Tag Archives: kayak

Life at the beach… 10 days in Oceanside was just what we needed

sunset oceanside tim kayak
When we got to Oceanside we were all tired. Tired of driving in the truck. Tired of packing up our stuff every few days and moving on. Tired of small disappointments (snow, no water in Reno, no beach in Santa Barbara). We rolled into the campground in Oceanside in the dark, after a long drive that took us through 2 hours in rush hour traffic in Los Angeles, relieved to be there. And then the train came… the Paradise by the Sea RV Park, which is “on the beach” is also right on the Amtrack/Coaster rail line and the trains come by from 5:51am to 11:52 pm, in 15-30 minute intervals at times – ACK!!! Will we ever find our california beach to surf???

oceanside campground sprawl

A good nights sleep and an a day to settle in and we were able to find all the things right with our situation. A heated pool & hot tub, a games room with pool, shuffleboard, pingpong and Wii. A 500 meter walk to the beach down a path and through a park. Nice places for me to run in the mornings. Nice beach to surf on. Bike friendly community. A gated secure campground that made it OK for Hunter to stay on his own for short periods. All of this quickly offset the train… Hunter even got good at discerning the different train whistles for the trains in the dark and it became a game.

lee bike oceanside pier

We spent 10 days in Oceanside at the Paradise by the Sea RV Park. It was a great home base and very well run. Clean, well taken care off, very friendly staff and lots of amenities. For us to stay at a State Park on a beach is $65.00 a night with no showers, no water, no electrical, no internet, no pool etc. etc. For us to stay in Paradise, it was $55.00 per night. An easy decision to keep extending our stay and cancelling our other reservations.

oceanside lifeguard station bikes

Oceanside is a bike friendly community and you can tell that just by the volume of bike traffic and the road signs. Most roads have bike lanes on the side and some roads state that bikes can take up the whole road, just like a car. We rode our bikes down to the Oceanside Pier and checked things out. We rode our bikes to the Oceanside Streetmarket on 2 Thursday nights (a must check out experience with food from around the world, music & kids activities). Tim and I rode our bikes 32km down the San Louis Rey River trail that goes from the beach eastward to the edge of Oceanside.

day at the beach oceansideWe spent lots of time at the beach, which was just what we needed. What we did varied every day but there was always at least a kayak, a surfboard and a boogie board with us. Some days we had 2’s of things and were quite a site! We now have a beach wagon (seen above just behind Hunter) to help carry all the STUFF plus lunch etc. so we can stay longer and play more.

Hunter discovered the fun of a boogie board and had a wonderful time surfing and playing in the waves, either chasing Tim in his kayak or convincing him to come out and play as well…

I continue to have fun learning to surf. It’s a steep learning curve and could be considered frustrating but I have so much fun being out in the waves that I just take each day as it comes and celebrate the little successes along the way!

It was also wonderful to be just down the road from my sister and her family. Hunter really enjoyed some “cousin time” – both at Legoland & Zoo Safari as well as just “hanging out”. We are excited that we will be back this way in March for a broader family vacation with a beachfront house being rented and lots of cousins here to play. More surfing every day with some plans to check out the impressive skateboard park that we found on our last day.


Lapie Canyon – Yukon

Lapie Canyon Campground

We spent 4 days at the Lapie River in the central Yukon camping and whitewater kayaking. It was also adventure test trip #1 to work out the bugs and start the lists in earnest (what do we need to figure out or do over the next 8 weeks before we hit the road for 8 months).

The adventure set up for the 4 days was:

  • Ford F250 (and all it’s intermittent electrical system issues)
  • 2003 Adventure Queen 8 ft truck camper
  • 2008 18ft Hallmark V-nosed enclosed trailer
  • 4 Jackson kayaks (Duo, Zen, FunRunner, 1.5)
  • 4 mountain bikes (as Hunter is transitioning sizes)
  • 1 ATV for shuttling etc.

Waiting to hit the river


Our first day on the river was sunny and 30c – woo hoo summer!  We ran the lower river section with Tim & Hunter in the Duo to help Hunter read and scout the river as we were hopeful he could run it on his own. Fabulous water levels made for a really fun day. Below is the view of the canyon looking upstream after we put in.view of canyon from duo


Day two on the river and Hunter’s the man! He ran the entire run in his own boat, surfed and boofed with a smile a mile wide…

Fridge issues in the camper caused some frustrations– we’ve tried every setting and still get 10c on the thermometer. To avoid food spoilage we hooked it up to the generator for a few hours to try to get things back down to a better range but we’re stumped as to why the propane isn’t working.

 Hunter on kayak pile


Day three on the river we ran the lower section with a group of tandem and solo canoeists. It was a group of 9 in total. I was definitely worried about Hunter’s ability to focus but he pulled it off and stuck with coach Dad. Some stressful moments when I found him sitting in the one of the surfing lines in the eddy – I thought he was just in the wrong spot, and then he peeled out to surf the wave without anyone ready in case of a swim! He wondered why I was so stressed… Run #2 with no swims and lots of enthusiasm – he even wanted to head off to a nearby lake to practice his roll!

The fridge is still an issue – we’ve tried the highest setting & the lowest and neither are making a dent. Back to the generator for a few hours to cool things off and we made cookies to create an excuse to drink the milk!

down time in the trailer

 The boys also tested out their “Man Cave” set up in the trailer. They have set up a carpeted play zone in the front third of the trailer that provides a place for Hunter’s Playmobil, Lego & Trucks along with the bean bag chair and DVD player/flat screen.

In between paddling we fit in some biking and visiting with other paddlers. A great 4 day adventure that we will definitely repeat next year. The territorial campground is a great resource and well set up for families with lots of space, easy walking trails, a covered cooking area and take out for the lower section is right at the campground.