Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Camping In Big Sur {Part I}

The hubby, pup and I are back to "the real world" and it's time to share about our adventures! As most of you know, we left Wednesday morning to head up the coast of California. I was one of the lucky few to be picked in the Big Sur International Marathon lottery and we wanted to make the race into a mini vacation (I had never been before and we wanted to be able to really enjoy the area, not just go for the race itself and turn right around to head home). I'll do a race recap in a separate post, but for this one I wanted to share about the sights and experiences we gathered along the way.

Wednesday morning we left the house around 6am. (I tried to talk the hubby into leaving by 5 so we could make it through LA before the majority of traffic hit the road, but he said since we didn't technically have anywhere to be and we were taking our time he'd prefer the extra hour of sleep...)

A quick gas station selfie before hitting the open road

We made a couple stops along the way (for gas, coffee, potty, to walk the pup, lunch, photo ops, etc) but all-in-all it took us about 9 hours to get to our first camp site. Like Ryan said, we didn't have anywhere specific to be, so we took the "scenic" route along the 101 and 1, instead of the faster route on the 5. I would highly recommend it if you have the time!

We stopped for sammies at High Street Deli in San Luis Obispo 

Had to make a pit-stop to see the elephant seals near Hearst Castle

Walt wanted to jump over and investigate the big seals... 

The campground we were staying at for Wednesday and Thursday nights was the Limekiln State Park. I let the hubby take lead when it comes to booking our sites (he spends hours checking reviews, different websites for pictures of the specific sites, etc), so although I had a general idea of what the campground would look like I didn't know any particulars.

Okay, so maybe we forgot to take a picture of the sign before
our last morning there... OOPS! 

We were at site 16 AND IT WAS AMAZING! It was at the end of this little creek road, so we didn't have any type of foot traffic coming by (except for the deer who would eat on the other side of the stream) - which is definitely a PLUS when you have a somewhat sassy, territorial wiener dog in tow. It was a little hike to the bathroom, but I would happily deal with that to have the little secluded area in the woods that we were able to enjoy. (PS Sites 14 and 15 were awesome if you wanted to have a couple next to each other for a larger group)


This is a picture of the deer from my iPhone (the prior picture
was shot using a telephoto lens on a "real" camera)

This quick video shows you the creek that ran next to our site (and down to the beach):

One of the great things about the campground is that you have your own beach (now, you could pay for day use at the campground, so I guess it wasn't technically a personal beach since some non-registered guests could use it, but it seemed pretty empty most of the time). There were actually about 12 sites over on the beach side - which seemed awesome, but were a little too out in the open for us (we preferred the redwood, forest-y feel).

The beach was rocky, but it felt so 'old school California' it was great!

You can see the stream coming through the middle of the beach

Walt found some sea sticks and had to gnaw on them!

Since we didn't get to the campgrounds until about 3pm, we just sort of chilled. We set up our area and then figured we'd check everything out and relax a bit (I know we had been sitting for 9 hours in the car, but driving the mean streets of LA can be stressful, not to mention the curvy roads of Big Sur).

Two crazy kids just up for another adventure!

Eventually our stomachs started growling and it was time to bust out some dinner. Some folks call them "walking tacos", but I prefer the term "Hobo Tacos". Instead of tacos in a tortilla or a taco shell, you put all the deliciousness of your tacos in a chip bag! We had Cool Ranch and Spicy Nacho Doritos (both of us preferred the Cool Ranch flavor once we tried them both). Being vegetarians, we used a 'burger crumble', but you could use beef or turkey if you'd like. Then we added cheese, red onions, salsa and avocado to the bag of crushed chips. YUM!

After filling up on dinner, we made our way down to the beach to watch the sunset. We had a good hour or so to kill, so just hung out and enjoyed the views. Walt the Wiener Dog loves two things (and they are not Ryan and Carlee) - digging and burrowing! While we were chillaxin' he started digging a bit. We realized that he was digging a little hole for himself. Once he got all situated and comfortable, Ryan thought it would be funny if we tried to bury Walt with all the dirt he moved... Well, low and behold, Walt LOVED it! It was like his own little cocoon or something. Legit, he fell asleep in it and we couldn't even coax him out.

My guys! They have my heart! <3

I wasn't lying when I said he fell asleep!

After we played around on the beach, the sun started to set so we grabbed a couple photos and watched as some grey whales swan by... Like, really, can it get any better or what?!

Although I didn't appreciate the sign blocking my view, I was digging the way
this picture turned out!

Hard to beat these views, right?! 

And then back to camp we went. It was time to build a fire and get down to business... S'more business that is! I'm not normally one for sweets, but Reese's s'mores are my JAM! And I am a pretty mean marshmallow roaster if I do say so myself ;) Hobo Tacos and Reese's S'mores are probably the best way to fuel for a marathon, right?!

Eventually it was time for bed (I think with our early morning wake-up call, driving all day, the camp air and lack of electronics {we were off the grid for most of the trip due to the lack of connectivity}, we were WIPED!). We ended up sleeping for about 11 hours that night... PURE PERFECTION!

Ryan was having some fun with the GoPro...

So this is where I'll end today's post, at the end of our first day on our Big Sur Exertion. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the next part of our adventure, when we actually go out and explore the surrounding areas!

Have you ever turned a race into a racecation before?


Unknown said...

Ahhh me and the beau don't really have the funds for another racecation (runDisney zapped our funds!) or vacation this year, but you totally are inspiring me to do a camping stay-cation this summer! Looks like you guys had a relaxing time.

Unknown said...

This looks so fun! I'm not much on a camper but you make it look like if it was the right location I might give it a try!

Unknown said...

there are so many amazing things in this post i don't know where to start. but i'm going to try hobo tacos this summer. i was engaged on the beach at Big Sur, such a special place :)

Michael Jimenez said...

Couple of fun things from a local to you, at Limekiln if you look at the rocks, and your pic caught it well, in the cliff face there's an old man, and you guys camped below the highest coastal peak in the contiguous U.S. Hope you can see the dude in the rocks and if you come back this way you'll have to run up to Cone Pk :)) cheers, happy you got to enjoy this beautiful meeting of land and sea!