A Weekend Under Shasta

A few weeks ago, Brittany and I decide to explore some parts of Northern California we’d never been before.   We did some research, picked a few camping options, packed up the jeep and headed north – to Shasta.

Mt. Shasta in a volcano that sits just a little over 14,000ft.  It completely dominates the landscape around the area.  Almost anywhere you go, there it is, watching over you.  The main point of this expedition was scouting fly fishing spots, and on that front we definitely succeeded.  Our main target was the McCloud River, about an hour north of Redding, CA.

We found a campground right on its banks, about 8 miles down a pretty rough, but passable dirt road.  There were still sites left, even though we didn’t get there till Saturday morning.  We explored, fished, biked, napped and generally had a wonderful weekend outside.

We’re still getting our camera work on these little adventures down.  The GoPro proved its worth once again, but we still need to be a little better about actually shooting the events of the trip, instead of just living them.

We’ll definitely be back again now that we have a bit of a since of the area.  This part of Northern California is known for having some of the best fishing rivers in the country.  With lands still very much untouched and uncrowded, and a true feeling of being “out-there”, a 4-5 hour drive is well worth it in our opinion!

A Quick Spring Weekend in Big Sur and an Announcement!

As with so many bloggers, we are guilty of failing to post for a while.  However, we have had a decent excuse because a lot has changed for us in the last few months.  WE’VE MOVED!   As of May, we have permanently relocated to San Francisco, pursuing a job opportunity for Chris and a much needed change for Brittany. It was a very big decision, and though we’ll always miss our friends and  favorite places in LA, we are extremely excited!  One thing we’re thrilled about is the access to new and extremely close wilderness adventures.  We’ve made it a goal to get out and camp at least one weekend a month.  Hopefully talking about it publicly will keep us honest!

Our first attempt at this was a quick overnight trip down to Big Sur to try and find a campground Chris had read about called Prewitt Ridge.  It’s a dispersed campground (ie, free place to camp, but no running water or “amenities”).  The route called for a 3 hour drive down to Big Sur along US-1.  Here, we stopped for lunch at the Big Sur Taphouse, which I highly recommend if you’re traveling through the area.  They have a great selection of local beers on tap and surprisingly good food for their “simple bar” feel.

Big Sur Taphouse

After lunch, we had a short 20 minute drive and then a left turn up a 1 lane mountain road that was as beautiful as it was treacherous.  The final leg was 5 miles of rough (but passable without four wheel drive) dirt road, which brought us to one of the most beautiful camping locations either of us had ever seen.

The view from the top of Prewitt Ridge Campground.

The view from the top of Prewitt Ridge.

We had read many reports that this campground was not heavily used.  As we came in on Saturday afternoon, we discovered that the majority of the spots were taken.   But, after a bit of exploring the maze of roads, we found a wonderful spot all to ourselves.  We certainly couldn’t complain, considering it was a beautiful weekend and everything is first come, first serve.

A Room With a View

Not a terrible place to spend the night, and the price can’t be beat: FREE!

The Jeep stood guard, and got a it's own great view of sunset.

The Jeep stood guard, and got a its own great view of sunset.

After we setup camp, we did a bit of hiking/exploring, pieced together a quick dinner, and watched one of the best sunsets of our lives!

This was the view from outside the front door of our tent.

This was the view from outside the front door of our tent.

After watching the the Moon, Jupiter, and the stars come out, we turned in early so we could wake up early for some mountain biking/exploring!

Coming back-up a bit of the Prewitt Ridge trail.  This trails goes all the way to Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean 3,500 ft below.

Coming back-up a bit of the Prewitt Ridge trail. This trail goes all the way to Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean 3,500 ft below.

Sunday Morning we went for a quick exploratory MTB trip.

Sunday morning we went for a quick exploratory MTB trip.

Brittany did great for one of her first times on a mountain bike.  We only did a few miles, but covered almost 2000 vertical feet!  This made for some very fun down hills and a very long, slow trip back up to camp.  The views never stopped though and made the work more than bearable.

