Sun Shows Off at Lake Cachuma

The same crew that I accompanied to the hot springs in Gaviota wanted to check out Lake Cachuma on Friday, but the place was packed and there were no campsites available.

Hiking out on Lolita. Photo courtesy Andrea Ramsdell.

I had been wanting to take Lolita out for a sail, so I proposed a Saturday afternoon shove-off and another attempt at a campsite.

Despite some optimism, it seems no one really believed we’d actually get a site. We had our tents and sleeping bags, but we had no food and nothing to drink except for light beer (which was for the sunny day on the water).

None of us cared though as we set up camp under a tree – an awfully nice campsite I must say (#350) – would definitely request this one if it’s available in the future. There was a giant tree in the middle, and since I had never removed the tire from my trunk (see that story here), I was able to make a tire swing with some dock line.

I’ve got to be honest: That was quite a throwback to a world that, it seems, does not exist anymore. When was the last time you sat on a tire swing? Or saw one? Pretty awesome. (I was going to leave it there, but I needed the dock line. Next time, I think I’ll pay it forward. It only took about ten minutes for the first kid to come up and ask to play on it.)

The sail went incredibly well, the wind blowing strong and my guests enjoying the sun and the views of the mountains, leaning out over the water and waving to other boats. It’s why I bought the damn thing – and it’s always a pleasure to see other people enjoying what puts such a big smile on my own face.

After we docked and broke down the boat, we went on an hour-plus adventure to find food. We drove out of the campsite north to Santa Ynez, where we bought three packs of wood ($6 each) and a couple bottles of wine. All the food markets were closed, though (they close at 5:30 p.m.), and that resulted in us paying $40 for a pack of hog dogs, a few potatoes, corn, marshmallows, chocolate, Graham crackers and buns at the General Store at Lake Cachuma.

This is why the trip was labeled as the most expensive low-budget trip ever: We were eating expensive food that should have been inexpensive (the General Store sort of rips you off), and we were flipping them with a mangled coat hanger. Other things we didn’t have: can opener, flash light, utensils (had to drink the baked beans out of the can… which is not a pleasant experience).

Photo courtesy Andrea Ramsdell.

It would have been quite the low-budget grind-it-out sort of weekend if we hadn’t paid so much to do it. But, we were finally stocked with supplies, and before we got to cooking we went over to catch the sunset on the other side of the lake. I was impressed last time I went to Cachuma, and the sunset this time might have been even better. See the photos below.


Later that night, before bed, we all laid in the middle of a field and looked up at the stars. The moon was bright and it made it hard to see all the stars, but it was still beautiful and a great way to fade off at the end of the night. We retreated to our tents when it started to get chilly, although it must have been close to 2 or 3 a.m.  The night sort of gets away from you when you’re out in nature (also true in Las Vegas).

The next morning we got up early and drove north to Lake Lopez. That story, along with photos and videos of cliff jumping, is on its way.




    • ah man I sort of remember it now but maybe I’m just projecting.

      That was an amazing sunset – I will definitely be blowing up some of them.

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