Day 13 Canoeing and wine tasting

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Where I stayed
Santa Margarita Lake state campground

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Today, like yesterday, has been a great day. We woke up this morning at sunrise and the wind was calm. It was still a bit chilly. I made my way to the bathroom, which was really a brick sheltered portajohn. The door was locked and I almost thought that perhaps the camp rangers had left it locked, then a guy walked out and immediately said, "Sorry." You know if a guy went to use the portajohn out in the middle of nowhere, it wasn't number one. Good morning! Hahaha. Anyway, we cooked chocolate (leftover Hershey’s bars from s’mores) chip pancakes for breakfast and drank makeshift café mochas which were amazing. Dave decided we’d come back another time to ride the dunes so we packed up camp and headed for Lopez Lake. The drive was beautiful as it weaved through what is called Edna Valley which is a wine region. Once we got in view of the lake we could tell the water was down quite a bit; we thought maybe ten feet or so. When we paid at the gate, the sign read, “lake level 56%” Wow! 

The sun has been brutal on my face even with sunblock and I forgot to bring a hat so I bought a huge brimmed hat at the marina store and we set out in our canoe. It was a little bit windy which makes it difficult when you’re trying to fish and maneuver a canoe, but thankfully we managed to get across the main channel and into a protected cove. We stayed back there for over an hour. We pulled up to the shore and Dave got out and walked along the shore to fish. Abby followed him and Scrappy and I stayed near the canoe. I read the Bible and lounged in the sun. Dave walked all the way around until he was across from me. I heard him say, “Abby’s coming back to you,” but I didn’t realize he meant she was swimming across the cove to me! Crazy pup. It makes both of us happy when she shows some youthfulness since she turned 12 this month! She got out and shook off right beside me. Thanks Miss Abby!

Dave asked me to pick him up in the canoe and when he got in he said we needed to paddle to the back of the cove to get something he found. As we got closer to the edge I saw it was an old anchor. Bonus! He saw it out in the water with the ragged rope still attached so he pulled it in. That will make it a lot easier to fish in the wind. Thanks God.

After we pulled the canoe back in, we found a place to cook lunch in the lake campground, which was Dave parking in the road because it was the only shade he could find. It wasn’t long until a ranger told us we needed to move, but we were pretty much finished at that point anyway. We were going to take showers there, but the showers required quarters to operate and we didn’t have any change.  Lunch was good; we ate leftover kielbasa spaghetti and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Then we went back by the marina so Dave could see if they had the fishing line he needed and he grabbed us a couple of cold cokes in cans! --one of my favorite treats and the only way to drink coke.  Yippers.

After we left we were heading towards Avila Beach, but continued to drive through the Edna Valley so I could taste wine at the many wineries, but first we drove to the Tackle Warehouse (Dave was so excited) and he bought some giant lures. After that we went to Old Edna Town site which is in the center of the Edna Valley wine region and includes some restored buildings. After exploring the cute grounds we went inside and I sampled their wines.  It was $10 which included however many samples and a glass to keep. Very tasty wine; I ended up buying six bottles.

Finally we made our way back to the beach, only to realize that the beach we (or I) thought was Avila beach was actually Pismo Beach; not a big deal except that we were trying to buy some fresh seafood for dinner and we had read about a pier that sells it which we mistakenly thought was the pier in Pismo beach. No worries, Avila beach was just up the road a mile or so. We did take a stroll out on the pier with the doggies, but the wind was cold.

On our way to Avila beach, we passed the two advertised hot springs facilities! I may go tomorrow after church. The reviews for one are terrible, but the reviews for the one across the street from it are great and you get a private hillside outdoor tub to yourself.  Anyway, we got to the pier at Avila beach, but didn’t see anywhere to buy seafood, but we didn’t look hard because we were running out of daylight so decided to just grab something from the grocery store and get to Santa Margarita Lake before sunset.

We arrived at the lake around 5:45 and cooked an amazing T-bone steak dinner with salad and Velveeta shells and cheese. Mmmmmm.  It was good, and we have steak leftover so we’ll have steak and eggs for breakfast.  Dave is fishing right now; he dragged the canoe down this steep incline and it’s pitch black out here.  My fingers are getting cold. We haven’t had much service so we’re typing our blogs in a word document to upload later.

Right now the stars are so bright; so much brighter than even last night! And since we are up on a mountain there is no light pollution like last night so I’m going to try with the pictures again. We’ll see how they turn out. Goodnight everyone. Much love and blessings to you. ~Rachel
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