This trip was our 50th in the Big White Box (BWB), a milestone for us. 🙂 We’ve had a lot of fun camping in her over the last 5 years (since June 2012).
We travelled south to Buellton, just north of Santa Barbara, and stayed in the Flying Flags RV Resort. This is a great place to stay in an RV, but they also offer cabins and vintage trailers (Air Streams, etc.). Because of that, it’s also a great place for groups to gather, even if everyone doesn’t have an RV. The amenities, including bocci ball, pool, restaurant, etc. offer something for everyone.
Flying Flags was our base as we spent time in Solvang, Mission Santa Ines, Nojoqui Falls, Cachuma Lake, Knapp’s Castle, and the Chumash Painted Cave. We spent a little time along the coast, but mainly explored interesting places in the Santa Ynez Mountains just to the east.
Solvang, a Danish community, is always a great place to visit for baked goods. We tried the Kringle this time at Olsen’s Bakery and it was delicious. Along the route to Solvang, you also pass by beautiful ranch land, which also includes an Ostrich farm.
Right next to Solvang is the Old Mission Santa Ines, founded in 1804. It’s beautifully maintained and well worth a visit. In fact, you can take a stroll there after finishing your Kringle, like we did. 🙂
Our next stop was a visit to Nojoqui Falls. A short hike from the parking lot through through the forest leads to the seasonal fall. The fall seems to jut out from the surrounding rock, and the face of the fall is covered in ferns. It makes for a peaceful place to spend some time. When we are there, there was just a little water flowing, but still a nice walk. It’s also a popular place for dog walking, and Lucy loved meeting new friends along the trail.
For dinner, we decided to try Industrial Eats in Buellton. You can see the menu on the wall written on a roll of paper. We tried the clay oven pizza, which was awesome, but the plates from the four-item menu also looked great, and I’ll have to try something off that menu the next time we visit.
The next day we headed to the mountains. Our first stop was Lake Cachuma. The water was still really low at the dam, but hopefully the recent rains have started filling it up again. We had a really nice walk down to the water before heading to our next destination.
Our next stop was the ruins of Knapp’s Castle, which has an incredible view of the Santa Ynez Valley. The mansion burned down to the foundation in 1940 and was never rebuilt.
Our final stop for the day was the Chumash Painted Cave, located on a winding one-lane road about a mile from Knapp’s Castle. You hike up to the cave, protected by an iron fence, and are rewarded with beautiful drawings made by the Chumash hundreds of years ago. They are so ancient, even the Chumash people do not know the meaning of the drawings, but to us, they seem to relate to the cosmos. What do you think?
We then found our way down the mountain and drove north, back to Buellton, in time for a coffee break.
Another enjoyable RV trip in the Big White Box, and we are looking forward to our next trip, which will be on the coast of the Monterey Bay.
Al & Deb
p.s. Our days in the BWB are numbered, as we have a new Winnebago on order for arrival some time in early April. It’s a 2017 Winnebago Adventurer 35P. We will always appreciate the BWB, and the many great trips and lessons in RVing in her, but also look forward to new adventures in the Adventurer!
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