Saturday, April 30, 2016

Camping In Big Sur {Part IV}

Before we jump in to the final installment of our Big Sur adventure (minus the race recap of course), have you read the first three chapters?! I promise they aren't too long or boring (and you do NOT want to miss out on the stunning scenery!), so if you haven't caught up yet, we will wait for you...

          * Camping in Big Sur {Part I}
          * Camping in Big Sur {Part II}
          * Camping in Big Sur {Part III}

Okay, time's up, we've gotta move on. Hopefully we are all on the same page because this train is chugging right out of the station! ALL ABOARD WHO'S COMING ABOARD! {Before I get into this post I must confess, although it is titled "Camping In Big Sur {Part IV}", there is very little camping since we were checking out of our site and heading to a hotel for the night, but "Hoteling in Big Sur {Part I}" just didn't have quite the same ring.}

Saturday morning I woke up earlier than the guys (sense a pattern?!) so decided to head out for an easy two mile shake-out run. The temperatures were a little chillier than I was expecting, but figured it would give me a good idea for what to expect the following morning since the starting line was right out on the main road from where we were currently staying.

The sun breaking through on the Big Sur River

Not often do I get a chance to run amongst the redwoods!

I took the run nice and easy. Even though my only goal for the Big Sur International Marathon was to enjoy the views, I still wanted to set myself up for as much success as possible and try to control my speed and save my legs for Sunday.

Slow and steady wins the race... Or at least finishes it!

I was able to warm up rather quickly (minus my hands, but they are always freezing - #BadCirculation) but reminded myself that if we drove by a Target on the way to the hotel to pop in for a set of hand warmers to throw in my mitts. I cooled down by the fire and eventually woke up the boys so that we could get some breakfast started.

As you can tell, Walt is NOT excited about waking up... But then again, he isn't
excited about much... Other than licking his butt and trying to eat poop...

When you have s'more marshmallows left over you add them
to a morning cup of hot chocolate, DUH!

The hubby loves to get his cooking on while in the woods!

This was actually the first time I had ever needed to take my #FlatCarlee picture AT A CAMPGROUND!

This is what it looks like to have your race outfit centered completely around
a specific pair of PRO Compression socks ;) #RunMatchy
#FlatCarlee included a Sparkle Athletic skirt, Handful sports bra, Nathan
, Brooks shoes, KT Tape, Shwings, Road ID, Garmin Forerunner 220,
Sparkly Soul headband, Momentum wrap, QALO wedding band, MudLOVE
, Sparkle Athletic visor (with Girl Power 2 Cure flower), PROBAR BOLT
, mittens, Mylar blanket and a cheap pair of sleeves. 

Eventually it was time to pack up the Adventure Mobile and head towards the hotel. Officially check-in wasn't until 3pm but we were hoping we might be able to get in a little earlier so that we could shower prior to heading to the Expo (mostly for everyone else's benefit... we stunk of four day and three nights of truck life and campfire, with a little sweat thrown in for good measure). Well, it was not our lucky day because the hotel was stinkin' strict {pun intended} about their check-in time - LAMESAUCE! So, we decided we'd head to the Expo and hope it was well ventilated.

The expo was easy. You had to visit the Runner's Tent first to pick up your bib and bus ticket (The race is a point-to-point on a one lane highway, so the majority of the runners take buses to their starting line {FYI This race offers like a bazillion and a half race distances so there were quite a few starting lines along the 26.2 mile stretch of road.}.). Then it was over to the Merch/ Vendor Tent to pick up your shirt.

I've gotta be completely honest, race expos aren't my jam. As you know, I am frugal and although many of the vendors are offering great "deals", I never buy anything so just end up high-tailing it out of there. And with my slight self consciousness due to my lack of a shower for three days I wasn't really planning on hanging out. I grabbed my stuff and scooted out (although the town seems rather dog friendly, pets were not allowed in the expo so I had to leave Walt and Ryan meandering around outside).

Before sneaking out completely I had to snap a couple quick pictures by the 'yearbook' sign (a sign with all of the runners' names on it). And while I was trying to find my name I heard a familiar voice! It was Pam and her family! She had just flown in from SoCal and was ready to take on her THIRD Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge! I met her hubby and boys and then we snapped a quick picture before wishing each other well.

This lady is one of the sweetest and speediest ladies I know!

Found it!

Since we still had a little time before the hotel would give us a key we decided to walk around the Fisherman's Wharf a bit (while still trying to take it easy and not be on our legs all day long). We snapped a couple pictures and then decided our grumbling bellies needed to be fed or they might revolt.

Of course Walt is looking somewhere else...

