April 2019 Recap

How far behind we are in our monthly recaps seems to be in direct correlation with how busy we are! I’m sort of sorry about it, but also sort of okay with it. As you can imagine we’re really enjoying ourselves out here, but without further ado, lets talk about April!

Super Bloom 2019 in 35mm

Super Bloom 2019 in 35mm

Roughly Lake Elsinore, California

The month started off with us leaving Joshua Tree NP, CA and heading out towards the coast. A friend of ours who we had been with that weekend gave us a call to tell us that he came across one of the last sections of the super bloom out by his friend’s house in a residential area and that we should check it out. We love a good super bloom and have actually never seen the California Poppies (the state flower) in such abundance!

The images above are of what we found when we got to the coordinates that he sent us! Turns out it was on private property, but we asked if we were ok to be there. With permission granted we enjoyed the fields of orange that we had all to ourselves!

Lately, there’s been a lot of stir about not trampling the flowers, for really good reason. We’re very much in support of this movement and never walk anywhere there isn’t already a trail. I want to make it very clear that we stick to the trails and use perspective in our photographs to make it look like we’re immersed in the flowers. We received a lot of flack over these photos, via IG, despite being explicitly clear of our precautions.

Oceanside, Ca | Colorado Springs, CO

Mount Laguna at sunset

Mount Laguna at sunset

After leaving the super bloom, Owen and I went down to Oceanside, California were we had a few days to enjoy with our good friend Tierney before I had to fly out for work. I design apparel and collateral for Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz, and have been for the last three years. This year they asked if I would come out and work at the event in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I jumped at the opportunity and hopped a plane from San Diego to Denver! I spent the week working and designing on location at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel while Owen spent some time hopping around the southern California mountains. Though it was sad to be apart, I had a suite at the Broadmoor hotel all to myself! It was at least 5x bigger than my house, and had a marble bathroom! Though I’m not the kind of girl who requires these sorts of things, I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it!

Baja California, Mexico

View from camp at our home in Baja

View from camp at our home in Baja

After I got back from Colorado, we made quick preparations to head south of the border in search of waves. The preparations included: getting Luna her paperwork to take her first international trip, stocking up on food, filling up our water tanks, getting our dollars exchanged for pesos and readying the truck to have her first multi night guest because Tierney decided to join us in Mexico!

Roxanne in Baja

Roxanne in Baja

Owen watching the morning sets rolling in

Owen watching the morning sets rolling in

Though we didn’t have as much time to spend in Baja as we’d originally planned, we decided it was worth spending 4-5 days a few hours south of the boarder relaxing and sharing some waves. We also were itching to get Roxanne’s (the truck’s new name BTW) and Luna’s first international trip under their belts.

We woke up at 4:30am and left Oceanside, CA and were over the border by 6am driving along HWY One with sweeping views of the ocean below.

Drone shot of our small fishing village we camped outside of.

Drone shot of our small fishing village we camped outside of.

After checking one spot for surf on our way south, (just an hour or so south of the border) we came up empty handed and decided to press further in hope of finding swells. After a VERY long dirt road we found the spot you see above.

I will be omitting the exact names of the places we go in Baja, and here’s why: To surfers, these places are sacred. We’re surfers, and thus these places are sacred. The information for these spots is out there if you’re willing to go look for it, but I don’t feel that it’s our place to bring more exposure to these quiet surf spots where people go to get away from the crowds. We put a lot of time and care into finding places like this, and all that effort brings about a feeling of wanting to preserve them. I hope you understand.

When we arrived we made camp on a bluff just south of a fishing village perched on top of the fondo de piedra (point break en Espanol) that we planned to surf off of. There was only one other surfer the entire 4 days we were there.

Thought the waves weren’t as consistent as they’ve been in the past, we made the most of our mornings by lounging around, reading, enjoying coffee with a view, exploring the fishing village, and studying Spanish.

The waves always seemed to pick up in the late afternoon which is when Owen, Tierney and I would suit up and paddle out. I recently picked up a Nikinos V, which is a Nikon solid body, underwater film camera. All of the images above were my first “in water” test roll using the new camera! My overall critique would be that I shot a little too late in the day, it should’ve been a bit brighter, but otherwise I’m so excited to shoot with this camera on many more surf trips to come!

Double rainbow, which moments before was a quadruple rainbow!

Double rainbow, which moments before was a quadruple rainbow!

