Silver linings in Santa Barbara

hedderman kids + hunter surf

We headed down to the Oceanmesa campground at El Capitan State Beach, just north of Santa Barbara, with the goal of getting in some quality surf time. After spending 3 hours researching potential California beach locations and then trying to find available spaces, I was quite excited about getting there and putting down roots for a few days. No moving the truck – just walk out of the campground and onto the beach and surf!

It was a 4 hour drive south from Santa Cruz and we had a few GPS mishaps on our way so needless to say, it was a long day and we were all ready to be out of the truck. We pulled off the highway at the appointed off ramp, turned and went under the highway and looped along on a parallel road. As we pulled into the driveway of the campground it was abundantly clear to me that we were not “on the beach”.  I looked at Tim and said “I think I’m going to cry…” – on top of the blown plans was the fact that this is a very very expensive campground. UGH.

Hunter helped get us settled and then sprinted off to the pool for some fun time…

hedderman kids + hunter photo

Our Silver Lining came in the form of the Hedderman family, who happened to be playing in the pool when we got there. They are a family of 6 with 4 kids and a wonderful fit with us! The kids got along amazingly well and basically spent the next 40 hours glued to each other. They flip flopped between skateboarding, playing in the pool and playing at the beach. We had 2 great campfires and the kids all had a tent sleepover on the 2nd night.

hedderman kids + hunter pool

The Hedderman’s took 6 months off last year and went to live in Belize. It was a life changing experience and set them on a path to define their “new normal”. They are currently in the midst of a 12 week US road trip. It was really enjoyable learning about their travels over the last year and getting some tips and ideas for our own. Be sure to take a minute and check out their blog at

While we were sorry to part ways, I am sure that our paths will cross again and I am grateful for our silver lining and being able to count the Hedderman family as new friends.


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