Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond



Catalina Crusades

IMG_1702I’m finally taking the time to SIT DOWN and actually concentrate on this blog. Life has just been so busy lately. It’s nice to sit down and have time for myself…even though my time to myself is me sitting between the boyfriend and his brother on our two person couch while they watch some show I’m not so interested in on the History Channel (talk about a run on sentence).


The past two weekends have been spent both on Catalina. I escorted the girls NAC Jr Outrigger team across the Catalina Channel on an very nice Sunday morning. Took about 5.5 hours and the girls felt every minute of it!! I’ve raced this race many times and it was nice to be on the other side of the spectrum…DRIVING the motor boat instead of paddling the canoe! I’m SUPER proud of these young teenagers for going out and taking on such a challenge as paddling from Catalina to Dana Point. A full 37 miles. It really is something to be proud about. As a coach, I was very impressed by the girls dedication and hard work.

This past weekend was a weekend for the books! How often do I get to go to Catalina for a full weekend with Bruce and the best friends, AND NOT HAVE TO PADDLE RIGHT AWAY. Relaxing on the beach? I’ll tell you all about it. Exploring the parts of the island we never have time to go to, definitely worth the arguing over who is going to drive the golf cart. It made getting up a o’dark thirty friday morning to make it over to drive boats over to the island before nine definitely worth it.IMG_1712

We did end up paddling back to Newport, we had the team come over on the flyer on Sunday morning; then turn around a paddle back. The paddle was rough, the weather was cold; but the spirits were still high! Well at least, us girls were:) The boys may have been a little more competitive!

I am really grateful that I was given the time away from work and paddling to have time to spend with the people I love spending it with. Taking each day, one day at a time and getting up in the morning just to have another adventure. IMG_1705


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


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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