We found an Ike's Place near the hotel (which we were introduced to while in Arizona for the Phoenix Marathon at the end of February) and chowed down. Again, we must have been super hungry seeing as not a single picture was taken... Oops... #BadBlogger

Finally it was time for us to check-in, take a shower and do a little relaxing. Since we don't have cable at our house, when we are at a hotel we end up binging on HGTV. We also were able to bring in all of our gear from the car, like our camp mats, sleeping bags, etc so we could roll everything up and get it re-organized for the ride home.

A little before 5pm we decided we'd order some pizza for a carb loading dinner. There was a Pizza My Heart near by (the only other time I had had some was when we were in Santa Cruz a while back visiting a friend) and placed an order for a cheese pizza and some cheese garlic bread (because why not load up on the dairy while we are at it too?!). We decided it would be easiest to just grab it and bring it back to the hotel seeing as we had the wiener dog in tow.

The cheesy bread was my favorite!

Soon enough it was time to set my alarms and hit the hay! It felt weird sleeping in an actual bed (and Walt was a little sketched out by the whole thing since A. he was allowed to sleep in a bed with us and B. he was somewhere he had never been before, but thankfully we had a large bed so we were able to spread out without every one fidgeting and waking the others up), but it was off to dreamland I went {or at least attempted}.

Next up, the Big Sur International Marathon RECAP!

How do you fuel before a race?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Camping In Big Sur {Part III}

Are you all caught up on the adventure thus far? If not, click through the links below so that you don't miss out on any of the action (or natural beauty)! FOMO is REAL, y'all!

          * Camping In Big Sur {Part I}
          * Camping In Big Sur {Part II}

Mr. Weather Man was calling for rain on Friday. It was also the same day we were changing campgrounds (we weren't able to find a single site for three days straight, but I liked being able to check out different areas so it wasn't terrible, not to mention we are pretty self contained in the Adventure Mobile so it is fairly easy to move about from place to place).

I was up before the guys so hung out a bit my the fire before the drizzle started. I went down to the beach for a few, but with the overcast skies and rain rolling in I didn't stay down there too long. Thankfully the redwoods back at the site provided coverage and it wasn't terrible (although I could tell that the temps had dropped a bit from the prior two days).

Once the guys awoke from the slumber, we got some coffee brewing for Ryan and some breakfast burritos cooking.

After we quenched our hunger, we decided to check out some of the trails at the campgrounds. (Warning: The sign might have mentioned "No dogs on trails", but there is a possibility that we may have "missed" the sign... We were very sure to keep Walt on the trails, made sure he was extremely respectful of the area and picked up his poo! We also figured that since we were checking out shortly anyway that the worst they could do was ask us to leave a few minutes early.) We hiked down to the kilns. "The Rockland Lime and Lumber Company would load the towers of the kilns with limestone and use redwood lumber to stoke fires at their bases to purify the rock before it was hauled out of the canyon and down to the coast where ships were waiting. The lime was eventually used in cement and other products." As at the camp site, the trees provided coverage and we didn't get too wet on our hike.

If only we could get Walt to actually look at the camera for a picture... 

Water crossing! Walt didn't like that the plank moved and tried to get across it as quickly as possible!

The old kilns

Back at the beach before we checked out of the campgrounds

We knew we would have a good three hours between when we would have to check out of our current site and when we could get into our new one further north, so we took our time and stopped at a couple of the road side "attractions" we skipped the prior day because of the crowds. As my mom always reminds me, "You're not made of sugar, you won't melt" - so just because the rain kept most people away, we were still going to make the most out of the day!

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - look at that pristine beach and waterfall... Probably because they don't let people near it!

Not sure if he was a condor or vulture, but his wingspan was at least 6 feet
(this picture was taken with the telephoto lens).

Would be running over the Bixby Bridge on Sunday morning!

We found a doggy friendly beach and Walt took full advantage of it!

I told you... It was wet! But Ryan was thrilled to be able to use
his gum boots!

Although we heard amazing things about the Andrew Molera park (and beach) there was a STRICT no dogs policy (when we got out of the truck to check out the signs a ranger drove over to 'remind' us that we could hang out in the parking lot and that was all) so we ended up just making our lunch in the parking lot when we had a break in the rain and continued along our way... Maybe next time.

Our final destination was the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (which also happened to be the start of the Big Sur International Marathon and we didn't really realize). The rain was supposed to stop around 3pm, which was perfect for our check-in. We made it to our campsite to set up and get everything ready for another evening in the Adventure Mobile.

Hubby is a pyro, but at least it comes in handy while camping!

My guys! They are the BESTEST!

After getting everything set, we took a walk along the nature trail and around the grounds to get a feel for the area. I am not sure if you were around 'back in the day', but in 2014 when I ran my first full marathon, it was in Santa Cruz. The UCSC mascot is the banana slug (funny, right?!) but while we were there we didn't see any. I was secretly hoping to see some 'nature' on the trails and low and behold we came across a HUGE banana slug! {Apparently if you lick the bottom of them they will make your tongue numb, but since we didn't know this fact prior to our encounter we did not give it a try... And, let's be real, I doubt I would have licked the thing had I known any way!}

Instead of like a "slug" bottom, it looked like they had a billion legs...
More like a centipede or something... 

