore because I had just finished my book, and then headed to Malibu! We were supposed to go home that day, Sunday, but since the next day was new years eve anyway and we didn’t have to work; we decided to head to another state park on the way home! Malibu here we come!

MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK: Now this place was a little difficult to find, but I’m sure if we had listened to our directions we would have found it…anyway. This is the state park were Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H was filmed! AND it was not full at all! We were the only people around! IMG_8986

We got to the park, and once again we set up camp and headed out for a hike! This park has a lot of great trails, but since apparently dogs aren’t allowed on the trails we had to take a hike of our own! The forest was just a football field away from our tent so we headed up into the trees! Biggie was having a blast. This place was a lot cooler than the other two campgrounds we had been too, even Rose Valley. We were deep in a valley surrounded the mountain range. It was a good night to end our trip on. We talked around the campfire, played fetch with Biggie and just waited for our fire to burn out. We got in our tent and realized this was the COLDEST night we had so far! I wore two pairs of pants, 3 pairs of socks, 2 shirts and a sweatshirt to bed! Along with mittens! We woke up the next morning with frost IN the tent! IMG_9040All in all, it was a great trip and I can’t wait to see where we go next. With plans to go to more places and explore more of the coast, I’m sure we will have some more adventures coming up! IMG_8988

 

From The Road

Check out the Instagram @kelthompson to find more pictures from the trip as we take it! Heading to Leo Carillo today.

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