Goodbye, Santa Barbara and Los Padres National Forest

Santa Barbara

Saying goodbye is always hard. Especially for me. Especially when saying goodbye through the eyes of my daughter. She is the sweetest and most imaginative person you could ever meet. Trust me, I am her father. She made good friends at her school and dojo while she was here. To see the choices I make in […]

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 […]

Hiking along the Santa Ynez River after the rain

Us at the Santa Ynez River

Since the sky decided to open up and rain heavily for three days straight, we wanted to go visit the Santa Ynez River, to see how full it was. After picking up several bags of trash at the picnic area, we went for a stroll along the banks of the river. The Santa Ynez River […]

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 […]

Camping in Cleveland National Forest – A rarely visited area

Camping in Cleveland National Forest

Combining other errands with camping in Cleveland National Forest turned out to be a pretty good idea. Since we had things to do on Friday and then Saturday morning, we got a late start, heading east through Ramona, reaching the trailhead at around 5:30. The PD and I had hiked in this area before, so […]

Figueroa Mountain – Peak #24 – An accidental drive-up peak

Pointing out San Rafael Mountain from Figueroa Mountain

Sophia and I had a day all to ourselves. She said she wanted to go hiking and I jumped at the chance. I knew she wanted to go to Seein’ Spots Farm in Santa Ynez. She liked to pet the miniature donkeys and, of course, see the friendliest turkey around, named Twiggy. When Twiggy was rescued, […]

Gear Up for Geocaching –’s Gear Givaway for August 2013

Cousin's First Time Geocaching has reached out to me and asked me to promote their Gear Up for Geocaching giveaway. They’ve decided to give away gear packages to three lucky individuals. Featuring gear from brands such as Camp Chef, Mountainsmith, Greenlayer, 7eye, MHM, Kor and Skratch Labs, each of the three prize packages is worth nearly $600. In addition, they are giving away a free one-year Geocaching Premium […]