On our last evening of surf, the three of us sat in the lineup and watched a storm roll in. The storm looked like it was going to be really bad so we all scrambled out of the water and back to the truck to back it away from the crumbling cliff’s edge. You never know!

By the time we made it back to the truck the storm had pretty much past, but left a Quadruple rainbow in it’s wake. It was the most magical thing I’ve ever seen. We all cheered and even heard some of the local fisherman whooping from their porches. Though I didn’t get to the camera in time to get the quadruple rainbow, I did get this (above) wonderful picture of Tierney with Roxy and the double rainbow.

Luna and Owen

Luna and Owen

Morning shenanigans

Morning shenanigans

This was Luna’s first trip outside of the US! Although Luna showed no interest in leaving the camper the whole time we were there because of the loud crashing of waves below, she was a joy to come back to after a long surf session! We’re glad that we took her with us to get some practice crossing the border with a cat and all the regulations that go with it. We have big goals for the future!

MAK & Tierney after their beach cleanup

MAK & Tierney after their beach cleanup

The note I gave to the fisherman before we left

The note I gave to the fisherman before we left

On our last morning before heading back into the US, Tierney and I walked down to the beach and collected as much trash as we could fit in our spare seat. This is a little tradition we’ve made for ourselves, and how we give back to the places we call home for the night (or lots of nights). I also dropped off a little polaroid I took of the village and a note to thank the fisherman for letting us camp near their beautiful home!

Celebratory burritos before crossing the border

Celebratory burritos before crossing the border

For the first time we crossed the border in Tijuana in order to take a direct path back to Oceanside. When we got to the border the line was REALLY long. We figured this long line would take about an hour or so to get through, but turns out, that one hour turned into four hours! While in line we watched the many street vendors selling their goodies pass by. The only thing that we indulged in were these burritos and some churros!

Big Sur, California

Sand Dollar Beach

Sand Dollar Beach

Big Sur

Big Sur

After returning from Baja we quickly needed to make our way up the coast towards the Bay Area for a wedding. We stopped in Big Sur for the weekend, which ended up being a zoo due to it being Easter weekend. Before we left, I wanted to try to surf at the break (in the images above) called Sand Dollar. When we got there we found massive waves that were expected to grow as the day went on. For a while I stood on the bluff debating if I was going to paddle out. After seeing a guy walk down to the water, I knew I’d regret not trying to get in, even though the waves were so intimidating.

Back at the parking lot I quickly suited up and went down to the water to pick my point of entry. From the shore the waves looked even bigger, but I’m the type of person that once I decide that I’m doing something, I do it. I made my way into the water with my sight set on the lineup.

As I paddled out I kept my eyes on the horizon. With every stroke I started to feel more and more out of my comfort zone. The waves were tall, heavy, and angry but I continued. To my surprise, I made it out after being pummeled by some massive waves. My relief was short lived when I saw the oncoming set. They were bigger than anything I’ve ever been out in, and they were setting up to break right on top of me. Already out of breath I paddled for my life to get over the waves. Just the sight of these towering waves sucked the remaining air out of my lungs. I was starting to panic realizing that in order to make it back into shore I was going to have to catch one of these behemoths.

My plan was to hang out past the breaking point long enough for me to catch my breath and work up the courage to paddle into one of the waves. While out “trying to catch my breath” more massive waves came rolling in, caught me on the inside, and tossed me around like a rag doll. Finally, a manageable sized wave came in and I set myself up to catch it. Once I was on it I was too scared (I’m not afraid to admit it) to stand up, because I didn’t want to potentially fall and then have to catch another terrifying wave. I rode it nearly the whole way in to where Owen was sitting on the shore. By the time I made it out of the water I was so out of breath that I was nearly hyperventilating.

Just thinking about that day while writing this, some of those panicked feelings come bubbling back to the surface. It still feels like it happened yesterday. I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there and trying something that was out of my comfort zone. I’m also humbled to realize how small and helpless I am out there when the waves get that big, no matter how strong of a swimmer I think I am. I hope to return to this spot someday in the future and try to conquer those feelings, because that’s how you move past fears.

San Luis Obispo is somewhere under those clouds.

San Luis Obispo is somewhere under those clouds.

After my scary day on the water, Owen and I decided to head over the mountains and away from the coast. We hoped we could escape the crowds and find a quieter place to enjoy the holiday weekend.

Over the next few days, we hopped around a few BLM spots and caught up on work while waiting to head into the Bay Area for our friends’ wedding.