Once back at camp, Brittany whipped up some delicious cinnamon buns on the camp stove (who says you need an oven to bake!)  We then packed up and headed home.  Even though it felt like we’d been gone for days, we made it home by early afternoon.   The trip left us smiling from ear to ear, and we’ll definitely be back again.  Big Sur is a great meeting spot between San Francisco and LA, and if this post seems like it was designed to lure some of our LA friends up this way, you’re right!

This trip left us all smiles, all weekend.  We can't wait to come back, hopefully with some friends!

This trip left us all smiles, all weekend. We can’t wait to come back, hopefully with some friends!

Labor Day Weekend: The Eastern Serrias

We took the last big 3 day weekend of the year as a good excuse to head up to the Eastern Sierras for a few days of camping, fly fishing, and hiking.   We had a great time fishing Rock Creek, The Lower Owens River and Hot Creak up in Mammoth.   Then, we headed down to Mt. Whitney and did a little recon before our big summit attempt in October!

New Zealand Video Teaser!


Full version coming soon. 

Ogo Rotorua!

Brittany tried out an Ogo on our way through Rotorua.  From the screams, it sounds like she had a pretty good time!

Sydney!

In an effort to cross one more country off of our list, we stopped by Australia for a few days adventure.  We met up with Chris’ friend Alissa and her boyfriend Michael.  They were amazing tour guides for our time in Sydney!  After a bite and a few brews, we headed to the Sydney Opera House for a once in a lifetime behind the scenes tour!  We both got a chance to stand where the conductor does.  It was freaking cool!

The next day, we walked the bridge and hopped a ferry over to one of the beaches for a casual lunch.  Afterwards, we strolled through a few of the parks and grabbed dinner with Alissa at a hole in the wall restaurant in China Town.  Then she took us to a hidden bar where they specialized in American Beer & Whiskey.  It was a ton of fun and we were sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful city.

Videos coming soon!

xoxo

Chris & Brittany

Helihike of Kepler Track

We started the day off in true LA fashion – by boarding a helicopter to the top of a mountain to start off our day hike.  Needless to say, we had a few people greet us at the Kepler Track hut as we landed!  It was all worth it as the Fiordlands by air was yet another breathtaking perspective.  Our pilot also landed us on a peak not accessible by hikers.  So we got our photo just as a rainbow formed in the background.  Perfect timing!

After leaving the helicopter behind, we stopped being tourists and started hiking!  We went to the top of the nearest peak before our 6 hour descent to the campervan.  Along the way, we also popped into the limestone cave.  Apparently you can go in quite a ways, but with slick rock and slippery shoes, we decided to just take a peek in.

The Fiordlands pt 2

Our trip to Milford and the surrounding area was so spectacular that we thought it deserved 2 posts!  Note that we crossed the Latitude 45 South marker.  Making this the furthest south either of us has been!

Milford Sound in all it’s glory

All of the travel blogs, websites, and guides had told us that Milford was the quintessential stop for New Zealand’s South Island.  It’s beauty is simply beyond words and photos can’t really do it justice.  YES – it’s that breathtaking!  The closest basis that we have for comparison is Yosemite.

After an insanely crazy voyage to the sound, we boarded a ferry tour.  Waterfalls, kayakers, seals, and an ominous fog/cloud layer greeted us for a trip that was simply too short.  One the way home we met one of the Fiordland’s treasures – a Kea!  Don’t let this cute alpine parrot fool you, they are highly intelligent and have been known to rip apart unattended shoes and car tires for fun…

From the Glaciers through NZ’s Southern Alps

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation is simply amazing.  Entry into all of their parks is free, so we continued to take full advantage of this on the South Island.  First stop of the day was the Franz Joseph Glacier.  Brittany had never seen one, so we stopped and made the long trek to the face of it.  It’s nearing the end of summer in NZ, and it’s crazy to witness glaciers are hanging out in 60 degree weather!  The second half of our day was a long journey to our campsite on the other side of the Southern Alps.