Laguna Meadow – A late winter family outing

Enjoying a view of Big Laguna

  Back in February, it was a gorgeous winter day. There was a chill in the air, but spring was on its way. I carved a day out on the calendar away from Burger Bench. I wanted to take my family on a gentle hike so we could enjoy our time together without gasping our […]

Green Valley Campground – A short overnight camping trip in Cuyamaca

Our campsite

I knew that Veteran’s Day was coming up and Soph wouldn’t have school, so I decided to take her to Cuyamaca for the night. Her cousins wanted to join her, too. So, three of us fathers, with a total of four daughters packed up two family tents and a bunch of food and headed to […]

5 Tips on Getting Children Interested in the Outdoors

Sophia, playing atop Ghost Mountain

This was originally a blog post that I wrote for the┬áSport Chalet Outdoor Community blog in 2012. It appears that they have taken it down, so I am reposting it here, with some minor edits. All content is written by me. I’ve added some pictures from over the years to illustrate the point that it […]

Barnett Ranch Preserve – A sunny hike through Ramona grasslands

A slight breeze came up

We were back in San Diego for good and my daughter was on summer vacation. It was time to hike, regardless of how hot it was. We filled up our hydration bladders with ice and water and headed out to Ramona, for a rolling hike through some grasslands. I had driven by Barnett Ranch Preserve […]

Gear Review: The Skeeter Beater – screens for your car windows

The Skeeter Beater

Last December, Soph and I were planning a trip to Carrizo Plain National Monument. It was going to be cold, so I decided we were going to drive out there and sleep in the car. I wondered how stuffy it would get, so I’d probably want to crack the windows. Then I started wondering if […]

The Franklin Trail – A relatively new hike in Carpinteria

The view from the end of Phase 1 of The Franklin Trail

The Franklin Trail Distance: ~4 miles Soph and I had a day to ourselves. We had heard of the Franklin Trail when we met Bud Girard, a long-time trail supporter, hiking along Carpinteria Bluffs many months ago. He mentioned that the Franklin Trail was going to be opening soon. Thanks to his efforts and others’, […]

Davy Brown Campground – Car Camping with Soph

Making moss cakes at Davy Brown Campground

Once again, I had an opportunity to go camping with my daughter. This time, because I recommended it about 7 months ago in the winter, she wanted to go car camping. That doesn’t mean she wanted to go to a campsite and pitch a tent next to a car, she wanted to actually sleep in […]

Knapp’s Castle – A slice of the past with a great view

The ruins and view from Knapp's Castle

Since the weather turned very cold for the weekend, Sophia and I canceled our trip to Carrizo Plain National Monument. We still wanted to go on a little adventure, so we decided to go somewhere local. We decided Knapp’s Castle. Depending on where you look, the area is either off-limits or open for hiking. During […]

Backpacking Reyes Peak – A windy campsite with a great view

My backpacking partner

Sophia and I wanted to get some backcountry fun in before the cold fall weather comes rolling in. We decided to try our hands at backpacking Reyes Peak. I had been to Reyes Peak once and ended up hiking to Haddock Mountain on the same day. I really thought the area was beautiful and I […]