He was a good 6 inches long!

{I've gotta say, I MUCH PREFERRED Limekiln to the new campground. It was crowded, busy and felt like everyone was on top of each other. Even though we had a 'river spot', it was NOTHING like the site we had the days before. Don't get me wrong, it was still great, but in the future I think I would try to stay somewhere more like Limekiln than Pfeiffer Big Sur.}

For dinner we scarfed down some pasta (and apparently we really were hungry because I didn't snap a single shot of the meal) before eating the last of our Reese's s'mores! It is always a sad day when the s'mores come to an end, but I'll #KeepItReal and confess that I may have had two s'mores Friday night...

Before we knew it the day was done and we were climbing back into the Adventure Mobile for our last evening in the truck. (We figured that having a shower and a real bed the night before the race might be loverly - and boy were we right!)

Walt was OUT before we could even snap a quick photo! SNOOZER!

What is your serving size when it comes to s'mores?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Camping In Big Sur {Part II}

Before we jump into today's post, I want to make sure you were able to check out yesterday's... It includes the first day of our #McDotsDoBS adventure and I am pretty sure you do NOT wanna miss it (who wouldn't want to read about a buried wiener on the beach for goodness' sake?!).

          * Camping In Big Sur {Part I}

Now that we're all caught up, let's jump in to Thursday's portion of our trip. Like I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, we slept and slept well! It probably was due to our exhaustion, but having the babbling brook and fresh air didn't hurt either, that's for sure! Once we finally rolled out of the back of the Adventure Mobile it was time to rustle up some grub!

I haven't had double digits in hours slept in a
long, long, LONG time!

Breakfast burritos tend to be our jam when camping. We scramble some eggs (we bring the 'boxed' kind so we don't have to worry about them getting cracked in transit), add red onions, fake sausage and cheese and throw the yumminess on a tortilla with some hot sauce and we are good to go. Oh yeah, except for the fact that the night before, while we were at the beach, Ryan left his tortillas (we like different brands) on the table and a marmot ate through his bag and his tortillas! {Don't worry, we threw them away, who knows what sort of diseases those things carry with them... So I shared some of my tortillas with him the first morning and we stopped to grab some replacements later in the trip.}

After filling our bellies it was time to get ready to explore the California coastline. (Friday was calling for rain, so we figured Thursday was probably our best day for sunny exploration.) We drove a ways south from the campgrounds and then a ways north - again, nothing really on the agenda, just taking in the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

Walt is always too cool for school and has something better to look at than at the camera... Darn paparazzi... 

The coastline is so amazing up there!

Sometimes the cliffs can be a little scary, I guess ;)

While hiking around in random trails we came across some pretty cool little waterfalls... What's more relaxing than the sound of waterfalls?! (Well, I guess if you have to pee that is NOT a relaxing sound, but you get what I'm saying ;))

Love the historical bridges along the coastline!

Absolutely awesome, right?! 

The crew!

We could have sat and enjoyed the beauty for HOURS!

While we were hanging out we made a quick time lapse of the waves rolling into the beach that was pretty cool:

Along the way we stopped to make our lunch. We decided on veggie wraps for lunch, which made things yummy and easy. We threw sprouts, avocados, red onions, provolone and spicy mustard on a tortilla and called it a day. (We also had some chips since I bought one of those variety packs for our Hobo Tacos.) Delicious and nutritious ;) 

I see you, Walt... Eyein' my wraps... NO SIR!

When it got later in the afternoon we made our way back to camp for some additional relaxation. Since we had about an hour before the sunset we made our dinner and chowed down. This time it was Chili Mac (or canned chili over some pasta noodles with some red onions and cheese mixed in). Is it just me or does it seem like all we do while camping is eat?! Thankfully we had some decent exploring and hiking around to burn off some of the calories!

Don't forget, we are technically in town for a race... So you've gotta get in your
foam rolling whenever and however you can... Like on the picnic table before dinner!

Once we washed the dishes it was perfect timing to head down to the beach and soak in the sunset... And, let's just say, God painted us a MAJESTIC one!

We love to snuggle our pup... Even if he is less than thrilled with the love!

And in case you wanted to see a little video of the waves crashing at sunset, here ya go:

Of course, once we had taken in all of the beauty it was back to the site to stoke the fire and munch on s'mores! And pretty soon it was time to hit the hay after another FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC day!

Since we weren't exactly sure when to expect the rain (due to the inability to
look at our weather apps), we put the tarp over the truck just to be safe

What's your favorite camping food?