Vintage Volkswagen van

Los Padres National Forest

Camping on the beach in California is an activity that involves a lot of other people. In addition to the sound of the waves, there are rv generators running, country music blasting, the distant sound of the freeway, etc. So we were excited to head into Los Padres National Forest for a night of complete quiet.

Vintage Volkswagen van

Road tripping in a Volkswagen van

The road out of Ojai winds up and around, then levels off into these wonderful tiny lanes that we had all to ourselves.

Camping in Los Padres National Forest

Our destination was the Rose Valley Campround, which was gloriously empty. We got what I’m imagining might be the deluxe spot in wetter weather—our site was elevated a bit and had a magnificent view of the rock wall where the 300-foot Rose Valley Falls would normally be. In the photo above, the “V” directly above the van.

Camping snack

Camping snack

One of the hardest things about these trips is seeing how hard it is for me to be off the grid. All of the beaches we stayed at had minimal to no reception for us—and of course there was nothing in these parts. But that’s ok because we started playing Food Stylist in the afternoon light, which provided a good amount of non-internet based entertainment. In the end, I liked the after photo better.

Los Padres National Forest

Camping in Los Padres National Forest

So great to watch the light fade all around us and be surrounded by such quiet.

Los Padres National Forest

Field glasses

Los Padres National Forest

We were up at sunrise thanks to a little bird pecking away at the shiny hubcap of the van. So much racket.

Camp cooking

Camp cooking

We upped our toast game post-Ojai with olive oil I grabbed at the farmer’s market from the Ojai Olive Oil Company.

Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest

After breakfast, we took a quick hike up to the base of the lower falls, which is 100-feet high. We couldn’t really figure out how to go any further. Reading about it later, I discovered that would be because it’s not easy. Crossing that stream above is the limit of my hiking abilities.

Los Padres National Forest

So we headed back to the van, packed it up, and headed back to the beach.

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