No Place Like Home

Zephyr Boondocks In Mom's Backyard
The Big Dogs Enjoy Boondocking In Mom’s Backyard

There is no place like home.  We have just spent almost 4 wonderful weeks boondocking in my folk’s backyard and as usual we have had great weather and lots of fun!

Due to recent rains the hills are green, the lawns need mowing again, the orchids are blooming, the trees are leafing out, the drought is over… well not quite.


Southern California is truly a paradise when conditions are right, which is most of the time.  The weather always suits your clothes and the active year round lifestyle is easy to get used to.  No need for snow tires, no need for a jacket.

Unfortunately, there are many other people who also choose to pursue this lifestyle and for this reason it has become just a tad over-crowded.

The Taylor Family 2016
The Taylor Family 2016

During the last 50 years we all have considered our parents home in Thousand Oaks as the family gathering point.  A place where we all convene for the holidays, birthdays, weddings and just to get together. 

It is also the perfect starting point for our many winter adventures.  The backyard is big enough to park several motorhomes, trailers and has many tent sites.

Basecamp In The Folks Backyard 1980
Tent Testing In The Folks Backyard 1980

For many a winter we have used this backyard to organize, stage and to pack equipment and supplies in preparation for travels to far flung remote destinations around the world.  

Trips such as the circumnavigation of America in 1969, drives to Central America and back in the 80’s, sea kayaking in the South Pacific and the Baja in the 90’s, mountain biking in New Zealand, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the mid 70’s and of course dozens of trips to and from Alaska. 

To this day our family continues to base their adventures, explorations and wanderings from this house and its wonderful backyard.

Mom is now 94 and still kicking butt.  She continues to enjoy the chaos that ensues when we are all there and her memories of past adventures remain sharp as ever as she continues to rule the roost.

Departure To Alaska 1976 1958 Converted School Bus Towing 1958 VW Van
Departure To Alaska 1976
1958 Converted School Bus Towing 1958 VW Van
Bus to AK-0016
Denise Does Final Inspection Just Prior To Departure 1976


Now that winter is over and El Nino has come and gone, the summer heat is returning so it is time for us to carry out the tradition of traveling back to our home in Alaska.

We are sorry to leave family and friends but at the same time are excited to be headed home.

The Sacred Datura

Our general plans include driving up the coast and visiting friends along the way.

Our first stop was to visit Gert and Joyce Gehlhaar.  They have a beautiful home in Lompoc and were nice enough to offer us a backyard driveway to park in.  The big dogs always enjoying playing in their great yard.

Joyce And Gert's Lompoc Backyard
Joyce And Gert’s Lompoc Backyard

Gert is a car collector extraordinare and has an amazing collection of antique vehicles.  We met him a couple of years ago at the VW Buses By The Bridge event.  It is always fun to see what he has recently purchased or sold.

We Inspect Gerts New Classic Rambler

Gert has a wonderful shop where he keeps his collection that is surrounded by lots of great memorabilia

Gert Shows Off His Pride and Joy

We spend our evenings dining at the local Elks Lodge and our days touring around Point Conception enjoying the vivid green countryside.

Lompoc has a very mild climate making for easy living and is perfect for grape growing, one of our leading qualifications for finding the perfect climate.

Gert Explains The Many Different Types of Model T Distributors
Camped On Pismo Beach 1974
Pismo Beach Camp On The Central Coast Of California  1974

Eventually we headed north to visit our new friends Michael and Imkelina.  They live in Cambria along California’s gorgeous central coast.

Michael and Imkelina otherwise known as the Blanics are fellow bloggers whom we met by chance in Death Valley earlier this winter.  We immediately realized these folks were just like us, they love to regularly take off and explore new places.   Sound familiar!   

The Steep Road Leading To The BlaNcs Home

They also graciously offered their driveway as a place for us to camp.  Their home is a very beautiful and uniquely designed 1980’s coastal bungalow.

The house provides a very comfortable layout and has some extraordinary construction features.  It has an atrium and lots of large windows that look out into the surrounding forests.

Located on a steep hillside above Cambria, the house is surrounded by oak and pine trees.  We were  both immediately taken with its warm ambience and organic feel. 

The Hidey Hole
The Hidey Hole

Its hillside location made for some very steep access roads and an interesting driveway.  After some intricate maneuvering we were able to park the Zefyr in a beautiful oak covered refuge.

Zefyer Camped In Cambria
Zefyr Camped In The Oaks At The BlaNics

Hanging with the BlaNics was great fun.  Michael is a fabulous cook and they fed us like kings.  We ate scrumtious BBQd meats, drank some very nice local red wines and enjoyed interesting conversation nightly, it was fine living!

For three days we hardy left the property as we were enjoying ourselves so much.  The big dogs ran through the oaks and played with Sydney their Australian cattle dog.  What a life!

Enjoying The Upstairs Sun Deck
Enjoying The Upstairs Sun Deck

Our timing to visit the BlaNics turned out to impeccable as we realized it was spring break along the coast and Hwy 1 was very a busy place.  We very happy to be parked in the BlaNics driveway. 

Some evenings we sat around the fire pit, talked and listened to the roar of surf along the San Simeon Coast.  We feel very lucky to have these folks as friends.

We Ate Like Kings
We Ate Like Kings
The Good Life In Cambria

We can’t thank our family and our California friends enough for making our travels such fun.  Thanks for taking the time to share your homes and lives with us.  

The old saying “there is no place home” has proven to be a truly wonderful cliche especially for us big dogs on the road. 

Don’t miss our newest video which captures the BlaNics special home and its location on the central coast.

When the BlaNics are on the road they refer to their home as “Our Central Coast Hidey Hole”.  


Next we wander up the eastern side of the Cascades to Powell Butte, Oregon… keep you posted!

20 thoughts on “No Place Like Home

  1. Hi Tim and Denise – thanks for continuing to send us your wonderful pictures and stories of your journeys. You are always welcome at our house and most of all the dogs are always welcome. I just returned from our King Midget West Tour with our little King Midget cars – we had seven cars on the tour and it was great. Hope to see you soon again – thanks for the great works about that guy Gert.
    Gert and Joyce


  2. Great video. It was so nice seeing the house with the upgrades. We saw it before they moved in. Thank you so much for posting this.


      1. Yes, we will try to meet up with you. Next winter we plan to head south for a bit too. Of course you can always have our curb and electric cord. We do have a fenced in backyard too.


  3. Reblogged this on RV TRAVELS and commented:
    Great video from Gone with the Dogs about our good friends Mike and Imkelina and their beautiful Cambria house.


  4. Beautifully done! Thank you Tim and Denise for showcasing our beloved “Hidey Hole”, kind words and that awesome video. This property would never have been a reality without the vision of those Blue Coast Kids. My preference is a home to go where I go…but boy, it sure is wonderful to be offered a retreat that embraces our return with comfort, beauty and peace…definitely nothing like Central Coast living.


  5. Beautiful capture of the essence of the Hidey Hole!
    I know the kids will love seeing this perspective of their coastal bungalow. It was fun having you and the dogs here.
    I also really enjoy those “vintage” photos of your take-offs from T.O. You and your production company must create some retrospective posts on your earlier Winter adventures. Circumnavigating America in 69, kayaking baja, hiking the PCT, drives to Central America, Tibet…. It would be fun to see through your lenses!
    Thanks for the nice piece. Imkelina


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