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