Stinson Beach, California

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After a few days in the Bay Area with our friends Ben and Shestin, we all headed to Stinson Beach for a weekend of camping and celebrating love with Matt & Allie! We met all of these fine folks a few years back when traveling through this area in our old VW Vanagon. They reached out to us and invited us to a weekend of camping in the Tahoe area. We’re not ones to turn down offers of that nature, and we met them for the first time at camp! We’ve all been friends ever since! In the last three years we’ve been to Baja together and done countless other surf trips.

It was a huge honor to be able to be with them on their wedding weekend. We surfed, we danced, we made our own tortillas over the fire, and it was an absolute blast. Matt and Allie, you all are the good stuff <3

Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point Hike, Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point Hike, Point Reyes National Seashore

After the wedding weekend, we were told that we should go check out Point Reyes National Seashore because the elk were still in the area. On our way there we stopped in town for a bite to eat, at a spot that was recommended to us. At Cowgirl Creamery we got a local seasonal veggie sandwich and an open-faced grilled cheese. Both were awe inspiring.

After lunch, we headed out to the Tomales Bay trail that traverses 9.5 miles to the tip of Point Reyes known as Tomales Point. The hike took us by the Tule Elk Reserve, long fields of wildflowers, and some scattered ponds. All in all, it was a beautiful trail and a really great recommendation! After our hike, we found a famous little spot featuring this impressive tree tunnel!

Four Wheel Camper HQ

Turning east away from the coast, Owen and I decided to swing by to see our friends at Four Wheel Campers. The headquarters/production facility is located in Woodland, California just outside of Sacramento. We thought it would be cool to see how our dear Roxanne came to life!

Everyone at FWC welcomed us with open arms and gave us a great tour of the facilities. They have an impressive showroom where you can see just about any configuration of camper you could possibly dream of. It was interesting to see the features and layouts that we contemplated for ourselves!

After seeing the showroom we walked through the whole production floor and saw how the campers are made, start to finish. Turns out FWCs are made nearly entirely by hand. The craftsmanship and love that is put into each camper really made us fall that much more in love with our home on wheels.

While we were there we also shot this quick tour video of the facility for you viewing pleasure. Please not that this video is in 360 so here are the viewing instructions based on your device:

For a tablet or phone - Use your finger to scroll around the space.

For a desktop - Use your mouse to scroll scroll around the space.

For VR goggles - You know what to do.

For a TV - Switch to one of the above platforms…

You can pause at anytime and look around the space if you care to take more time looking around! We hope to start bringing you more interactive 360 tours like this one of the places we go and things that we see! Enjoy!

Eastern Sierra, California

MAK enjoying a soak

MAK enjoying a soak

Owen in the hot spring, 35mm

Owen in the hot spring, 35mm

Desperately in search of cooler weather, we made a beeline for the Easter Sierra. Turns out we got what we asked for, because as we drove through the Tahoe area there were some places with 10+ feet of snow on the ground still!

In the past, we’ve gone in search of hot springs and found only cold or lukewarm springs. When Owen mentioned that he thought we might find a hot spring near our camp, I was skeptical at best! Luckily, I was horribly wrong! 

This little area had a few pools scattered throughout. With suits on and towels in hand, Owen and I walked until we found this quiet and secluded little tub with an impressive view of the snowy mountains in the distance. Breaking our bad luck streak of bad hot springs felt so good!

We lounged around in the hot spring for a while until we were ready to head towards camp just a few miles back down the road. On our way there Owen asked if I would look up the overnight temps so we could plan accordingly. My research found that it was going to be a mild 47 degrees as our overnight low. Could this day possibly get better?

Pano from camp

Pano from camp

We found ourselves in a quiet little spot, again with a great view, and settled in for the night. As we were setting up camp Owen kept asking me if I was sure about my weather forecast. I checked again and then I triple checked, still, it said 47 degrees. The reason he kept asking was that it was starting to get cold outside, really cold! To make matters even colder, a vicious wind picked up and was rocking the truck as if it weighed nothing. 

We decided to brave the weird weather and go for a walk to take some pictures of our beautiful view. Once back in the truck Owen decided to fact check my weather report. Turns out I did have the right location, but he was getting a totally different temperature reading! That night ended up being one of the coldest and windiest spots we’ve camped at yet!


Thank you all, as always, for reading! It means so much to us that you all following along with our journey!

-MAK