Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lake Piru

Lake Piru is an artificial lake located in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. Created in 1955, it is downstream from Pyramid lake with an elevation of 1,043 ft. We were going to visit this campground earlier but realized they had a "winter" discount rate starting October 1st, and at $22 with electric hook-up, we decided to check things out.

Arriving at night we were able to meet up with our Vanagon friend Ric and enjoy a delicious home (camp) cooked meal.
Our friend had arrived early and was able to scope out what turned out to be one of the best sites there.  We woke up and enjoyed a great breakfast overlooking the lake and here are some pictures of our Vanagon meet-up!

With so many new things to see and do, it was difficult to get Brooke down for her nap but after several failed attempts she finally gave in.

It turned out to be very hot during the day so Brooke (and family) were able to cool down a bit and enjoy some water action.

Of course I again had to share one of the best kept Vanagon secrets.....Bottle Opener!
The area had an abundance of wildlife that we have not witnessed before with plenty of deer spotted during the day. The cool evening air also brought out even more wildlife as animal cries could be heard throughout the night. Here is a shot of one of the several deer in the area when we woke next morning.
With our weekend complete and everything packed away, we had to take a few shots by the lake before leaving.

Another shot of our awesome VW by the water on the way home.
This will be our last camping entry for a while as we will be heading back to Canada to visit family shortly. It marks yet another great family outing close to our home in beautiful California!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

San Clemente and Dana Point

As Summer is officially over, we decided to take advantage of the remaining warm weather and head to a beach campsite. Wanting to stay close to home, we made our way to Doheny State Beach in the city of Dana Point only to find out it was fully booked so we continued on 10 minutes further south to San Clemente State Beach.
Our late night arrival luckily had at us one of the best ocean-front sites and let us begin another weekend of adventure.
Brooke was super happy to wake up in her new sleeping area downstairs and start her next day of adventure.
Although $35 per night is a bit expensive, I think it's worth it when you get views like these...

A short but steep walk down to the ocean did not seem to impress Brooke.

We eventually got a smile....sort of.
After all the ocean excitement, it was time for a nap.
Then time to enjoy the views.

Followed by a beautiful sunset.

The next morning, I wanted to get a shot of the vanagon closer to the ocean before we left.
Another weekend complete until of course the next weekend where we attempted Doheny State Beach once again! Arriving at 11:30am we were told to come back at 12:00 so we could compete in a lottery for the available spots for the night. Crazy as this might seem, there are days where this lottery applies to those without reservations and thankfully we were able to "win" our spot close to the ocean.

Being at the ocean allowed my awesome wifey to do what she loves.
Checking out the waves.
Finally catching a nice one.
Brooke was impressed.
But was later distracted with my Flip Flops.
Brooke was then able to check out the action herself.

After a fun-filled day, Brooke got to hang out in her "crib" while we had our dinner in the Vanagon. We usually do eat healthier but this meal consisted of you guessed it....Dino Chicken Nuggets.

Followed by some evening ocean watching on the beach.
With the Vanagon nicely lit up in the background.
There happens to be a rail line that has a curve very close to this campground which woke us up a few times during the night. The noise was more of a rumble, which in my sleeping state had me imagining it was the sound of a huge tsunami coming to sweep us away. We of course survived the night in our new upstairs accommodations waking up to this beautiful view.
After one more morning of body boarding for my wife, we did a little sight seeing of the area and came upon this stunning spectacle overlooking Dana Point.

Another successful weekend in the books left my wife refreshed and ready to take on the week. At only 65 miles from home, we plan on returning to the area in the future.