Carpinteria State Beach is located along CA101, about 80 miles north of Los Angeles and 12 miles south of Santa Barbara. It is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. The city of Carpinteria has a nice small town feel. The campground is tucked between the beach and the railroad the defines the southwestern border of the town. If you are going to be tent camping, I would highly recommend a site on the Anacapa circle. The Santa Cruz area might be all right too. The Santa Rosa and San Miguel areas are definitely more for trailers and RV's (basically a big parking lot). The beach is only a walk away. If you forgot to pack anything, the town is within walking or bike riding distance as well. A Sunday School class from our church have been making this an annual event for many years. It is a family weekend that grown to include a third generation these last couple of years. Although we don't attend the class, we lucked into a spot in 2003, when someone else canceled. Our group usually manages to reserve most of the 20 or so sites on the Anacapa circle. It is a lot of fun to spend the weekend with so many other families. The kids hang out, the adults hang out. There are always pickup softball games, ultimate frisbee games, water balloon wars, bike trips, sunbathing and of course campfires and s'mores.
I went up on Wednesday with my younger son. We did a couple of bike rides over to the seal rookery. About 30 of us went for a hike in Santa Barbara to the 7 Falls via the Tunnel or Jesusita Trail on Thursday. I taught my son how to play backgammon. He then taught his brother and the kids camped next to us. My wife and older son joined us on Friday afternoon. I of course got in a daily run around Carpinteria. On Thursday morning my son rode along side me for 7.5 miles along the bluffs. Friday morning I soloed back out on the bluffs and through town for 6 miles. My long run on Saturday was along Via Real that parallels CA101 out to the Big Yellow House in Summerland and back through town again. I returned along Padaro Lane, a beautiful tree lined road that borders the salt marsh. There a many estate style homes on this road. All that you see from the road are the elaborate gates. I ended up with 16 miles due to my classic inability to calculate simple math while on the run. After spending most of Sunday on the beach, I put in another 4 miles along the bluffs out to the baseball diamonds on the southern tip of town that afternoon.
All told, including my runs at home on Tuesday and Wednesday, I put in 46.5 miles for the week, a personal high by 1.5 miles. If you've been following along, I have been trying to slowly increase my weekly mileage since my posting about "Potential". The hope is that the extra miles will help my reach my sub 4:00 marathon goal. So far, I still feel pretty good. I did cut Tuesday's speed work short (only 3 halfs) but ended with a decent 2 mile "tempo" at 8:20 pace.
We had perfect weather all weekend, except for a couple hours of some pretty significant wind gusts on Saturday afternoon. All in all a very nice long weekend. When I got home I probably spent way too long catching up on the blogs I read. It is now late Tuesday night and I'm off to sleep in a real bed, ahhh. I love camping, but I love coming back home too.